Bacon and puy lentil soup

Bacon and puy lentil soup

Tara Fisher

When we think of lentils we usually think of India, but in fact nearly half the world’s lentils are grown in Canada, including Puy lentils. Like all split pulses, they cook quickly and don’t need soaking.


Quantity Ingredient
300g smoked streaky bacon
100g butter
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
3 fresh thyme sprigs
300g puy lentils
150ml white wine
1 litre chicken stock
200g baby spinach leaves
4 thin pancetta slices
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
4 tablespoons creme fraiche
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Roughly chop the bacon. Heat a large sauté pan or saucepan over a medium heat, add half the butter and the bacon and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion and garlic and pick the leaves off the thyme. Add the onion, garlic and thyme to the pan and cook gently for another 15 minutes, until golden and soft.
  2. Add the Puy lentils and white wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour over a gentle heat.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the remaining butter and the spinach and cook for 1–2 minutes, until wilted. Remove and place on kitchen paper to drain, then add the pancetta to the pan and fry on each side until golden and crisp. Place on kitchen paper to drain.
  4. Roughly chop the parsley and add it to the soup along with the sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, place some spinach in the centre of each soup plate. Ladle the soup around the spinach, then place a slice of pancetta on top of the spinach. Finish with a good dollop of crème fraîche.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
slow cooking
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