Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Corned beef and lentil soup

This recipe (see also Cowboy corned beef 'n' beans pie for details) takes a lentil and bacon/pea and ham soup and gives it a twist. Instead of using cured pork products, I'm using beef instead! I figured it would work well. If you happen to Google corned beef soup, you get a lot of American recipes using the fresh cured product so this product is made for the tinned version instead. It has a slight spice kick to it, but not too hot that the children will turn their noses up to it. Mine won't anyway. Anyway, this is another really easy store cupboard recipe that will fill you up and warm you up on a cold winter's day. No need for tinned stuff.

Corned beef and lentil soup
Serves 6


2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
About half a 340g tin corned beef, cut into 1cm cubes
2 carrots, chopped quite small
4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mild chilli powder (or hot if you dare or 1 fresh chilli, chopped and deseeded)
2 litres beef stock
500g split red lentils, rinsed and picked over

1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan, and add the onion and carrots, cooking for 5 minutes to soften over a medium heat, then adding half of the corned beef cubes to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring as little as possible so that the corned beef gets some crisp and colour.

2. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder, and cook for another 2 minutes until you can smell the spices. Pour in the stock and add the lentils. Cover and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for about 20 minutes. The lentils will lose their shape and look pale yellow when properly cooked.

3. While the soup is cooking, heat the rest of the oil in a small frying pan and cook the rest of cubed corned beef until crispy. Serve the soup sprinkled with the cubes of corned beef sprinkled on top and with some nice crusty bread.

(I was asked by Princes to develop some recipes using corned beef and they sent me 6 tins and an apron for this purpose.)

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