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H is for Horse Radish Cream and Lentil Soup

20170914 175903horse raddish

Horseradish is found growing wild virtually everywhere – you may have passed it by and simply mistaken it for dock leaves. But crush a leaf in your hand and you’ll soon smell the horseradish.

Banks, hedgerows and ditch edges are good places to start, but avoid the verges of busy roads and field margins where crops may have been sprayed.

After first frosts or some really cold nights is the best time to collect but not when the ground is frozen or you’ll break your fork! Dig around the whole plant carefully lifting the whole root. Store uncleaned in a paper bag until its needed to preserve the flavour.

1.5 tbsp oil

few garlic cloves peeled and sliced

1 onion sliced

1 carrot peeled and chopped into cubes

1 stick of celery

200g dark green lentils

1 ltr chicken stock

1 bay leaf

sprig of thyme

1 lemon 

horseradish root

small tub of crème fraiche

First light your fire and hang the kotlich pan over the fire. Put the oil in the kotlich and add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Fry for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the lentils and stir around for a few minutes to coat in the oil then add the stock. Add the herbs and bring to a brisk the boil, then adjust the height of the kotlich so that the soup simmers gently. You may need to add more water. Cook until the lentils are squishingly tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile clean and peel the horseradish, then grate into the crème fraiche to taste.

Squeeze some lemon juice into the lentil soup mix then using a potato masher if cooking outside squish the soup or if at home partially blend using a stick blender leaving some texture.

Serve into bowls with a dollop of horseradish cream.

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