Saturday 23 February 2013

Saturday Soup: chunky tomato, bacon, lentil and vegetable soup

As with all my Saturday Soups, this was made using up bits and bobs that needed using up.  As always, amounts are not precise (sorry)

some butter and some goose fat (a dream combination for soups but, sadly, not vegetarian friendly.  Leave out the goose fat if necessary)
2 bacon medallions (that's what I had - rashers would be fine) chopped
a quarter of a large onion, peeled and chopped
the top part of a good sized leek, outer leaves discarded, rest washed and sliced into rings
a squidge of garlic puree
a tsp dijon mustard
smoked paprika
half a big carrot and half a big parsnip (what I had left), peeled and chopped - it could be any other veg though
a couple of small, floury potatoes, peeled, chopped and rinsed
2 bay leaves
chicken or vegetable stock powder
a can of tomatoes (I used ordinary plum toms because it is cheaper) zizzed to liquid
salt and pepper
two handfuls of red lentils
extra water as needed
tomato puree (optional)

Melt the fats, add the onion, leek and bacon, stir well, cover and simmer gently until soft.
Add the garlic, mustard and paprika, stir well and simmer for another minute or so until the flavours come wafting up (mmmmmmm).
Add the other vegetables, the bay leaves, the stock powder and the liquidised tomatoes plus extra water if needed.  Add pepper to taste and a little salt - be careful not to add too much because the bacon and stock will have added some salt already.
Cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
With a slatted spoon, remove the vegetables, etc and reserve in a bowl (leave some in the pan to be zizzed if you want).
Add the two handfuls of lentils to the tomatoey liquid in the pan, cover and simmer until they are soft.
Zizz the tomatoes and lentils or push through a mouli (I used my mouli), check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.  Add more water if the consistency is too thick.  Add some tomato puree if wanted (I didn't).
Return the soup to the pan and gently stir in the reserved vegetables, bacon, etc.  Heat thoroughly and serve.

I'm going to add some yogurt and some grated cheese to the soup when served.  I also have some bits of left over chicken which will also go into my portion for lunch   The rest of the soup will freeze for schools lunches and snacks.  It seems to have made enough for three very hungry people or four/five as a snack or starter.  If saving calories, use spray oil at the beginning but, inevitably, some flavour will be lost.

(Edited to add the photo)


  1. What a lovely combination of flavours. I have only recently discovered smoked paprika and loooove it! There are some in this recipe that I would not have thought of so looking forward to giving them a go. Thanks:)

  2. Let me know what you think, Sweffling. I had some for school lunch today and I liked it just as much as when it was fresh made so I was pleased with that. Smoked paprika is one of my faves, it's just gorgeous. It adds what the celebrity chefs call a certain 'unctuousness' to the flavour, I think.
    J x