Store Cupboard Soup
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: Approximately 60 minutes
• 2 onions (red or white whatever is available)
• 2 carrots (could substitute sweet potato or parsnips or a mixture)
• 3 sticks celery
• 2 cloves garlic
• 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon (any bacon can be used; you could even use thick ham or smoked tofu)
• Olive oil
• ½ a dried chilli, pinch of chilli flakes or ¼ tsp chilli powder
• ½ teaspoon dried thyme
• 200 g dried lentils, (you can use any lentils, even a mixture)
• 1 stock cube (vegetable or chicken) – Don’t worry if you don’t have one there’s still plenty of flavour in the other ingredients.
• 1 x 410 g tin of any plain beans (cannellini / haricot / kidney / mixed etc. I added a tin of peas when I couldn’t get beans!)
Peel and finely chop the onions and carrots (or substitutes). Trim and finely chop the celery, and peel and finely chop the garlic. Dice the bacon, ham or smoked tofu.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the bacon, ham or tofu and fry slowly until crispy, then crumble in the dried chilli or add the chilli flakes or powder, and add the dried thyme, onion, carrot, celery and garlic.
Cook gently with the lid on for about 15 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft, then add the lentils and 1 litre water or vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are soft. If you’re using mixed lentils, choose the longest cooking time listed on the packets (so if mixing green and red that would be the cooking time of the green lentils.)
Drain the beans or peas and add them to the soup. Thin the soup with water if required. Bring the soup back to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste and season as required.
Ladle into bowls and serve with bread – enjoy!