The night before last we had roast chicken for dinner. A whole chicken is more than enough for two people so there was some left over. I divided it into two categories "nice meat", and "anything else". I put the "anything else" pile into a large saucepan with an onion, a carrot, a bay leaf, two cloves and about six black peppercorns, added about one and a half litres of water, brought it to the boil and then simmered it for about 2 hours - Hey Presto: stock. I should add that the leftover gravy went into the stock too.
The "nice meat" got used in two ways: firstly I made some of it into "Chow Fan", with rice and a beaten egg; and the rest of it went into my chicken and lentil soup - which is really what I want to write about today.
The ingredients for my soup were very simple: chicken meat, an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, about 75g red lentils, a chilli (from the freezer), and a tub of the home-made stock (about 500ml). Oh, and a tiny quantity of vegetable oil for frying the onion.
This is how to make my soup:
- Fry the peeled and finely-chopped onion gently in a little oil, until translucent
- Add the peeled and crushed garlic and cook for about two minutes
- Add the stock (and a little extra water if you feel it's necessary). My stock was very concentrated and I felt that it needed thinning down a bit
- Add the lentils
- Add the chilli - de-seeded and cut into big pieces
- Cook over a low heat until the lentils are fully cooked (they will fall apart) - approx 30 - 35 minutes
- Remove and discard the pieces of chilli
- Season to taste (do not add salt earlier in the proceedings, because this inhibits the softening of the lentils)
- Add the diced chicken meat and heat gently for a few minutes
- Serve (perhaps garnished with a slice of chilli just for the look of it?)
The end result will look something like this:-
Rich, dark, flavoursome, warming. In my opinion the perfect lunch-time meal for a cold Winter's day!