The simple and basic ingredients in this lentil and bacon soup combine to create an insanely tasty and simple meal that is both warming and filling!
Cooking with Simple Ingredients.
I have just deleted the opening paragraph I wrote for this soup because I found myself using a phrase that I find increasingly odious.
There was some wordy nonsense about his hearty soup being made from ‘humble ingredients’…
I re-read it and thought what on earth does that rubbish mean?
This wonderful soup is loaded with great seasonal root vegetables, carrot, potatoes and parsnip.
It is then rounded out with lentils and bacon.
Why on earth would ingredients like this need to be humble?
Seriously they should lord it over other ingredients, they are the bedrock of countless global cuisines.
They are nutritious, tasty and just because they do not appear on superfood lists should not devalue them. They are cheap, nutritious and abundant.
Choosing the Lentils.
You can use any old lentil you want in this recipe, I call for green lentils but changing them out would do no harm.
Green, Brown or even the Puy lentils I use in this lentil salad recipe will stay whole in this soup recipe and add texture.
You could, however, change for yellow or red lentils which will cook down to a much softer texture.
This will thicken the broth in this soup and turn it into a heartier affair. They would serve the same purpose as the red lentils in my lentil and bean burger!
Water, Not Stock!
The vegetables I use in this recipe form the base of my usual vegetable stock. It also cooks for the same amount of time that I would usually cook a vegetable stock.
The process of cooking this soup essentially creates its own stock.
Seasoning this recipe will rely very much on you and there is little I can do to help. Apart from telling you to trust your taste buds of course!
Naturally, the bacon you use in this soup will how much additional salt you will need to add.
But you also need to take into consideration that vegetables like potatoes and lentils thrive on lots of salt.
Get the seasoning wrong in this soup and you will end up with something very bland.
Taste and season as you go, the best way to do this is by tasting the potatoes as they cook.
Choosing the Bacon!
You want to get unsliced and preferably smoked bacon for this recipe.
You want to get some streaky bacon, not back or Canadian bacon as it is called across the pond…
Most importantly do not be afraid of fat… We add no oil to this recipe and rely on the fat of the bacon for flavour and lubrication.
Also, you should avoid the cheap stuff! It is pumped full of water, flavourings and has never been anywhere near a smoker.
We are playing around with very few ingredients here so make sure that you use good ones because there is nowhere to hide!
- 200g Smoked Bacon
- 100g Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 30g Celery
- 200g Potato
- 100g Parsnip
- 100g Carrot
- 50g Green Lentils
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Lovage
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Cut the bacon in to a 5mm dice.
- Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes to allow the fat begin to soften.
- Whilst this is happening finely dice the onion.
- Finely slice the garlic.
- Slice the celery into 2-3mm slices
- Dice the potato and parsnip into 2cm dice.
- Slice the carrot into 5mm coins.
- Add the onion, celery and garlic to the bacon and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the parsnip, potato and carrot and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Throw in the lentils and add enough water to just cover, this should be around 500ml.
- Add in the bay leaf, lovage and thyme as well as salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then add a lid reduce the temperature to low and simmer for an hour.
Serve with some dark seeded bread!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 673 Total Fat: 36g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 22g Cholesterol: 99mg Sodium: 1951mg Carbohydrates: 47g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 9g Protein: 41g