Summer is still in full swing here in New Zealand. It’s meant to be Autumn, but our evenings are most often spent on the deck under the setting sun, overlooking the sheep (with a new born lamb – I know, wrong season, huh?) and soaking up the evening warmth and stillness . Saying that, I know how quickly the weather can turn. Especially in Hamilton – tomorrow could easily be a wet chilly day. In anticipation, I’m already finding myself craving warm, hearty meals. It may have something to do with my research on northern canada, where our prospective new home is currently sitting at a comfortable spring temperature of -20 degrees C (note the negative!). Hence, I have been finding myself dreaming of fur coats, woollen blankets, Sorel boots and warm, spiced lentil soup.
J and I enjoyed this soup last weekend, while visiting for the first time, our new friends from Canada, now living in NZ. Read about Mel’s post here - she explains it beautifully. What a pleasure it was to meet Mel and Breno in person after months of blog-following and emailing about Canada, New Zealand and the differences in lifestyle between them. And what a pleasure it was to enter the house on the cool, windy Auckland afternoon to the smell of warm soup and smokey paprika!
Mel passed the recipe on to me without hesitation and J and I enjoyed it the following night with our temporary ‘parents’ slash hosts here on the farm. I whipped up a batch of bagels to accompany the soup, a challenge I had been craving for a while. Bagels are very straight forward to make from scratch. Knead them, rise them, boil them, glaze them, poppy seed them, bake them. No more than 3 hours from start to finish.
Bagels are better known as vessels for jam and cream cheese, or avocado and tomato. But, boy, they should get themselves a reputation for being soup-dunkers! The density of them made them perfect, even for a soup as thick as this. The best part of the soup? The smoked paprika. It’s totally worth getting your hands on a jar – the smokiness is absolutely key!
Red Lentil and Smoked Paprika Soup
Recipe passed on from Mel
This has got to be the easiest recipe to memorise – look at all those 2′s! When fresh vegetables aren’t due on the barge for another 2 weeks, and we are getting sick of moose stew (no, I’m kidding. Although J might not be..) I think Red Lentil and Smoked Paprika Soup will be a standby during the Northern winters. I would have no complaints about this smell filling the house on a regular basis.
2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 cups dried red lentils
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 litres chicken stock
Heat oil in a large pan. Add onion, garlic and paprika and saute about 3 minutes, until onion is cooked. Add dried lentils and saute another minute. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt and some ciabatta or, better yet, freshly baked bagels.