Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lentil and Bacon Soup... never buy another tin

I used to love lentil and bacon soup when I was younger.  My parents went through a phase of buying it in tins but until recently I'd never made it myself.  That's the strange thing about processed foods you like, I think it puts you off trying to make it yourself.



Anyway, I gave it a go and not only was it ridiculously easy and cheap but it was delicious.

I probably wouldn't suggest this for toddlers or babies; older children and adults only.  Bacon is pretty salty and when you factor in you'd want some lovely crusty bread and some butter to go with it, you're soon exceeding a toddler's salt requirements for the day.  In some ways, this is a fine example of why healthy adult food isn't always healthy child food (and vice versa).  Yes, the salt content is a little high on this recipe but apart from that it will be low GI, fairly low in fat (if you skip the butter on the bread) and with lots of lovely fibre.

That said, I'm still including the recipe because it falls into the category of "easy adult food", I made it while my son was eating his tea and reheated it later.  It reheated brilliantly.  I'd love to say it freezes well and I'm sure it would but I have no idea as there was none left.   Note to self; double the recipe next time to have some for my lunch.

Lentil and Bacon soup - serves 2 adults


Ingredients

1 small onion, chopped
1 glove of garlic, chopped
Spray oil (or a dash of vegetable oil if you prefer)
150g Smoked bacon, chopped (lean if you want to keep down the fat content)
120g red lentils
1.5 pts (approx 900ml) boiling water
1 very low salt stock cube (optional - don't use a normal one, it would be too salty or use home made vegetable stock in place of the water)


Method

Fry the onion and garlic in the spray oil until starting to soften.  Add the bacon pieces and fry gently until the onion is translucent.  Add the lentils and the boiling water, stock cube or stock.  Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes.  Then simmer until the lentils are cooked.  This varies quite a lot in my experience.  Mine cooked in an extra 5 minutes easily but I have had them take an extra 10-15.  (Some packets suggest boiling them for 10 minutes then simmering for an extra 30 but I've never known them take that long.)

Puree the mixture in a blender then return to the pan and reheat until bubbling.

Serve with crusty bread.  Yum!

If you think about it, apart from the nutritional benefits of lentils, they're also amazingly cheap and keep in your store cupboard for yonks.  A great recipe for after the festive indulgences for both the waist and the pocket and a great one to have in your repertoire for when you need to do a food shop but just don't have the time.

If you like this recipe, why not try lentil and chorizo soup, if you have some lentils left, why not make some dahl?

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