Here’s my recipe for my bacon and lentil broth that we had for our tea tonight. It’s a real winter warmer and is a firm family favourite in this house!
- 250g red lentils
- 6 thick rashers of smoked back bacon (or 8 rashers if you can’t get thick sliced)
- An onion
- 2 or 3 sticks of celery
- 2 or 3 carrots
- 3 pints of chicken stock (made up with stock cube/bullion cube of your choice)
- a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- Smoked paprika (or just normal paprika if you can’t get it)
- Put the lentils into a jug or a bowl and cover them with cold water. Leave them to soak for about an hour. You can leave them for longer than that, but the longer you leave them, the more mushier they’ll be in the broth.
- Chop the bacon, onion, celery and carrots into small pieces. I’m sure there’s a cheffy term for it, but have a look at my photo for the size I mean!
- Heat a little oil in a big pot. Don’t get it too hot, you don’t want your veggies to burn.
- Put the onion, celery and carrot into the warmed oil and let them sweat for about 5 mins. Again, you can do it longer if you want but bear in mind that you are going to simmer your soup for an hour or so and if you let them go too soft at this stage you’ll have less texture in your finished soup.
- Add the bacon and let it it cook for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle paprika into the pot – I don’t know how much I use, I just cover the top of the veggies until it looks enough. Have a look at the picture to see how much I use.
- Stir everything round so the flavoured juices are covering all of the veggies and the bacon.
- Drain the lentils and add them to the pot.
- Stir them right in, covering them all in the flavoured juice.
- Add the stock and the tomatoes – gently – and make sure everything is well mixed in.
- Leave it to simmer for 45 mins or so. Check the seasoning (the bacon can vary hugely in how salty it is, and the paprika will add its own flavour too). If you need to, add a little salt and some pepper. Test how done the veggies are, simmer for a little longer if needed, and when you’re happy with the texture of them you can serve it.
- Enjoy it with a couple of slices of crusty bread or a crusty roll and a glass of something warming.