Tag Archives: bacon

Leek and butter bean soup with crispy kale and bacon.

This is a lovely soup. What I also love about it is that you can leave the bacon off and it instantly becomes veggie/vegan. It’s stuffed full of probiotic-friendly leeks. It’s from the BBC Good Food magazine.

You need

4 tsp olive oil

500g leeks sliced

4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

2 x 400g cans butter beans

500ml vegetable stock (or chicken if you like)

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

half a small packet of flat leaf parsley

3 rashers of streaky bacon

40g chopped kale, stems removed

25g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

You do

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan, add the leeks, thyme and seasoning and  cover and cook over a low heat for 15 mins until soft, adding a splash of water if need be – don’t let the leeks stick.

Add the butter beans with the liquid from the cans, the stock and mustard. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 mins until hot. Blend with a stick blender in the pan (or put in a blender). Stir through parsley, check seasoning.

Put bacon in a large frying pan, medium heat. Cook until crispy, set aside to cool. Add the remaining 1 tsp oil to the pan and tip in the kale and hazelnuts. Cook for a few minutes, stirring under the kale is wilted and crisping at the edge and the nuts toasted. Cut the bacon into small pieces and stir into the kale/nuts.

Reheat the soup, adding a bit of water if too thick (or have both operations going on at once) and sprinkle the bacon/nuts/kale on top.

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Egg and bacon pies

This little recipe was from one of Donna Hay’s books – Fast, Fresh, Simple. It makes for a great Saturday lunch but involves no pastry (sorry) – perfect for when when you want something hot, tasty and quick but would prefer to avoid falling into the predictability of sandwiches.

Obviously my children hated this and just ate the buttered sourdough I provided as a prop, and the bacon. But hey-ho. We loved it.

The recipe is here. But for convenience this is what you need for four people:

6 rashers of thin cut bacon

6 eggs

240g creme fraiche (I used a jar of it that was slightly less than that)

2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley (I use frozen Waitrose herbs they are great for this sort of thing).

Oven preheated to 180C. You need four small oven proof dishes/tins of about 10cm across. We used these little ceramic ones we got some free pate or desserts in years ago. We seem to have accumulated hundreds of these dishes, hardly any of which are the same size. Butter said dishes and place on a baking tray.

Put the rashers around the dishes, one and a half in each, so they make a rim. Whisk together the eggs, creme fraiche and parsley and decant equally into each dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked but firm to the touch. They puff up like little souffles.

 

 

Chorizo and red lentil soup, just what you need for a cold winter’s day

Beautiful, delicious, simple.

This soup recipe is adapted from one in the excellent Donna Hay’s Fresh, Fast, Simple. It doesn’t look like much and the first time I made it I thought “oh dear” when I saw it but then I tasted it and belies its meagre ingredients. I eat it with a poached egg in it, which I poach separately and pop into the soup just before serving, just for a little extra protein sustenance.

  1. 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  2. One finely chopped onion
  3. Some chorizo, up to you how much, I use about so much (6″ of a small circumference chorizo) and I slice it and then half the slices so you end up with half moons.
  4. A few sprigs of thyme leaves
  5. 150g red lentils
  6. 1.25L of chicken of vegetable stock, stock cubes are fine. I use Kallo Organic
  7. Sea salt and pepper

Heat  the oil in the saucepan and add the onion and chorizo. Fry gently until the onion is soft. Now add the thyme (I add the whole stalk and the leaves come off and then I fish out the stalks at the end, do pick off the leaves if you want to), lentils and stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

That’s it. The lentils should have started to break down. Taste it and see if it needs salt and pepper, it may do depending on how salty your stock was.

This serves about four people.

With poached egg in. It sounds weird but I promise it works. Unless of course you don’t like eggs.