Pre-emptive hangover soup: Carrot and Lentil Soup

It was a friend’s 30th birthday on Saturday and we were gathering at 5pm, in fancy dress, for a few drinks before heading over to a rugby match in Christchurch – Canterbury Crusaders vs South Africa’s Cats. So there was a night of merriment before us – and probably a Sunday of its aftermath. There are several ways of protecting against a hangover, a couple of them being drink plenty of (non-alcoholic) liquids and don’t go on the piss on an empty stomach. So I decided to make a pre-emptive strike on the hangover by feeding myself and the Boyfriend a big bowl of homemade soup before we left the house. It was a bit of a thrown-together recipe as I was busy making a birthday cake at the same time but it did it’s job – and there was enough left over in the morning to give us a very substantial brunch. A dish not only for the night before but also for the morning after!

It should have been vegetable soup but I forgot to buy celery at the Saturday morning St Albans Market so the main vegetable in it was diced carrot. I threw in a red onion for sweetness, a couple of pieces of smoked ham hock to add flavour and a few handfuls of red lentils to thicken it, kept it bubbling away on the cooker while I got stuck into the cake and the end result was far better than the lack of attention should have warranted. Take out the hocks and give it a whiz with a hand-held blender if you’re looking for a soup with a bit more finesse but, as it is, it has good body and texture.

Carrot and Lentil Soup
Carrot – 1
Red onion – 1
Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Smoked ham hock – 2 pieces, approx 400g in weight
Red split lentils – 200g
Bay leaf – 1
Salt, pepper
Finely dice the carrot and onion. Warm the oil in a saucepan then add the vegetables and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until softened. Add the smoked ham hock pieces and 1½ litres of water. Bring to the boil and keep at a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the lentils and bay leaf and simmer again for another 40 minutes. Fish out the pieces of ham hock and bay leaf. Taste before seasoning – the ham hocks may be salty – and add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Serve with plenty of hot buttered toast.

Serves 4.



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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1 Response

  1. vera says:

    Will remember this soup next time I’m on a pub crawl.

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