(makes 4 servings)
The first time a good (and soupaholic) friend tasted this potage he declared it to be the best lentil soup he had ever tasted and was amazed to discover there isn’t a lentil in sight - it’s the combination of the smoked bacon and slightly caramelised onions that really does give it a lentily edge! This soup has become a staple in more households than I can begin to count...
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 rashers smoked lean bacon, chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 dessertspoon cornflour
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
250mls homemade or best-quality bought chicken stock
250mls full-cream milk (semi-skimmed can work but I’m not a fan for this soup)
- Warm the oil in a soup pot and gently sauté the onion until translucent and very soft.
- Increase the heat slightly, add the bacon and continue to sauté for a few minutes, stirring all the time until the edges of both the onion and the bacon are slightly caramelised.
- Reduce the heat again, stir in the cornflour and cook for another 5 minutes then add the tinned tomatoes, sugar, a good pinch of salt and at least 5 good grindings of black pepper and continue to cook on a low heat for 5-6 minutes.
- Add the stock, stir well, increase the heat, bring the soup to just boiling then reduce the heat to a very low setting.
- After about 5 minutes, add the milk and keep stirring until the soup is hot and ready to serve (don’t let it boil or the milk may curdle).
- Either serve as it is - all chunky, filling and moreish - or if you are flasking it for lunch, snacks and the like, liquidise the whole lot until fairly smooth.