Hello beautiful blog checkers, or our little BBCs! Sorry about the hiatus in recipes but we’ve been a tad busy over the last few weeks. The weekend before last we went to a wonderful wedding in Gloucestershire. Lizzie was there too…
And so was Max…
The happy couple were Claire and Phil, and this I think is my favourite of the hundred or so photo’s we took over the weekend. I think it truly encapsulates the love, joy and charm of the event.
They also had something in the evening that I’ve never seen before at a wedding or other event. It was a photo booth with helper and dressing up clothes!
We’ve all never looked so good! This was such a brilliant idea as we all got a copy of our own photos and a second copy was put into a guest book which we were all able to leave messages in for Claire and Phil.
Anyway let’s get on with the food! This recipe came about through trial and error and the help of an old colleague. It can be made in variety of ways to get a different, but very tasty, effect each time. I will explain at the end.
3 tbs of oil
2 tsp of fresh root ginger, grated
2 tsp of garlic, grated
2 tsp of ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
3 tsp of curry powder
1/4 tsp of cayenne (more if you want it hot and spicy – is your taste)
6 whole chicken thighs
2 sticks of celery chopped to bite sized pieces
4 carrots (one diced small for the stock) the others cut into bite sized pieces
1 small potato diced small for the stock
1 large potato cut into bite sized pieces
12oz of red split lentils
4 pints of chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one large lemon
1 tbs of chopped fresh coriander to garnish – optional – I opted not to!
Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan over a medium to high heat. When hot, put in the grated ginger and garlic and stir for approx 15 seconds – be careful because it can spit everywhere, so have the lid handy! Now add the ground cumin, ground coriander, curry powder and cayenne and stir for 15 seconds, then add the chicken and stir this to coat for about a minute.
Then add the lentils and the one carrot and one potato for the stock stir these to coat in the spices and the oil too. Now add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Partly cover with the lid and simmer on a low heat for approximately 45 minutes.
Once the chicken is cooked remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon and set to one side for five minutes whilst you either blend the soup stock in a blender or use a stick blender to do the same job. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Now add the rest of the chopped vegetables and bring the soup back to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, using two forks, skin and debone the cooked chicken and discard the skin and bones. Break the chicken up into bite sized pieces, but not too small or it will go stringy in the soup.
Once the vegetables are tender add the chicken back to the soup and leave to warm through for five minutes.
Now add the juice of one lemon and the chopped coriander, if using, and serve. This is enough for twelve starter portions, or six supper portions.
If you would like a clearer, ‘lighter’ soup omit the vegetables for the stock, replace the red split lentils with puy lentils and do not blend the soup. You can also do it this way and omit the vegetables altogether. You can also add a cupful of cooked rice to the soup.
Relatively easy soup that works with a variety of lentils. But we do like the way red split lentils ‘melt’ into the soup, giving a warming hearty soup. The lighter version does make a good summer soup too – sorry we have no photos of that yet, but will try to remember to add them next time we make it that way!
Hope you try it and enjoy! Do let us know if you do?