Lentil & bacon soup (a winter warmer for a cold Spring day!!)

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Good grief it has been cold here today!! It only decided to warm up about 6 o’clock this evening.  Inspired ironically by the weather when I arrived home from the park with the children, I felt the need to make a warm, healthy and hearty soup. Walk into my house around 4pm, any day of the week/weekend,  and you will find me standing in my kitchen preparing the evening meal. I spend my entire day mostly dedicated to my children with the occasional spare hour or two to do some work. So, by the end of the day my kitchen becomes my sanctuary, my total escapism from all that has gone before. I could honestly cook a feast at this time of night. I become a circus performer spinning and juggling several meals all at once. The oven on to roast some peppers, softening some vegetables as a base for soup and chopping some potatoes ready to put in the oven to make chips for the children’s meal. I must admit at times I try to do too much and the result is usually a disaster. But hey, ho that is cooking. Especially when you are an amateur working in the confines of a very small kitchen, and two children buzzing around. It is an art being a mother and a cook. But it is an art I love to perform every single day. I never tire of putting my apron on and stepping into the kitchen.

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Here is the result of tonight’s act – I hope you enjoy it –

2 sticks of celery chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 red onions, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

6 rashers of bacon either smoked or unsmoked, chopped into small pieces

A can of cannellini beans

200g red lentils

1 litre of stock or water

Chilli powder (optional)

Salt & pepper

Heat your chosen oil (I used rapeseed around 2 tbsp) in a large pan, add your bacon and let it cook over a high heat until it starts to brown. Next add your onion, carrot, celery & garlic, reduce the heat and allow the veg to soften for 15 minutes. (at this point you can add a sprinkle of chilli powder too but this is optional) Once the veg has softened add your red lentils and 1 litre of water or vegetable stock ( I always use water with plenty of seasoning) Then bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, or until your lentils and soft. Finally add the cannellini beans and allow these to cook for 15 minutes. If you like a blended soup then partially blend or fully blend depending on your preference. (The soup in my photos is partially blended leaving a little bit of texture)

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It is a truly delicious soup, which gives you warmth, nutrition and a fibre all in one bowl. Now that is what I call, perfection!!

Thanks for reading – L x

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