Chicken and Green Lentil Soup

The wholesome texture of puy lentils adds substance to a nourishing mix of tender chicken and fresh vegetables.

Serves: 6 - 8

1 1/4 cups Lentils
2 - 3 tbls. Olive Oil
2 Onions (peeled and very thinly sliced)
6 - 8 Garlic Cloves (peeled and thinly sliced)
2 Carrots (scraped and cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
4 small Turnips (peeled and cut into small cubes)
3 sticks Celery (thinly sliced)
4 Chicken Breast Halves (trimmed of fat and sinew)
2 tbls. Tomato Puree
1 tbls. Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 1/4 quarts Chicken Stock
2 Zucchini (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
2/3 cup Light Cream
2-3 tbls. Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 1/4 cups Parmesan Cheese (grated for garnish)

1. Put the puy lentils into a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boll, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and gently fry them for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and gently fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots, turnips, and celery. Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables for 4-5 minutes.

3. Cut the chicken pieces into 'A-inch cubes. Put them in the pan and cook over a fairly high heat, turning until they are sealed all over.

4. Add the lentils, tomato puree, thyme leaves, and stock to the pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and burner for 45-50 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

5. Add the zucchini and simmer for a further 4—5 minutes, until the zucchini have just begun to soften.

6. Just before serving the soup, stir in the cream and chopped parsley and taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve the soup with a little grated Parmesan sprinkled over.

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