Last weekend, Sydney was buffeted by a one of those once-in-a-hundred-year storms that seem to happen every few years now. The coastal suburbs took the brunt of the bad weather while, in the west, we escaped the worst of the damage and the storms and bad weather moved south to poor Tasmania, where the full havoc was unleashed, with massive floods and lives lost.
I spent most of the weekend in bed with a migraine, listening to the wild weather pass over and around me. On Monday morning, I woke up with a relatively clear head, a backyard full of broken branches and leaves, piles of washing and the sense the entire household ship was listing slightly off course. There’s nothing like setting the domestic ship straight again and making a big pot of soup. This Greek lentil soup is perfect urban peasant food for a storm-battered city. Its basic ingredient list could be covered by the ‘no shopping done for a week’ state of my pantry and fresh food supplies. I did venture out to the shops for bread but, if I hadn’t been recovering from a migraine, I could have gone the full post-storm survivalist mode and made my own. The red wine vinegar added just before serving is a must for me; it gives the earthiness of the lentils a lift. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top just before serving is a luxurious addition to post-storm recovery.
Greek lentil soup (Fakes)
Adapted from Souvlaki for the Soul
- 25o grams brown or green lentils, cleaned and rinsed
- 2 brown onions, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspooons of dried oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 750 mls water
- Olive oil
- 1 cup of pureed tomatoes, plus 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- A handful of chopped parsley to garnish
- Red wine vinegar to serve.
- Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a large pot, and saute onions, carrots and garlic until translucent, stir through lentils.
- Add water, tomato puree, tomato paste, bay leaves and oregano.
- Bring to boil and simmer gently for about 30–40 minutes until the lentils are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve garnished with parsley and a splash of red wine vinegar.