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A Guide to Making Perfect Scottish Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup
Intro & Info
A good heavy winter warmer this one - filled with root vegetables and red lentils, a classic Scottish soup to warm you on those cold and snowy days (perfect for a thermos to take to work, your kids' outdoors sports games, etc etc).
I'm a figure skater, and have been taking this soup in a flask to the rink for the last ten years to get warm between training sessions. If this can heat me up in a minus ten celsius environment, I'm sure it'll work for you too!
Let's do this thing!
Ingredients & Equipment
This makes a large pot, I would normally get 2 days worth of soup out of this. Plenty for 6 people.
- 5 large potatoes
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large turnip
- 2 large leeks
- 300g of red lentils
- 2 chicken stock cubes
- 1 large pot (nice and deep please)
- 1 pot lid
- 1 wooden spoon
- Laddle (for serving)
Wash your red lentils (in a culinder for instance) in cold water for 2 to 3 minutes to get the startch off of them. Then add 1liter of water to your pan, bring to simmer (on the point of boiling) and add the lentils. Cover. Leave them like this for approx 15minutes, or until they have become fluffy and soft. You may need to remove some of the 'scum' (you'll see what I mean when you're cooking this) with a large serving spoon.
While the lentils are cooking, peel your potatoes, carrots, and turnip. Cut off the green leafy parts of the leek, and the bottom rooty end. Then cut it down lengthways, split open, and wash under cold water. Proceed to chopping the leeks in rings, from one end to another. Once you're other vegetables are peeled, grate them all (you'll find you get a really nice thick, juicy chopping board of root veg going on).
Once you've removed the remaining startch from the top of the pan of lentils (otherwise refered to as 'scum') add the 2 chicken stock cubes (or use vegetable stock if you are vegetarian), the leeks, grated potatoes, carrots, and turnip. Mix the lot together nicely with a wooden spoon, cover and leave to cook.
Once your root vegetables have become nice and tender, or even mushy depending on how you like your soup, salt to taste (although honestly with the stock cubes already in there I find I don't need to salt on top). Serve.
As they say in Spain, Voila!!
I have a tendency to serve this up straight in the pot, on the table with a great big laddle in it to let the guests dig in. If you're after something a little more refined than a twenty-somethings Parisian cookoff for friends, then try serving in a soup pot.
I find brown bread goes a treat with this, dip it in, soak in up, lots of lovely warming goodness. Yum. Enjoy!