Bacon and lentil soup

One of the most popular dishes posted on this blog has been the split pea and bacon hock soup. As tasty as that soup is, you do not always have a spare bacon hock lying around. Personally I always keep my emergency bacon, a few rashers of free range streaky bacon in the freezer. This emergency bacon is perfect to use in a quick and easy version of the classic pea and ham soup.

I’ve kept the flavours classical here, as pork goes very well with apple (cider vinegar), the aniseed fennel and the earthy sage.

I drizzled over some lovely vincotto from Te Motu vineyard to finish, as it adds a wonderful sticky sweetness which complements the earthy lentils. If you do not have vincotto, a vinegar reduction is similar – simply heat a cup of vinegar with a tsp of sugar until reduced by half.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Couple of rashers of streaky free range bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of yellow split pea lentils
  • 2 L of vegetable stock
  • Vincotto to serve

Method

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pan, toss in the bacon, fennel seeds, sage, onion and carrot and cook till lightly browned
  2. Add the cider vinegar and burn off
  3. Add the lentils, and turn through to coat
  4. Add the stock, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender
  5. Blend the soup smooth, add water if too thick, or cook down if too runny
  6. Laddle into bowls and drizzle over vincotto


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