Persian Soup (Lentil, Leek & Chicken)

A great winter warmer and a meal in itself!

It may seem that this is over spiced and too garlicky, but the cooking does mellow the flavours!
This recipe makes around 4 litres, but if you wish to make a smaller quantity just halve the recipe
(but there's never been any wasted in my house)

You will need:

500gms of dried red lentils
3 large leeks (slice lengthways and finely chop and then wash thoroughly)
8 cloves of Garlic (less if you must!) finely chopped or crushed
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
4 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 litres of chicken stock
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons of Nigella Seeds or ground black pepper
500gms of Chicken thigh meat, diced.


Place the red lentils in a saucepan. Cover generously with cold water.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes and then drain thoroughly.

While the lentils are cooking in a large capacity stockpot heat the olive oil and then gently saute the chopped leek, garlic, turmeric and cumin until softened and golden. The longer that you can do this the sweeter the soup will become!

Add the drained lentils, chicken stock, salt and Nigella seeds and bring to a simmer. Add the diced chicken thigh meat and stir well and bring back to a simmer. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 40 minutes. Keep a watching eye, stirring from time to time to make sure the pot is not too hot and the lentils are sticking to the bottom.

To serve: generous bowls, garnish with microgreens and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a fresh crusty baguette, slice and lightly toasted.

Note: for a vegetarian alternative....use vegetable stock insted of chicken; and in place of the chicken use a can of drained and washed chickpeas


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