We were very white tonight - soup for dinner, followed by bread and cheese.
I wasn't feeling brilliant today, so wagged uni. I had lunch with my mum and brother at a fab Japanese place near my house, and then Mum and I went to the Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder to get some cheese. They have an amazing cheese room there, and I was hoping to find some Lancashire cheese to go with my stem-ginger gingerbread, and some brie to go with a loaf of Phillipa's fab hazelnut and raisin bread which my dad bought yesterday. Apparently, we don't have Lancashire cheese here, full stop! The cheese-lady was ace though, I told her what I was looking for, she let me try heaps of different cheeses and in the end I got a UK cheddar and a French brie.
On the way home we went to the supermarket, and then I leisurely made this soup in the afternoon...
122. Lentil and Chestnut Soup
This recipes is included in the Christmas section of the Basics etc. chapter, as a "way of adding zip to cold leftovers" (e.g. cold turkey, ham etc). We didn't have it in addition to leftovers; we had it as a meal in itself, and it was lovely.
You start off by whizzing up with half a leek (I accidentally used a whole one, but I don't think it mattered), an onion, a carrot and a celery stick in a blender, then cooking it in oil until soft. Then you add red lentils and stock, and let it simmer until very soft.
$11.35 can of chestnuts
Then you add a tin of chestnuts. The recipes says 225g chestnuts, but my can had 285g in it, which I assumed meant I could eat a couple myself. They were delicious. (It's the same brand that Nigella uses. Imagine my excitement when I found it at The Essential Ingredient).
Anyway, keep simmering for about 20 minutes, then blend until smooth. As reckless and laid back as I am in the kitchen, I still thought that piping hot liquid + blender would equal disaster. So I left it off the heat, went to the gym (yay!) and came back to finish it off.
I love how smooth and velvety it turns when blended.
We ate it with a loaf of Phillipa's Campagnard bread (white loaf), which my dad bought yesterday.
Check out my 1970's pot.
Lentil & Chestnut Soup - served with cream and parsley.
This is an excellent soup! And so easy! It's such a shame that tinned chestnuts are so pricey here, otherwise I'd be making this much more often. And as a huge bonus, I managed to use up the jar of red lentils that have been sitting in my pantry for at least five years. Sweet.
So, after the soup came the cheese. My dad actually refused cheese, with protests of "I'm not a cheese person". Fine, whatever. All the more for me.
A stylish end to an informal meal
The hazelnut and raisin bread (above) went with the brie, and the stem-ginger gingerbread (below) went with the cheddah. Oh my god, gingerbread and cheddah cheese is an incredible combination! I would have never thought to put gingerbread with cheese, (I've never seen people have it together here), but it just works so well.
We've got a lot of soup, and a lot of cheese left over. I'm very happy about that.