Lentils is typically used in soups across different cuisines like this Indian Dal Fry Turkish Ezogelin, Middle Eastern Haleem, Moroccan Harira and the Spanish Sopa de Lentejas to name some. If you notice most of them feature lentils as its main ingredient but some make use of other ingredients to give flavour and texture to the soup. Today we will be exploring how Germans use them and what other ingredients do they usually add to it.
Like most of us know Germans have an amazing selection of processed meats like sausages, hams, bacons and the likes so in some of their recipes these are used a lot as its main protein source as well as flavouring the dish. Linsensuppe or German Lentil Soup is one of those dishes where meats like this is used. Ham Bones and speck with potatoes, carrots and different spices is what makes up this lovely dish and that’s what we are making today.
If you are not used to this type of legume think of it like a mung bean where it gives that creamy nutty texture when cooked, there are different varieties of this one but you can use any type in this recipe. As for the meat, if you can’t find speck then prosciutto or bacon can be a good alternative. Apart from that this is quite easy to make and a good soup to serve during those cold nights.
- 150 g lentils, soaked in water overnight
- 1 meaty ham bone
- 150 g bacon scraps or speck, diced
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 large potatoes, cubed and divided into two portions
- 1 litre water
- 500 ml chicken stock
- juice from ½ lemon
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot add a small amount of oil, put in medium heat and once its hot add the bacon and cook until crispy and golden brown.
- Add the onions, celery and carrots then cook until onions caramelize.
- Drain and add the lentils, ham bone, one portion of the potato, water, chicken stock, thyme, bay leaves, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 2.5 hrs to 3 hours until lentils are tender.
- Remove the ham bone and bay leaves, separate meat from bones and return the meat to the soup together with the remaining potatoes.. Simmer for 15 more minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Just before serving add lemon juice and adjust your seasonings, serve while hot.