A wonderfully savoury soup, perfect as the days start to turn colder. Serves with chunks of bread and some smoked cheddar on the side.
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Pure Sea Salt
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped (leave the seeds in if you like it with a bit of warmth)
6 large tomatoes on the vine
125ml red wine
250g cooked puy lentils (or a 400g tin, drained)
150g cavolo nero, washed and leaves stripped from the stalks
2 tablespoons of smoked water, or 3 tablespoons for a more intense flavour
Optional: 50g smoked cheddar to serve
Start by warming 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add a pinch of sea salt, along with the celery, carrots and onion. Stir to coat with the oil and cook, stirring regularly for 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened and smell fragrant.
Fill and boil the kettle.
Cut a cross in the skins at the bottom of the tomatoes (opposite end from the stalks) and place in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water from the kettle and set aside for 5 minutes.
Back to the soup – add the sliced garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute. Peel the skins from the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Roughly slice them with a sharp knife, keeping all of the juices in the bowl. Add to the saucepan along with the red wine, turn the heat down to low and cook gently, allowing all of the flavours to mingle for 30 minutes.
Five minutes before you’re ready to eat, turn the heat up to medium and stir in the cooked lentils, cavolo and smoked water. If you like a thinner soup, you could add a little more hot water from the kettle at this stage. Ladle the soup into bowls and pour over the remaining olive oil.
Serve with fresh bread and some crumbled smoked cheese, if desired.
Recipe: Anna Shepherd
Image: Jess Lea-WIlson