This soup can be made with vegetable or chicken stock. I made it with chicken stock I prepared with the left-overs of a roast chicken, the woody bits of asparagus and a few more bits and pieces.
bones of an organic or free range roast chicken (including any bits of meat that won't come off, the garlic cloves I'd stuffed inside and the cooled olive oil still clinging to the carcass)
1 small onion
10 g fresh thyme
the woody bits from 750 g green asparagus
250-300 g carrots
1 tsp black pepper corns
1.8 l boiling water
Peel the onion and stud it with the cloves. Slice the leek and dice the carrots. Place all ingredients into a large saucepan, add the water and boil with the lid closed for about 45 minutes.
Drain through a sieve and squeeze out the vegetables. Discard the bones and vegetables once they have cooled off.
I don't add salt when I make home-made stocks, so I can use them with any recipe, even if I use lardons, pancetta and the like.
This stock is relatively bland and not suitable to enjoy on its own. The soup itself has a delicate chicken flavour, which I prefer. The stock is also great for risotto.
Vegetable Soup with Red Lentils and Coriander
1 medium onion
3-4 garlic cloves
1/2-1 red chilis
1 thumb sized piece of ginger
1 1/2 bunches of spring onions
500 g carrots
1 large parsnip
2 large handfuls of red lentils
1 bunch of fresh coriander
20 g butter
freshly ground black pepper
1,5 l chicken stock
Finely chop the onion, garlic and chilli, thinly slice the spring onions (which I used because they were almost past it) and leek and sauté all these ingredients in the butter.
Dice the carrots and parsnip and add to the above. Season with pepper and salt and add the stock. Lastly, pour in the lentils. Bring to the boild and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Optionally blitz with a handheld blender and check the seasoning. Chop the coridander and stir into the soup.
I like to serve this with a dollop of harissa-flavoured soured cream.