I’m not usually a fan of canned soups, but my friend Sarah recently introduced me to Baxter’s Lentil and Bacon soup, and I thought it was pretty yummy. It inspired me to make up my own lentil bacon soup. I’ve made lentil soup before, but I like that in this one the lentils are pureed, and the little bit of bacon adds a lot of flavour. It’s pretty easy to make, and just takes a bit of time to cook the lentils.
What you need:
3/4 cup green lentils, uncooked
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2-1 cup dry white wine
about 1-2 cups water
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, in about 2 cm chunks
1 large potato, in about 2 cm chunks
1 leek, sliced into rounds and rinsed
4 whole cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
5-6 slices of bacon
What you do:
1. Put the lentils in a large pot with lots of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 50 minutes.
2. Fry the bacon and let it cool on paper towel. Chop the bacon once it has cooled. I use a cast iron pan with a large capacity so I can add a lot more ingredients to it after frying the bacon. If you don’t have a frying pan large enough just do the next steps involving the vegetables, then transfer to the pot that you cooked the lentils in, which should be large enough to hold everything.
3. Remove most of the bacon fat from the frying pan. Chop the carrot, celery, leek and add it to the frying pan. Add the whole garlic cloves . Cook for about five minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the chopped potatoes. Now add the chicken stock and wine, along with enough water to cover the vegetables, and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
4. When the lentils are very soft you can drain them and add them to the vegetables and broth. I actually pour it all into the pot that the lentils were cooked in. Continue to simmer until all the veggies are tender.
5. Puree everything with an immersion blender or wait until it has cooled a bit and whiz it in a blender until it is smooth.
6. Stir in the chopped bacon, then add salt and pepper to taste.
This soup freezes well!