Low-fat lentil and bacon soup

low_fat_bacon_and_lentil_02962_16x9As we say goodbye to October and hello to November, we will be welcoming even colder weather. We’ve certainly been feeling the bite of winter this week, so we decided to share a soup recipe that is full of warming and filling lentils! Did you also know that they’re packed full of iron? Perfect as a starter, or with crusty bread for lunch, this soup is ideal for this time of the year.

Ingredients

For the vegetable stock

  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 3 sticks celery, trimmed and washed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 parsley stalks, leaves reserved for garnish
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the main soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 rashers smoked back bacon, fat removed, sliced into small pieces
  • 200g red lentils, washed thoroughly
  • 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 litre homemade vegetable stock (see above)
  • parsley leaves (from above), finely chopped

Method

  1. First of all, make the vegetable stock. Grate the vegetables and place (along with any ends that you can’t grate) into a heatproof bowl. Add the thyme, bay leaves and the stalks from the parsley. Season with a small pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the veg with 1 litre of boiling water, and leave to steep for 10 minutes or until cool. Once cool, strain the stock through a sieve and discard the vegetables.
  2. For the main soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Fry gently for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and chilli, and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes or until the onions are completely soft but not coloured. Add the bacon and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.
  3. Add the lentils and tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes with your spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add enough of the vegetable stock to cover (you may need all of it). Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are completely soft. Turn off the heat.
  4. Pour half of the soup into a blender and pulse until smooth. Return to the pan with the remaining soup and heat through. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  5. Divide the soup between serving bowls, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Doesn’t this sound like a great winter warmer? And making your own vegetable stock will help to fill this soup with even more goodness! This is sure to be one of our favourites this month.

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