Italian Style Lentil Soup
(This soup is best made the day before)
- Approx 100/150mls extra virgin olive oil
- At least 6 -8 cloves garlic-crushed
- 1 sprig rosemary, oregano and marjoram (alternatively replace the last 2 herbs with a half tsp of each or 1 of Herbes de Provence
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 packet of pancetta lardons
- Approx 50 gms carrots – finely chopped
- Approx 50 gms leeks – finely chopped
- Approx 50 gms onions – finely chopped
- Approx 50 gms celery- finely chopped
- 1 x 400 gm tin Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
- Approx 2 litres vegetable stock
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Approx 350 gms of either Umbrian lentils which need soaking overnight or puy lentils which will not require soaking
- Freshly grated parmesan
Heat a heavy based saucepan, add about 100mls olive oil with the garlic, pancetta and herbs. Stir well before adding the chopped vegetables. Allow to cook slowly without too much colour, stirring well, then add the chopped tomatoes and juice. Stir in before adding the lentils and the stock.
Bring to a simmer, (there may be a little scum especially if using Umbrian lentils, if so skim off). Add a little salt and pepper and allow to simmer gently for about 40 minutes for puy lentils and perhaps an hour and a half for Umbrian. Remove fresh herb stalks if possible.
Taste and correct seasoning and chill soup overnight before reheating slowly and serving in bowls topped with a drizzle of oil and sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan
Fillets of sea bass or sea bream or mackerel or mullet - with a Thai style sauce on sesame stir fried vegetables
Thai style sauce
- Finger of fresh ginger – approx 40gms – scraped and finely chopped
- 2 stalks lemon grass – finely sliced
- 1 shallot – finely chopped
- 2 small red chillies – finely chopped with or without seeds
- 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- Small piece of galangal (if available) – finely chopped
- 1 tbsp summer harvest rapeseed oil
- ¼ tsp green peppercorns
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 glass white wine (approx 150mls )
- 250 mls approx fish stock
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tin coconut milk
- Salt and pepper
- Small bunch fresh coriander-leaves removed and roughly chopped
Heat the rapeseed oil in a small saucepan and add the chopped ginger, shallot, garlic, chilli, lemon grass and galangal. Keep stirring for 2 or 3 minutes before adding the green peppercorns, and after another 2 minutes pour in the white wine and allow to reduce by a half before adding the lime juice, ground coriander and fish stock.
Bring to the boil and simmer well to reduce by at least another quarter or so, then slowly pour in the coconut milk with a little salt and pepper and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Liquidize the sauce either with a hand blender or a liquidizing jug and pass through a sieve into a clean pan. Bring back to a simmer, check and correct seasoning and add the chopped coriander.
Sesame Stir Fried Vegetables
Some or all of the following:-
- 1 carrot - peeled
- 1 white of leek
- 1 stick of celery
- ½ fennel bulb
- 1 pak choi
- 150 gms approx sugar snap peas or mange touts
- ½ red onion
- A few baby corns
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ white radish ( mouli)
- 2 -3 tbsp sesame oil
- Salt and pepper
Cut the vegetables into fine strips, thinly slice the red onion and garlic.
Heat a large non stick fry pan or wok, add 2 tbsp sesame oil then start to add the vegetables starting with the harder varieties first, ie carrots, fennel, celery, mouli and garlic. Stir fry quickly before adding the leeks, pak choi, corn and peas, stirring and tossing all the time adding more oil if required, (2 – 4 minutes should be sufficient time). The vegetables need to be crispy and slightly wilted. Season to taste and keep warm.
Heat a large non stick fry pan, season the fillets with sea salt and pepper, add a little rapeseed or olive oil to the pan and then the fish, skin side down and cook for 2 – 3 minutes before turning over and cooking on the other side for a minute or two.
Place a mound of stir fried vegetables onto each plate then place a fillet of fish on top and spoon around the sauce, sprinkling over a little more chopped coriander if required.