I love them in this soup, where they are a beautiful contrast against the soft, buttery vegetables. The oregano adds a heady tang which also adds some taste pleasure to the mix.
It makes a lovely, filling, bone warming and hearty lunch for cooler days . . . Spring is here, but we are still swinging back and forth temperature wise . . .
Serves 4 to 6
Delicious, warming and filling. Perfect comfort food!
2 TBS butter
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes plus juice (2 cups)
200g Puy lentils (approximately 1 cup)
1 litre vegetable stock (about 4 1/4 cups)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese to serve
crusty bread, toasted and butter, to serve
Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the carrots, leeks, onion and garlic, stirring to coat with the butter. Add a healthy pinch of salt, cover and allow to cook for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally.
Add the chilli flakes, oregano, lentils and stock. Cover and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes or so, until the lentils are cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning if required. Ladle into heated bowls. Serve with buttered toast on the side, and grated cheese on top.