A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend the baby shower of one of my beautiful cousins. It was a lovely event, with lots of people out and about sharing their love and support for the impending birth of the new arrival. The baby shower was held in my cousins’ home town, on the sunny coast of Kiama just outside of Sydney, in a park with picturesque views overlooking the water. As far as celebrations go, you couldn’t ask for much more.
Charlie and I drove up with my parents the day before. As the parent of a toddler, you quickly learn that the best time to get on the road is when your little one is due for a sleep. That way, you can get as much of the trip underway while they sleep softly in car, unaware of what is going on around them. By the time they wake, most of the trip should be done and dusted and you’re set to go. Thankfully this is just what happened despite a couple of stops along the way.
During one of our rest breaks we stopped at a little township along the highway to grab some lunch. It was a grey day just like today, yet this little cafe was bustling at the seams with people who were eager to get inside out of the cold and have a lovely hot lunch. We found a table and had a look at the specials. There were many beautiful meals on the menu, but as circumstances would have it, we were very limited in what we could eat. I continue to eat a fairly strict gluten, grain and dairy free diet in a bid to ease inflammation that may worsen my fatigue. It just so happened that Mum was also on a restricted diet of soft soups as a result of recent surgery.
After perusing the menu at this cosy little establishment we realised that we were particularly limited in what we could order. One of the only meals that suited us both was a Smoked Bacon, Vegetable and Lentil Soup with bread on the side (of which neither of us could eat). It took a little while to arrive, during which time the two-year-old terror threw a tantrum and decided that his time was best spent exploring outside with Poppy. Mum and I waited patiently, chatting all the while, until the meals showed up in front of us. Thankfully, we were far from disappointed. Despite our restrictions, what we ended up eating was probably one of the best meals on the menu! It was warm, hearty and delicious – perfect for what we wanted on a cold winters day.
I arrived home and decided I wanted to recreate the recipe – it was simply too good not to pass up! I love a chunky soup so left the vegetable pieces quite large, giving it a very homely feel. The smoked bacon was was delicious and adds that little something extra. While the lentils are often not considered “paleo” they were perfect in this meal and have the added benefit of being good for your gut health. I served them in my grandmothers old soup bowls (they’re so retro I just love them) which gives them an added touch of homeliness. All-in-all, I think I’ve found yet another winning soup combination. I hope you like my recipe!!
Feel free to leave your comments of photos of your very own Smoked Bacon, Vegetable and Lentil Soup.
As always, happy cooking!
Smoked Bacon, Vegetable and Lentil SoupPrint This
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 6 smoked bacon rashers (or smoked pork), chopped
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 large parsnips, diced
- 3 celery sticks, diced
- 1 ltr vegetable stock
- 400g tin of lentils, drained and rinsed
- 400g tin of diced organic tomatoes
- 200g baby brussel sprouts, halved
- 3 tbs parsley, chopped finely
- salt and pepper to season
Heat half of the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add the garlic, bacon, onion, carrots, parsnips and celery and mix well. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until bacon is lightly browned and vegetables have softened slightly.
Add the stock, lentils and tomatoes and mix to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes until vegetables are soft.
While the soup is cooking, heat the remainder of the oil in a frypan. Place the brussel sprouts in the pan, cut side down and allow to cook for a minute. Stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes until sprouts are slightly browned.
Add brussel sprouts and parsley to the pan. Stir well and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. Add to the soup before serving. Serve hot.