At work, I’m in charge of putting together the day’s press clippings and sending them out. This means that I don’t have the time to gather around the coffee machine, have a chat, and generally ease into the morning of another workday.
So on Mondays, after I have sent the media service out, I like to ‘quickly’ browse through the new offerings on some of my most frequently visited food websites, which I argue does wonders for my wellbeing and helps ease me into the working week.
It was during one of these browsing sessions that I came across a recipe for lemon-yogurt soup. It was such an odd yet alluring combination of ingredients that I instantly bookmarked it… and finally got around to trying…
I have to admit that I was quite disappointed with all the little tastes I was having whilst cooking this soup. It was odd, and reminded me of my mum’s lemon chicken soup (avgolemono), which I never liked but was ‘forced’ to eat as a kid.
It wasn’t until I stirred through the chilli brown butter ‘sauce’ that this soup came to life. The finished product has such a surprisingly different, complex and layered flavour that the base soup could never have prepared me for. It was so good that I actually went back for seconds.
Now I know it’s hot for half of you, but for the rest of us, it’s just a tad chilly, so I figured that Angie’s Fiesta Friday #27 over at The Novice Gardener needed a soup for the entrée section of the table for those of us who are arriving with our mittens on.
Lemon-Yogurt Soup with Lentils, Brown Rice and Herbs
Note: To make sure you don’t end up with curdled soup, it is important to temper the yogurt, so please refrain from dumping the cold yogurt mixture into the hot stock.
- 100g brown rice
- 60g puy lentils
- 1.25 litres vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- 1 onion (finely grated)
- 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 500g thick natural yoghurt
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- 1½ tablespoons plain flour mixed with 2 tablspoons cold water
- 80g butter (coarsely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh mint and scallions.
- Cook rice in a saucepan of simmering water for 5 minutes, add lentils and cook until both rice and lentils are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Place stock, onion and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the yoghurt and the egg until smooth. Add the flour mixture and a little of the hot stock and whisk to combine. Continue slowly adding ¼ cups of the hot stock to the yogurt, whilst continuously whisking, until the yogurt mixture is almost hot.
- Pour the yoghurt mixture into the saucepan, reduce the heat to low and whisk until hot but not boiling, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste.
- Meanwhile, to make the butter sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, Add the mint and chilli flakes, and cook until golden, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice. Season to taste.
- To serve the soup, divide the lentils and rice amongst the bowls, top with the yoghurt soup, spoon the butter mixture over the top and serve scattered with herbs and scallions.
Recipe by Emma Knowles and Alice Storey from Australian Gourmet Traveller.