Lentil Soup

Cold and ferociously windy weather like this makes me scuttle indoors and long for an open fire. Definitely the sort of weather to curl up with a book and a bowl of hearty, warming lentil soup. It’s easy, it’s quick and it’s horribly healthy, but you don’t have to tell yourself that.

IngredientsI defrosted some of the stupendous stock I made at Christmas; it makes a big difference.

Ingredients

300g red lentils
3 pints chicken stock (strictly speaking mine is turkey..)
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 rashers smoked bacon, cut small
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbl oil (I use sunolive)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste (I used smoked salt, yum)
good grind of black pepper

Method

1. Put the chopped up bacon in a large saucepan and cook for a while, until the fat starts to come out of it.
2. Add the oil and the chopped onion, carrot and celery and fry together until the onion goes translucent.
3. Add in the garlic, spices and lentils and stir til well mixed; then add the stock and bring to a boil.
4. Test for seasoning! Now’s the time to add some more salt if required, but it depends on your stock.
5. Once boiling, turn down the heat to lowest and simmer for about half an hour, or until the lentils are soft and start to fall apart.
6. Give it a good stir around. (When I came back to the pan there was an intimidating heap of lentils like a volcano in the middle. It was only an illusion; they collapsed into a thick soupy mass on vigorous application of a wooden spoon.)
7. Apply a stick blender until it’s the consistency you want.
8. Serve with a chunk of crusty bread on a cold day! Makes enough for 6 – 8.

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