I came home at lunch time today and was absolutely starving as usual but thought that I really should eat something other that toast on which I have been subsisting on for the past 3 months. I am pregnant with baby number four and although the worst of the morning sickness is over I still need to eat every few hours, with turkish bread toast being my favourite choice. But even Vegemite doesn't contain all the vitamins a girl needs to live so today I held out my hunger a little longer and cooked up some vegetable soup with bacon and lentils, it was delicious.
I have got into the habit of making my own chicken stock regularly thanks to the wonderful Smitten Kitchen blog. She makes her Perfect, uncluttered chicken stock in the slow cooker using only chicken wings, onion, garlic and water and it tastes wonderful! After boiling pots of stock dry several times in the past, this approach works for me and I end up with 3 litres of stock for minimal effort and I don't need to worry too much about the timing, just set the slow cooker to low if you are going out for awhile.
Bacon, Lentil and Vegetable Soup
splash olive oil
2 bacon rashers, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves chopped
1 L chicken stock
1 small piece parmesan rind (optional)
1/2 tin lentils, rinsed or 1/4 C dried green French lentils
1 zucchini, diced
1 large handful silverbeet, spinach or kale leaves, shredded
few sprigs parsley, leaves chopped
In a heavy based saucepan sauté the bacon in the olive oil over medium heat until slightly browned. Turn down the heat to low and add the onion and carrot. When softened add the garlic and thyme and stir until fragrant. Add the stock, lentils, parmesan rind and simmer until the dried lentils are tender (skip this step if using tinned lentils). Add the zucchini and silverbeet and simmer until the vegies are tender. Stir though parsley and serve. Sprinkle with parmesan to taste.