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Red lentils, onion, bacon

This soup is easy, cheap, filling and very, very tasty. You'll definitely want a second helping.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the

bacon and fry for a few minutes so the fat starts to run. Add the onion and sweat gently over a low heat, stirring from time to time, for a good 10 minutes until soft and silky.

Stir in the lentils, then add about 800ml water. Add the bay and/ or thyme if you have them. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring from time to time, for about 15 minutes or until the lentils are completely soft and breaking down.

Remove the bay and/or thyme if used. Blitz the soup in a blender or with a handheld stick blender until smooth, adding just enough extra water to get a thick soup consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed, then serve.

Serving suggestions

You can finish the soup in various ways: a few more snippets of bacon, fried until crisp, make a lovely sprinkle, as do some simple fried bread croûtons. A swirl of yoghurt would be good, or a generous scattering of chopped parsley. Alternatively, slice another onion and sweat it gently in a little oil while the soup cooks, until very soft and golden. Float a tangle of this on top of the soup before serving.

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  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed, sunflower or olive oil
  • 4 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200g split red lentils, well rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf and/or a sprig of thyme (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

This recipe is taken from...

Hugh’s Three Good Things

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