Smoky Lentil and Chorizo Soup

Hello Dear Reader,

Mmmm, soup, I love soup, all sorts, yep, I love soup. Growing up, Mum would make a beautiful ham bone and veggie soup, pea and ham soup and chicken and veggie soup, for Sunday nights dinner, during winter and she would always serve it with fresh bread and lashings of butter. It's funny how you remember the taste and smell of something so comforting, such as soup. We would be in our warm winter pyjamas after a lovely hot shower and then have a simple dinner of soup and fresh bread. Simple, humble food and lovely comforting memories.

We grew up in Gympie, two hours north of where I live now and I can still remember how cold it got in the winter, we still walked to school though, with layers of jumpers, hats and gloves to buffer the freezing cold August westerly winds. Mum would always pack us a lovely lunch to get us through the day, no pre packaged stuff in those days, just good home baked and home made food. One very special lunch mum would make us in winter, were mince meat turnovers, oh my, my sister and I thought we were Queens dining on such an amazing lunch. The turnovers were, of course left overs, from making a family sized meat pie, the pastry was made with dripping, flour and water and was the best pastry I have ever tasted. Mum would also send little flasks of soup to school for us to have when the weather was especially cold, again we felt very special and lunch was always eaten with gusto.

This soup sums up my love affair with soups, it is hearty, wholesome, easy and delicious, just the antidote to a long, cold and tiring day. It takes very little time to make and is hearty enough to feed men mountains with fresh bread or toast and of course, lashings of butter.

Ingredients for Smoky Lentil and Chorizo Soup, clockwise from top right-850 ml of chicken stock, 2 cans diced tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, 200 gram chorizo, casings removed and chopped, 1/4 teaspoon raw sugar, 3 garlic cloves, chopped, 2 carrots, chopped, 1 large onion, chopped, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar and 250 grams of red lentils, rinsed and drained

In a large heavy based saucepan, heat a small amount of oil and fry off the chorizo until crisp and starting to catch the bottom of the saucepan. Remove to a bowl and set aside until needed.
Into the same saucepan, sauté the carrots, onions, garlic and cumin seeds until softened slightly, sprinkle over the paprika, sugar and vinegar and cook for 1 more minute
Now add the rinsed and drained red lentils and mix to coat the lentils in all that gorgeous flavour

Add the can of tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring it to a gentle boil and then pop a lid on and turn heat down to low, simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Blitz with a hand blender until smooth and silky

Serve with golden fried chorizo and dollops of natural yoghurt, so comforting and delicious.

What is your favourite soup for this time of year?

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