Lentil Soup is Food for Everyone, and I know you are thinking that there are just so many lentil soup recipes already on the planet. Why post another one? Whilst I am wondering, why haven't I put this superb Scottish soup recipe up before on HRK when I make it so often. It's my go to lentil soup. It's not even officially soup season here yet in North Queensland, but on a long awaited wet and rainy day when the temperatures are in the range of 23 deg. C - 28 deg. C instead of 30 deg C plus and climbing, it's time to hunt down that packet of red lentils in the back of the pantry and make lentil soup livened up with whatever else is in the pantry and the refrigerator. Do you get where I'm coming from? Soup making doesn't have to be complicated, and definitely shouldn't be. It can be quite a spontaneous activity.
This story is like a love letter to lentils which have given me an easy approach into dinner and has reminded me of my Scottish Ancestry. We might even eat a roast beef sandwich with it. Perhaps I am feeling a bit frivolous, because it's only two more sleeps before I fly out to France to visit my son, his partner and our beautiful grandchildren, yikes, it's actually happening. I believe my son makes lentil soup often during their sometimes quite miserable Winters over in France too, so there's a synergy happening here. Our tropical Winters are far from miserable though, they are balmy and wonderful.
There is an underlying backstory about this soup. This recipe is based on the easiest lentil soup recipe, originating authentically from the Scottish Highlands, and given to me many years ago by our Scottish friend Calum Ferguson, whom Mr. HRK had as a Highschool teaching colleague for many years. They had a great teaching relationship and a friendship which has endured, and still bounce ideas off each other when they are working on various projects around the house, although Calum is a lot more mechanically minded than Mr. HRK which has come in very handy at times when we've had car problems. Do you detect an obvious Scottish name in there as well, and he still has a very detectable Highlander accent. This is authentically a recipe from the town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands where Calum comes from. He says that the Scottish still traditionally like to have soup and sandwiches for an evening meal, or sandwiches with their soup, sounds so cosy and wonderful to me. For this recipe you need a Pressure cooker to really do it justice. However, I have generally simmered it slowly in a heavy based pot and it is still delicious. The weather is almost Scottish here in North Queensland today, it's raining after weeks of unseasonal heat, but then there is a new normal it seems with the weather. So, to my way of thinking, it is the perfect opportunity to use what I have on hand and make a healthy soup, which also stretches the budget.
A week ago, during our heatwave I never thought I would be making soup only a week later. Leftovers can be frozen for another rainy day. This has been my very easy go to Red Lentil soup recipe for over 10 years, and each time I change it to suit my mood and what I have on hand. It is just so supremely satisfying and enriching.
1 cup red lentils, rinsed through a fine colander (original recipe said 1/2 a large mug)
2 onions, finely chopped
3 bacon, vegetable or chicken stock cubes
3-4 good sized carrots (3 if they are very large), sliced and chopped
Cover all of the above with water in the saucepan
When cooked, add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Puree to serve or leave as lumpy as you like.
Garnish with fresh coriander, parsley or whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. Swirl a little yoghurt through. I love a little bit of fun soup art.
There are lots of variations out there for Lentil soup, and I have added pumpkin and other vegetables at times, however this recipe is for a good basic soup which also stretches the budget and is very nourishing.