500g fresh spinach
250g Puy lentils (tinned)
8 slices of lean bacon with rind and fat removed
2 onions, peeled
1 leek, peeled and finely sliced.
1 carrot peeled and trimmed
4 stalks of celery
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsn extra virgin olive oil
2 litres of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. In a thick-bottomed saucepan heat the oil and fry the vegetables until soft. Add the lentils and stock and simmer until the lentils are soft.
Drain the lentils and reserve the stock to one side. Blend the lentils and vegetables together and return to the saucepan. Season. Blanch the spinach briefly in boiling salted water then drain and pulse-chop in a food processor. Stir into the lentils and vegetable mix. Return enough stock to the pan make the soup a thick consistency (to individual taste). Reheat until hot.
Grill the bacon until crisp and chop into crouton-sized pieces and serve over the soup.
Vegetarian option – Leave out Bacon