Easy tomato soup with herby garlic oil

I always feel terrible about throwing any food away that I have let slip the net and these days, more than ever.  If there was a time for using every last scrap then its now.  For instance, beetroot leaves that I always try and use but inevitably sometimes find their way to the chickens were chopped the minute I got back from the farm shop last week and sautéed with garlic and chilli. Extra delicious because we ate them rather than our feathery friends.

We can no longer pick a recipe and then go and buy exactly what’s required, rather we have to look at what we have and cook accordingly.  I quite like this challenge so do let me know if you need any ideas.

This was lunch yesterday rustled up from mainly store cupboard ingredients, without using too much of our fresh supplies, very easy, cheap and was properly delicious.   Making the herby oil was just a way of using some of the wild garlic that is around at the moment.  I realise not everyone has access to this so if you have some soft herbs or rocket in the fridge that need using up these will make a wonderful, deep green oil full of flavour which is fabulous with the tomato soup.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any of the red lentils I use to thicken the soup – a handful of rice or a large peeled and chopped potato added instead of the lentils will break down and once blended do a fine job of thickening your soup.   I suspect we will be having this more than once, next time I might add some dried chillies instead of the oregano.  Just use what you have.

Easy tomato soup with herby garlic oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

A good pinch of dried oregano (if you have some)

3 tablespoons dried red lentils (see intro)

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

Splash of white wine (if you have some and can spare it)

500ml vegetable stock

100ml milk

A handful of wild garlic or soft herbs/rocket that need using up

A clove of garlic if you aren’t using wild garlic

100ml olive oil

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion gently until soft.  Add the garlic and the oregano if you are using it and stir.  Add the lentils followed by the wine if you are using it and the stock.  Let it simmer, covered, for about 20-30 minutes until the lentils have broken down.  Remove from the heat, add the milk and whizz with a hand held blender until smooth, taste (cautiously, it will be hot) and season.  Either serve immediately or reheat when required.   Blend the oil with the wild garlic or the herbs/rocket and garlic with a pinch of salt and swirl into the soup.  Serves 4.

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