Today the recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie Group is Orange-Scented Lentil Soup.
Dorie suggests lentils du Puy for this soup, a small slate-green lentil with a delicate blue marbling.
Puy lentils have enjoyed a big comeback lately and as this delicious and nutritious soup shows, with good reason. Puy lentils are considered by many to be the best lentils because of their unique peppery flavor and the fact they hold their shape during cooking. They are the only lentil to be identified by area of cultivation, grown in the Le Puy region of France.
Serve the Puy lentils hot or cold as a salad starter or as an accompaniment to poultry, meat or fish dishes, or use them in soups (as for this recipe) or casseroles.
However, I think that the Puy lentils could also successfully be replaced by Green lentils. They also retain their shape well during cooking and their mild flavor and soft, mealy texture make them suitable for many dishes such as soups, casseroles, vegetable bakes and stuffed vegetables. Green lentils are the ones that I choose when I cook my traditional German version of lentil soup, the "Linsensuppe".
These days, lentils grace the menus of many high-end restaurants. But still we do not seem to use them enough. They are cheap, nutritious (protein, carbs, fibre, vitamin B and iron) and versatile and very tasty. In my house, I will use them at least twice a month. They are especially valuable in winter, when fresh homegrown vegetables are not so abundant.
The building blocks of Dorie´s lentil soup are onion, celery, carrots, chicken stock (preferably homemade), orange peel (organic, of course), black peppercorns, coriander seeds, a clove, and some fresh ginger. This lentil soup is very comforting with all those warming spices that are given a delicious lift by a topping of some nice and thick Greek yogurt or some sour cream or crème fraîche.
The mouth-watering, crisp bacon slices that you should serve alongside the soup by placing them on the rim of the soup bowl, also make a wonderful addition. Hearty and delicious, this Orange-Scented Lentil Soup will warm you up from head to toe.
Dorie states in her recipe that the soup should be (partially) puréed but I would never purée my lentil soup completely, only a very small portion of it because we love our lentil soup, be it French or Italian or German, with lots of chunks of vegetables.
The last thing before serving the soup is the above-mentioned dollop of crème fraîche, the bacon slice and some organic orange rind…
….and together with a loaf of good crusty sourdough bread you will have a full meal.
Warming and substantial, this makes a very satisfying meal and to see how this hearty Orange-Scented Lentil Soup was prepared by the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group, please click here.
- Soup bowl with deer design from “Jet by Ter Steege” (http://www.worldofjet.com)
- Deer figurines called "Rothirsch" (red deer) and "Rothirschkuh" (red doe) from "Schleich" (http://www.schleich-s.com)
- Checkered tablecloth from "Dille Kamille" ( http://www.dille-kamille.nl)
- Silver soup spoons, wooden platter, wooden napkin rings all "vintage" and part of my collection