Lentil and Bacon Soup
175g/6oz/1 cup red lentils
1.7 litres/3 pints/7½ cups vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
200g/7oz lean bacon rashers (slices), diced
1 x 200g/7oz can tomatoes
2 large potatoes, diced
salt and ground black pepper
6 tsp pesto
grated Cheddar cheese to garnish
1 Put the lentils in a large pan with the stock. Add the onion, carrots, bacon, tomatoes and seasoning.
2 Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour or until the lentils are soft.
3 Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes or until tender.
4 Leave the soup to cool slightly, then sieve or blitz in a blender or food processor until smooth.
5 Reheat the soup in the pan. Check the seasoning and serve in six soup bowls, topped with the pesto and sprinkled with grated Cheddar cheese.