Easy bacon, lentil and risoni soup
This is the soup that is warming my cockles at the moment. It’s thick, tasty and very morish. It’s also a bit of a moveable feast. Sometimes I add a cup of frozen peas or a finely chopped carrot to the pan for a change. If you have any parmesan rinds lurking in the fridge, chuck one into the pan when you add the stock and it will impart a reassuringly salty kick. This recipe easily doubles or triples for larger (or hungrier groups).
Ingredients: 2 tsps vegetable oil, 1 med onion finely chopped, 2/3 rashers smoked bacon finely chopped or 125g bacon bits/lardons, 1 heaped tsp Herbes de Provence, 300g red lentils, 85g risoni, 2¼ litres chicken or vegetable stock from a cube (I use Marigold vegetable bouillon), salt and black pepper to season. Grated parmesan and a dollop of sour cream to serve.
Method: Fry the onion in the oil until soft and golden, add bacon and fry until crispy and browned, add the Herbes de Provence and red lentils, stirring until everything is slickly covered. Add stock (and parmesan rind if using), risoni and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally as risoni has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan if left unattended. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls, sprinkle with parmesan and serve with a dollop of sour cream/crème fraiche/Greek yoghurt.
“Red meat is not bad for you. Now, blue-green meat—that’s bad for you!” Tom Smothers