Lentil and bacon soup
- 1 tsp oil
- 75g/2¾oz smoked back bacon, trimmed of all fat and finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- 1.5 litres/3lb 5oz chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
- 1 garlic clove
- 200g/7oz red lentils
- large sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the bacon, onion and red pepper. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have started to soften.
Boil a kettle and use this to make your stock – or if using fresh stock, bring it to the boil in a separate saucepan while the vegetables are cooking.
Add the sweet potato, garlic and lentils to the bacon and vegetables. Stir for a minute, then pour over the just-boiled stock and add the herbs.
Season with salt and pepper. Return to the boil – this should be more or less instant – then turn down to a medium heat, cover, and cook for between 15-20 minutes, or until the red lentils are tender.
Remove the herbs. Blend using a stick-blender if preferred – or you can leave the soup as is. Serve.
If you add cold stock rather than just-boiled stock, it will add around 5 minutes to the cooking time.