- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 thyme twigs
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 1 large leek, white part only, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 24 thin slices of spicy chorizo
- 2 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, cored, seeded, and diced
- 1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste
- 2 cups white lentils, rinsed and sorted
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 cup peeled and diced butternut squash or kabocha squash
- 4 cups chicken stock or homemade vegetable broth
- 4 cups (945 ml) cold water
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cilantro stems with leaves, plus more leaves to serve
- Sea salt and pepper
- For the egg:
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 6 extra-fresh large eggs
- Crème fraîche, to serve
- Ground paprika, to serve
1 In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the thyme, cumin, turmeric, shallot, leek, and celery and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, without browning, until fragrant and the vegetables start to soften. Add the slices of chorizo and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
2 Add the lentils, carrots, and squash and cook for 1 minute, then add the stock, water, saffron, bay leaves, and cilantro stems. Cover and simmer the soup for 25 minutes, or until all the vegetables and the lentils are fork-tender. Discard the thyme and bay leaves and keep warm on the stove while you prepare the eggs.
3 To prepare the egg: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and the vinegar. Bring to a simmer. Break 1 egg into a small cup and carefully transfer the egg in the simmering water. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the egg white is set but the yolk is still runny.
4 Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel. Repeat with the other eggs.
5 To serve, ladle the soup into deep bowls, sprinkle with the cilantro leaves, and add a heaping tablespoon of crème fraîche to each. Top each bowl with a poached egg and a dash of paprika.
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Excerpted from La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre. Copyright © 2012 by Beatrice Peltre. Excerpted by permission of Roost Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.