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Participants on my seaweed courses over the years often appreciated wrapping their hands around a steaming mug of this hearty soup after a bracing walk on the shore.
With it’s rich red colour, this blend of peppers, seaweed stock, lentils, garlic and tomatoes is as substantial as it is appetising.
Seaweed used: Kelp, mixed seaweed
Roasted red pepper and red lentil seaweed soup
1 x 5 – 7.5cm (2 – 3 inch) piece of kelp, snipped and soaked in warm water for 10 minutes.
5g or 1 very small fistful dried porcini mushrooms.
1 – 2 tablespoon olive oil or 25g (1oz) butter.
1 onion, chopped roughly
6 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
2 medium carrots, chopped roughly
400g tin (14 oz) plum tomatoes or equivalent in fresh or frozen.
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) land and sea vegetable stock,
(see page 22 of Irish Seaweed Kitchen) or
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) water, 1 tablespoon marigold stock and 1 tablespoon mixed seaweeds.
2 large red peppers, roasted, see below.
1/2 – 1 teaspoon brown sugar
150g (5oz) red lentils, well washed and soaked in cold water for 5 minutes.
1 teaspoon marjoram
To roast red peppers
Preheat oven 180°C/350°F/Gas 4
1. Cut peppers in half length-ways and remove seeds. Place on baking tray and place in oven for about 20 minutes until skins become charred.
2. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing charred skins and chopping roughly.
To prepare the soup
1. Soak the porcini in cold water for 3 minutes and then rinse under the cold tap to remove forest grit. Snip in half with scissors and set aside.
2. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onion and garlic for 5 minutes with the lid on. Add in the diced carrot and allow to sweat for another 10 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, stock or water with stock and seaweeds, porcini, red peppers, kelp with soaking water, brown sugar and lentils. Stir well.
4. Simmer gently for 10 to 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Add the marjoram and blend until smooth.
5. Ladle into wide bowls and garnish with parsley, chives and walnuts.
parsley, chives and walnuts, chopped