Tag Archives: thyme

Work soups – Lentil and citrus soup

So I suspect we’ve all had a lovely break over the long weekend, you’ve got back home from your travels and it’s back to work tomorrow. Maybe you’ve had a couple of large meals over the weekend and you don’t feel in tip-top shape?
Well if you make a bit of time this afternoon you could make this soup for your working week.  
I want to kick my week off to a good start, so I’ve made ‘Lucas Hollwegs’ Lentil and lemon soup, with a few alterations, dependant on what was in the fridge.

Time to make: 1 hour – 10mins chopping, 45mins simmering.
Calories: 724 / 181 per portion for four.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and pepper
200g green lentils – should have been puy lentils
leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
zest and juice of small lime, should have been a lemon
2  pints of vegetable stock
A splash of orange juice, this wasn’t included but as I didn’t use a large lemon I wanted some more citrus flavour.
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, stir in the chopped vegetables and a pinch of salt. keep this on a low heat, cover and sweat gently for 10 mins

Add the lentils, thyme, lemon juice & zest, orange juice and stock. Simmer over a gentle heat for 40-45 mins, or until the lentils are soft. Remove the bay leaf.

Liquidise half of the soup and add this back to the lentil mixture. Taste and season. Stir in the spinach leaves and leave to wilt.

When cooled pour your soup into your container and take to work.
This should serve approximately 4 portions, ideal for the short week.

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Lamb stuffed with spinach, feta and olives

With the weather slowly starting to turn, so do our taste buds. Over the winter we tend to eat plenty of comforting foods, usually in the shape of warm hearty dishes, one pot dishes and pies. But last weekend the weather began to pick up the pace, the temperatures reminded us all that the cold months of winter might  be starting to fade. 12c isn’t bad for February, considering we had snow only the week before!  During the warm weekend, I found this dish in Lucas Hollweg Good Thing’s to Eat, with a stuffing of spinach, olives and feta, my mind was sent back to my holiday in Greece. To me it shouted spring, so I created this for last Sunday’s dinner.

This should serve 6 people or 6 dinners throughout your week! The olive and feta mix should give the meat a good salad, add a few more to the mix when you serve with roast potatoes. You might end up with extra stuffing, (don’t over stuff your lamb it will just fall out!) I used the remainder as a topping to white fish, this works very well if you’re cooking for any pescetarians!

Ingredients
Leg of lamb, 1.5 – 2kg
4 garlic cloves
200g feta roughly broken up
1 handful of mint
1 handful of parsley
3 handfuls spinach
12 olives, pitted and drained
lemon zest
2 sprigs of thyme
3tbsp olive oil
200ml dry white wine

Pre heat your oven to 220C
This dish was simple, but to make sure you get it right, you will need to pay attention to the oven temperature.

 Take 2 garlic cloves, olives spinach, mint, parsley and 2 sprigs of thyme and add them to the food processor. Grate your lemon, season with black pepper and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Now whizz this up to make your paste. Remove the blade from your processor and crumble in your feta

 Blend  Crumble  Stuff

I spilt my leg of lamb in half but making sure to keep the bone in. spoon out your mixture into the centre of your lamb. Alternatively ask your butcher to tunnel bone a leg of lamb, leaving the shank bone attached. This will give you a cavity to fill with your stuffing. Once stuffed you will need to knit you lamb back together, with string or skewers so that the filling is sealed inside.

Place your lamb on a baking tray with the fatty side upwards. Stab your lamb and push in the two remaining garlic cloves, you could split them in half and make 4 incisions, should you wish.
Rub the remaining oil into the skin, season and scatter the last spring of thyme over the fat, squeeze your lemon juice over the thyme before putting the lamb in the oven.

Roast the lamb for 20 mins, on the high temperature of 220C. Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the oven temperature down to 180C. Add your wine to the baking tray, scrape any dark juices up to mix ni with the wine. Once your oven temperature had reduced put your lamb back into the oven.
Oven timings: 1 hour for 1.5kg.  1.5 hour for 2kg.

Once your oven beeps (if you put a timer on that is!) rest the lamb for 20mins cover the lamb with a loose tent of foil. Carve you meat into slices, use the juices as a gravy, you can warm these up in a small saucepan if it has turned cool during the resting time.

Ease of cooking: If you ask your butcher to tunnel bone the leg, there is very little that can go wrong! The stuffing is simple and tasty.
Time spent: Allow 2.5hrs from start to finish, 30mins of prep. Approx 1hr 30min in oven and 30mins to rest, carve and serve.