Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Bacon

I made up the recipe for this soup combining bits of various other lentil or lentil and bacon soup recipes and I must say I think it is pretty damn good!! Just remember to soak the lentils overnight. I put them out into a bowl of water before I leave for work and they’re ready by the time I get home. Don’t worry if you forget, it just means your soup will take a little longer to cook.

If there are any requests for any specific soup recipes or you are looking for a recipe for a soup with a specific ingredient please let me know and I will see what i can do : )

The Recipe: Lentil and vegetable soup with bacon
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 courgettes, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 brown onion, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
250g brown lentils, soaked overnight
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Method
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry the chopped bacon until the fat begins to run. Add carrots, courgettes, celery and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add the lentils, cook for a few more minutes until they are mixed in well. Add tomatoes and stock to pan. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, for around 45 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are soft.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Ham, Leek and Pea Soup

This is possibly the easiest AND tastiest version of pea and ham soup I have ever found. It uses frozen peas rather than the dried split peas which gives the soup a brighter colour and a fresher flavour…and it uses gammon steaks which is great if you like to avoid the likes of ham hocks etc.

The Recipe: Paul Rankin’s Ham, Leek and Pea Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1½ onions, chopped
300g gammon, chopped
6 leeks, chopped
600g frozen peas
900ml chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6tbsp double cream (optional)

Method:
Heat some olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, gammon and leeks and cook for around 6 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the peas and stock to the saucepan and cook for around 10 minutes. Season.

Take the saucepan off the heat and blend the mixture until the soup has a smooth texture. Heat the soup through without boiling. When its ready, pour into bowls and garnish with the double cream if using.