Lentil, Zucchini and Mint SoupThis is one of several recipes that we have come to love in our house. It’s a perfectly easy and soul-warming winter soup that has only four ingredients, yet a sophisticated flavour that suggests other wise.
I’ve used French-style green lentils, grown in the Wimmera region of Victoria. These little beauties originate from those grown in Puy, France and are renowned for their deep nutty flavour and for holding their shape when cooked. Better yet, they don’t need pre-soaking, but being a creature of habit I can’t help but pre-soak my lentils. You don’t need to do it overnight, just a couple of hours will do the trick.
I’ve added finely chopped zucchini to enhance the green factor and boost volume. Zucchini is mild in flavour but it does well to add bulk and to carry the flavour of the homemade chicken broth, which no quality soup can do without.
To enhance the flavour and finish the soup, I’ve added freshly picked mint leaves. Mint is re- nowned for being a great match to both French lentils and zucchini, so it was a no-brainer herb of choice in this instance and I’m sure you’ll agree when you taste it.
This recipe only takes around five minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook, and it will serve a young family of four or two hungry men. It’s also great for toddlers and babies starting solids.
Chopping board and knife
Large cast iron soup pot and wooden spoon
Stick blender or similar (optional)
1 cup French-style fine green lentils (I use Mount Zero lentils) 2 large zucchinis
1 litre chicken broth/stock
1 handful fresh mint, finely chopped
Celtic sea salt to taste
1. To make your lentil, zucchini and mint soup, firstly chop the zucchinis finely and set aside;
2. Rinse your fine green lentils, whether pre-soaked or not, and
3. In a large cast iron soup pot, add the chicken broth and bring to a gentle simmer;
4. Add the lentils and cook, simmering for 10 minutes;
5. Add the chopped zucchini and cook for a further 10 minutes until both the lentils and zucchini are nice and tender;
6. Stir through the handful of finely chopped mint leaves and season with Celtic sea salt;
7. If you prefer a smoother consistency, blend with a stick blender or in a standard blender before serving warm.
Cath Noonan is a self-confessed health-foodie, recipe creator, and nutrition student, as well as the founder of healthy food blog, I Heart Scratch. Check out the delicious food pics on her Insta- gram account, @i_heart_scratch, and find more recipes by visiting www.iheartscratch.com.au.