Scottish lentil soup

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Executive Chef
Nov 16, 2004

3.5 pts water - Imperial pints, not American
Small bacon joint (to flavour and/or to eat later)
2 lb carrots - coarsely grated
2 large onions, chopped coarsely
4 oz lentils - which have been soaked overnight. (Orange ones, not puy lentils!)
2 large leeks
Salt and pepper to taste - the salt may not be required, depending on how salty the bacon joint turns out to be!

Put water in a large pan, add the bacon joint. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about one hour. Skim off any fat which may have risen to the top of the pan.

Add the carrots, onions, lentils and leeks to the pan. Check seasoning and add, as required. Simmer with a lid on until the vegetables are cooked and the meat is fully cooked. At least another hour. If the soup gets too thick, just add more water.

If you like, you can add peeled and quartered potatoes about 25 minutes before eating.

If preferred, you could sieve the soup before serving, but I find that leaving it to simmer gently until all the vegetables have broken down gives a better texture.

You can either remove the boiled bacon to eat cold later, or shred and return to the soup.

Serve with chunks of home-made granary bread.
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