Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Bacon, Lentil & Tomato Soup

6 inches of snow falling overnight means waking up feeling the need for a big pot of soup on the stove and maybe a toasted cheese sandwich on the side. I'm looking forward to getting a huge backlog of recipes tried, tested and posted.... the photos have been taken and uploaded... time to get back in the saddle again. And today - stuck at home, car under a blanket of white is the perfect opportunity to get started.

The cupboards are bare and the fridge is as empty as it has been in a long time but I'm not keen to venture out as the snow is still falling. A rake around finds lentils, stock and tinned tomatoes. Perfect soup ingredients. This has been my favourite soup recipe for oh... about 25 years... It sustained me through college years, through long, cold winters and briefly with the removal of the bacon, through my vegetarian years. I hope it sustains my kids the same way - its a quick, cheap and easy soup to throw together and still feels like a treat - especially on a cold wintery day.

Bacon, Lentil & Tomato Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 cup red lentils
1 litre chicken stock
salt and pepper
3 slices of bacon
Small handful of chives, chopped finely
Sour cream
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan, add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute till soft and aromatic(around ten minutes).
Sprinkle the paprika on top and stir through.
Next add the tomatoes, lentils and stock. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
I prefer this soup blended and smooth but if you like your chunky, don't blend it at all.
While the soup is simmering, grill the bacon till crispy and chop.
Serve the soup topped with bacon bits, sour cream and chives.