Lentil Bacon Soup

trust in kim- lentil bacon soup

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!

Carrot Lentil Soup with a hint of coconut

I started out making a completely different soup, trying out a new recipe, and part way in I thought about that bit of coconut milk I had in the fridge.  So I forgot about the recipe,added the coconut milk, and ended up with this lovely soup.  It’s only a bit of coconut milk, so it’s not the main flavour, but it gives a bit of creaminess.

What you need:

3 rashers bacon

1 onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, sliced

1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 large carrots, grated

3-4 cups chicken stock (or turkey)

3/4 cup lentils

3/4 cup coconut milk

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Fry bacon until crispy; place on paper towels to soak up the excess fat, and chop once it is cool.

2.  Heat the oil in a pot then add the onions, cooking until slightly browned.  Add garlic, carrots, chilli flakes and garam masala.  Cook for a few minutes.

3.  Add bacon and lentils, then pour in the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until the lentils are cooked, about 40 minutes.

4.  Add coconut milk, and season to taste.  you may not need to add much salt, as the bacon will give it a bit of saltiness.

Options for serving:  top with a bit of yogurt or squeeze a bit of lime on top.