This is a simple soup and very easy to make. We’ve been making it in my family for four generations. It was first used by my great grandmother in Victorian times.
Put 30 grams lentils in the bottom of a pan with some really good chicken stock or a vegetable stock cube (only use this if you don’t use meat) with the salt. The pan should be big enough to hold the vegetables and the contents of a full kettle of water.
Slice a medium sized leek into slices about half a centimeter in width and add these to the pan. In a food processor grate or mince the 300 grams of carrots and 100 grams of swede. Swede can also be called turnip but we’re talking about yellow flesh here. Add these vegetables to the pan. Finally grate in 100 grams of potato – potatoes can discolour so I always add them last.
Cover with the water from the kettle, bring to the boil and simmer for about four hours. Stir well from time to time. The pan should have a close fitting lid and the liquid will reduce to make a full flavoured soup. It’s better for eating if you can leave it until the second day and it freezes well.
If you’d like some meat to bulk it out then some diced chicken, bacon or gammon is good. If you use gammon or bacon then don’t add the smidgeon of salt. My family have always used brisket in the soup but this is a very fatty meat and doesn’t really go with healthy eating. However I’ve often used some left over rare and lean roast beef and this works very well.
Any left overs make a great base for a cottage or shepherd’s pie.