There is a a Middle Eastern flatbread, fresh Taftoon – Persian flatbread. It can be found in any Middle Eastern store. A little like Naan, but huge, round and soft, thicker than lavash, yeasted and made from a mix of wholewheat and plant flour. Just right for soups. So to fit in one more soup before the end of winter, and to use up any du Puy lentils left in the cupboard, make a slow cooked Du Puy Lentil Soup.
Those little black disks are great in winter slow cooked soups (but can of course be cooked on the stove top too). Throw some into the slow cooker and then go to the office. Arrive home to wonderful soup and soft taftoon to mop up the juices.
You might also like to browse our other Du Puy Lentil recipes. Our favourite is Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomato. Have a look at our Slow Cooker recipes here and here. Explore our Lentil Soups here or here, or all of our Soups here and here. Find some inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here.
Photo Source: The Inquirer
I first ate this soup in London. With oven-baked slices of thick bread topped with crusted parmesan cheese, it was wonderful.
The soup is very accommodating, and so the recipe can be bent and flexed, depending on what is in the kitchen and the freezer at the time. This recipe works well with whole frozen tomatoes from a previous bountiful summer, in place of the tinned tomatoes, with home made red chilli paste or frozen chillies instead of fresh red chillies, with home made garlic paste instead of garlic, and so forth. I have even used frozen tomato juice in addition to a can of tomatoes. (In summer I juice surplus tomatoes and store in the freezer. It makes delicious soups, and I add it to stocks and to other dishes that require a tomato-based flavour.)
Du Puy Lentil Soup
cuisine: European – French or Italian style
prep time: 15 mins
cooking time: 4 – 8 hours in a slow cooker
serves: 4-6 depending on how you use it.
1 Tblspn olive oil
2-4 carrots, diced small
1 large red or white onion, chopped
1 – 2 leeks, sliced
2-3 stalks celery, sliced
1 – 2 red chillies, depending on taste, chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes (or use home made tomato paste, or 6 or so frozen tomatoes)
1L vegetable stock or water
2 bay leaves
2 Tblspn chopped fresh oregano or 2 stalks thyme
1/2 cup du puy lentils
1 tspn salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Chop your vegetables. Make the soup either in a large saucepan or slow cooker. Some slow cookers have an insert that can put directly on the stove, so saute the vegetables in that. If yours does not have this, saute them in a saucepan and then transfer to the slow cooker.
Melt the butter and oil in a pan over a medium heat on the stove. Add carrots, onions and leek and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, garlic and chilli, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Now add the tomatoes, stock or water, bay leaves, herbs and lentils and bring back to the boil.
Transfer to the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours or so on low. You can also cook on high for 3 or 4 hours and then switch to low for the remainder of the day.
If cooking on the stove top, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir through the chopped parsley. Ladle into large bowls and serve with Taftoon or Parmesan Toasts. Or just top with parmesan cheese rather than making the toasts. You can also top Taftoon with grated parmesan cheese and bake until crisp – eat with the soup.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 baguette or other thick sliced bread
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Heat the oven to 200C.
Blend the oil and garlic in a blender until smooth.
Slice the baguette or other bread into thin slices. Lay the slices in a single layer on a baking tray. Brush each piece with teh garlic oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Top with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake the toasts for 15 – 20 minutes or until they are brown and crisp. Serve at room temperature. It makes about 20 pieces and they will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.