|1 medium onion|
|250g / 9oz swede|
|2 medium carrots (approximately 250g / 9oz)|
|200g / 7oz Puy lentils|
|1½ litre / 2.7 pints of hot vegetable stock|
|3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil|
|Handful of fresh coriander|
|Half a teaspoon of medium curry paste|
|Salt and pepper to taste|
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 (fan ovens to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4)
Peel and slice the carrots and onions.
Peel the swede then chop then into small chunks.
Mix the curry paste and olive oil.
Puy lentils are ideal for this soup. They give it a rounded, slightly peppery taste which makes for a delicious broth. You can use any type of lentil in this soup but they will not have same warmth as Puy lentils. The addition of a small amount of curry paste warms the soup even more without over-powering it.
At almost any time of year, but in winter especially, root vegetables such as swede, carrots and onions are a cheap source of food. In winter of course they are also in season from October to March making them fresher than most other vegetables at this time of the year. Other root vegetables such as parsnips can also be added or substituted. For a thicker soup (although the thin broth of this soup is truly delicious) add one potato cut into cubes and cooked with the root vegetables. The potatoes will break down and provide some body to the broth.
This soup freezes very well although the Puy lentils will loose some of their characteristic bite when re-heated.
Place the tray of vegetables in the pre-heated oven and cook them for 35 minutes. Halfway through the cooking, turn the vegetables so they are evenly cooked.
When the lentils are cooked, add the roasted vegetables and heat through for two minutes. Add the chopped coriander, taste, add salt and pepper seasoning to your taste. Serve in warm bowls with chunky bread.