Rainy afternoons, and dark dreary skies have been pretty much the norm of late which put me in the mood for a nice hearty soup. This dish was inspired byChef Jamie Oliver’s recipe which calls for bacon, so immediately I was sold. The addition of vadouvan spice, garlic confit, and goat cheese adds an earthy richness, and gives the dish another layer of flavor.
6 strips of smoked bacon, chopped
1 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic confit, chopped
A few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon of vadouvan
2 cups dried lentils, a mixture of green and red
8 cups organic vegetable stock
1 can of cannellini beans, drained
Crumbled goat cheese
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
The How To… (Serves 4 - 6)
Place a large lidded saucepan on a medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and bacon to the pan. Fry slowly until the bacon has rendered and gotten crispy, then add the thyme, chilli flakes, onion, carrot, celery and garlic confit.
Cook gently with the lid on for about 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. Move contents of saucepan to a heavy bottomed pot, then add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are soft, 30 - 40 minutes. (Check the packet instructions as different types of lentils vary in cooking time. If you’re mixing your lentils, cook for the longest amount of time to make sure they are all cooked properly).
Add the tin of cannellini beans and, if the soup’s a little thick, some more water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes, then taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Ladle into bowls and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, goat cheese crumbles, and the chopped parsley.