22 Nov Lentil Soup
The winter chill has started to kick in back home in Cheshire so Louise has been in the kitchen all week making soom really homey winter grub and this lentil stew was one of my fav’s. Its really filling, its tasty and its #meatfreemonday #meatlessmonday so get the lentils out and have a bash.
6 rashers higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon, chopped
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped
3 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
a few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ dried chilli, crumbled
200 g dried lentils, a mixture of green and red
1 organic vegetable stock cube, optional
410 g tinned cannellini beans, drained
extra virgin olive oil
Feel free to puree or half-puree the soup, or leave it all chunky, depending on how you like it. Sometimes I add a few dried porcini mushrooms to make it extra special.
Place a large saucepan (with a lid) on a medium heat. Add a lug of olive oil and the bacon. Fry slowly until the bacon has started to release all its tasty fat and goes crispy, then add the dried thyme, dried chilli, onion, carrot, celery and garlic.
Cook gently with the lid on for about 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft, then add the lentils and 1 litre water or vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are soft. (Check the packet instructions as different types of lentils vary in cooking time. If you’re mixing your lentils, cook for the longest amount of time to make sure they are all cooked properly).
Add the tin of cannellini beans and, if the soup’s a little thick, some more water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes, then taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Ladle into bowls and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped parsley. Serve with hunks of bread.