One of my favourite things to make when the weather gets cooler is large batches of hearty soup. Along with a slice or two of fresh-baked bread or a savoury popover, it makes for an easy and comforting meal. This recipe is perfectly portioned for 2, but can easily scale up for more. Even better, it’s full of healthy ingredients like lentils and squash – to keep you well fed and warm.
Lentil, Bacon & Squash Soup
3 strips bacon, chopped into lardons (small crosswise pieces approximately 1/2″ wide)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large red onion (3/4-1 cup), peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1 sprig thyme
pinch chili flakes
1 stick celery, trimmed & diced
1/2 cup butternut squash, peeled & diced
1/2 cup turnip squash, peeled & diced
1/2 cup potatoes, diced
1/4 cup dried black lentils
1/4 cup dried split yellow peas
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup water
Salt & pepper, to taste
fresh chives, minced
In medium/large pot, fry bacon until fat is rendered out and bacon is crispy.
Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pot, and add the olive oil.
Add thyme, chili, onion, garlic; cover and sweat until vegetables are soft and translucent.
Add celery, squash and potatoes; stir to coat with oil. Cover and cook 10 minutes.
Add lentils, stock and water. Cover and cook 35 min, until lentils are soft.
Remove and discard the thyme stem.
If a thick soup is desired, blend a few scoopfuls until smooth and mix back into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary.
Ladle into bowls and top with fresh chives.
Serve with bread.