Ratatouille & Hungarian Good Luck Lentil Soup

After my little holiday at the NHS’ pleasure, I have finally got back into cooking.  I have made two new recipes this week.  The first, an old favourite, Ratatouille.  This recipe I found in the Guardian by Felicity Cloake.  Its a delight – the vegetables are mostly roasted rather than bubbled in a pot which gives it a lovely roasty flavour.  Heaven.  Here is the original:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/jul/15/how-to-make-perfect-ratatouille


  • 2 peppers – whole
  • 1 medium onion – small dice
  • 8 tomatoes – 4 chopped, 4 sliced
  • 3 courgettes – sliced
  • 1 aubergine – sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic – minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of thyme (I used dried as a substitute)
  • pinch of saffron (I didn’t have any so left this out)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (I added a tbsp Madeira instead)


  1. Roast the peppers at 230deg.C (20mins-ish) then leave to cool.
  2. Soften the onions with 2tbsp olive oil (8mins).  Add garlic 5mins in.  Then add the tomatoes, thyme and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Peel and dice the peppers and add to the pan with the Madeira (saffron & vinegar).
  4. Put in the oven-proof dish with the other vegetables, cover with foil and roast at 140deg.C for 2 hours. Remove foil & roast for a further 30mins.

The second recipe I tried was a Hungarian lentil soup or stew made with a Hungarian paprika sausage.  I found it on a website called Starving Chef:  http://starvingchef.com/2012/12/good-luck-lentil-soup-traditional-hungarian-recipe/  It made my partner very happy & nostalgic for Hungary which was my intention (risky because I have never been there and he has).  I added diced potato & mushrooms to bulk it out a bit. You could add more lentils but they are rather wind inducing.


  • 1 tin green lentils
  • 2 carrots – thickly sliced
  • 3 medium potatoes – peeled & diced
  • 2 large mushrooms – sliced
  • 2 celery stick – thickly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2 medium red onions – diced
  • 1 Gyulai Hungarian dry sausage – sliced (Needs to be a paprika based sausage if you need to substitute.  I found some ‘Hungarian Pepperoni’ which was the closest I could find.  I suspect Spanish Chorizo would also work)
  • 1/4lb Kolozsvari bacon – diced (I used British bacon)
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 stalks rosemary
  • water (I added about about 3mugs full)


  1. Saute the sausage & bacon till its brown and crispy (~5mins) & remove from pan
  2. Add all the vegetables, rosemary, bay leaves & lentils and sweat for about 5mins then add the puree & water. Season as necessary and simmer for about 50mins.
  3. Return the bacon & sausage and cook for another 10mins.

About Faith

This is a country blog from an ex-city girl who is delighting in country pursuits as only someone with the huge rose-tinted spectacles of ignorance can. View all posts by Faith

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