Lentil and Bacon Soup
You know you’re having ‘one of those days’ when you decide to have spaghetti bolognaise for dinner and it turns into Lentil and Bacon Soup!
BBC 2 and I decided we would rely on our stock of home made frozen meals the other day. Mainly because he has been so busy decorating and gardening. Bolognaise Sauce duly retrieved from the freezer there we were, only to discover – horror of horrors – not only was the spaghetti jar empty of spaghetti, so were his war chest of cupboards. Unfortunately it was also now too late to ‘nip’ the eight miles into town and get some!
But strangely enough I had been mulling over a soup recipe, which I knew shouldn’t take too long and would use up some ingredients we had laying around. As an added bonus it would give BBC2 enough time to chill and have a G&T to relax.
6 slices streaky bacon
1 onion finely diced
5 sticks celery finely diced
3 to 4 carrots finely diced or sliced
2 cloves garlic minced or grated
2 tbs vegetable oil
1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
6oz puy lentils
6oz green lentils
2 tins chopped tomatoes
4 to 5 pints of chicken stock (I used stock cubes in boiling water)
Salt and pepper to taste after cooking
Using a heavy bottomed soup pan on a medium heat, fry off the bacon until crispy and set aside on paper towels to drain. Using the same pan, and retaining any bacon fat, add the vegetable oil and fry the onion and celery, on a medium heat, until translucent. Next add the garlic, carrots and cumin (if using) and fry for a further two to three minutes.
Next add both types of lentils and and stir to coat in the oil and juices. Fry for a minute or so. Now add the four pints of chicken stock and the chopped tomatoes. Turn the heat up high until this comes to a rolling boil and stir. Now crumble up your bacon into small pieces and add to the soup. Turn the heat down low so the soup is just simmering, place on a lid and leave to cook for thirty to forty minutes. Stirring occasionally. At this point you may wish to add another pint of stock, depending on how much liquid you like in your soup.
Check to see that the lentils are cooked and when they are season with salt and pepper to taste.
A healthy and hearty soup served with bread. The small amount of cumin adds a nice back note to the soup, but it can easily be made without this. Also, if you leave out the bacon and use vegetable stock instead of chicken it would be suitable for vegetarians or vegans – but I would definitely keep the cumin if I did this.
Hope you give this a go…