“Boot Camp” Soup

Donal Skehan was touted a couple of years ago as ‘Ireland’s Jamie Oliver’…and he has indeed made a fantastic name for himself, and a very lucrative career as a multi-lingual TV presenter (fluent in Swedish of all languages thanks to his fiancé) and author of a number of best selling recipe books. But he’s not quite the brash, bolchie Jamie the British know and love.

That said, I do like many of his recipes and regularly flick through the few of his books I have. Being the season that’s in it, cold and dark – though with a stretch in the evenings! – I  decided to make some soup and brown bread for work lunches. And on cue Donal posted his Boot Camp Soup recipe the other day.

As usual I made a couple of tweaks. Instead of 2 green peppers, I used one each, green, yellow and red. And I omitted that devil’s spawn of vegetables…celery <makes the sign of the cross and says three hail Mary’s>…yuck!

What intrigued me was one ingredient in particular…a whole head of iceberg lettuce.

In soup.


Iceberg, no less!

…I am pleased to say it turned out surprisingly delicious. Really really tasty.

Have a go…it’s ridiculously simple.

Ingredients for a week or more of lunch portions.

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3 medium onions, chopped into chunks – or 5 or 6 small onions
1 each red green and yellow peppers, chopped into chunks
1 iceberg lettuce, chopped into chunks
2 x 400g tins whole plum tomatoes, chopped or blended
1L vegetable stock – add more water later if needed
275g red lentils
Salt & pepper – don’t skimp on the seasoning.


Chop all ingredients into rough chunks, into a large pan or stock pot, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes, stir regularly…lentils may stick to the bottom of the pan.

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Blend with a hand blender, add more water if needed. Leave to cool completely and store in the fridge, or freeze.

I like my soup in a cup 🙂

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Original recipe © Donal Skehan

This blog post © David Wilkins – January 2015


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