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Saturday, 24 October 2009


I like to eat this as a soup but allowing to thicken will give a wonderful lentil - curry like texture. The parsnips are added to the pan first to ensure thorough cooking to the point of overcooked. This is the beauty of this dish, the contrast in textures between the lentils, parsnips and blanched almonds, giving an incredible crunch against the softness of the parsnip and slight give in the lentils.

Serves 4- 6

3 tbsp olive oil
25g unsalted butter (optional)
6 parsnips (cut into bite sized pieces)
300g red split lentils (washed)
1 large onion (finely sliced)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 tbsp of tomato puree
1 litre of good chicken stock
1 tsp of red wine vinegar
sea salt
whole blanched almonds
fresh coriander to garnish


2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp of ground coriander seed
1 tsp of ground cumin seed
1 tsp of black peppercorns (finely ground)
1 tsp of fenugreek
1 tsp of turmeric


Saute the parsnips in the olive oil until starting to colour, add onion and garlic, add the butter allow the onion to soften then add all of the spices, stir to combine then add tomato puree. Allow to cook for 1 minute then add stock and lentils. Bring to the boil for ten minutes then turn down to a simmer. Add 1 tsp of red wine vinegar and allow to simmer for 25 - 30 minutes or until lentils are cooked . If a soup consistency is preferred, top up with boiling water. Check for seasoning throughout cooking, be mindful of saltiness if using bought stock.

Ladle into bowls or similar receptacles sprinkle fresh chopped coriander and blanched almonds.

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