I should call this recipe ‘For When You Have A Cold…’, because I did at the time and I felt much, much better after polishing off the bowl.

I wasn’t quite sure what this was going to become whilst cooking this meal, I just had a ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’ idea in my mind and this happened. This was also made in the dead of summer, however, as we’re coming into beautiful, crisp and colourful autumn, I think this will do quite nicely.


– If you’ve roasted a chicken, use as much of the meat you’d like, if not, 2 chicken breasts, diced, will do just fine.
– 150g red lentils
– 2 bay leaves
– 3 garlic cloves
– 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled (keep the skin for stock!)
– 4 cloves
– 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
– 2 sprigs of rosemary
– Juice of 1/2 a lemon
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– 3 carrots, cut into large chunks
– 800ml homemade chicken or vegetable stock
– 300g chopped tomatoes
– 1/2 diced onion
– 1 diced yellow or red pepper


– In a large saucepan, heat the chicken stock to a rolling bubble, and add the diced chicken breasts to poach, along with the potatoes, garlic, cloves, onion, bay leaves, turmeric, , continue to bubble for 5-7 minutes.
– Add the rosemary, thyme, lentils, lemon juice, tomatoes, carrots and pepper. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
– Season.
– Once the lentils begin to soften, not purรฉe, but soften enough that they look like little orange-y brown travel backgammon tokens, and you can easily slide a knife into the potatoes, give the soup a taste and if those two components are both soft enough to your liking, begin to ladle to bowls.
– Dig in with fluffy socks on.