Ingredients:

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 long stick of celery with leaves finely chopped
  • Two large carrots finely chopped
  • 1 piece of smoked bacon chopped into cubes
  • Three medium sized potatoes cubed
  • One and a third mug of red lentils
  • One carton of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 2 pints of water or ham stock
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • About half a tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • The juice of half a lemon

  • For the Croutons:
  • Three slices of bread (preferably hobz Malti) cut into squares
  • One large clove of garlic
  • A tablespoon of olive oil plus some sunflower oil for frying

Method:

1. First put the chopped onion and chopped garlic in the hot olive oil to soften.

2. Then add the chopped celery, carrot and bacon and cook together on a medium heat until well sweated.

3. Then add the lentils and stir well.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes in juice plus the water or stock (if adding stock, then don't add any salt until you taste it at the end as stock can be salty).

5. Add the diced potatoes.

6. Add the ground black pepper.

7. Stir well and add the stock or water and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

8. Simmer for about an hour until the soup becomes thick.

9. Then in the mixture of olive oil and sunflower oil add the chopped garlic and fry for a short time, then add the squares of bread and fry until golden brown on each side...remove and drain on kitchen paper.

10. Next add the tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley to the soup, stir and after a minute turn off the heat...

Then serve the soup in bowls on a plate with the croutons around the bowl.

Difficulty: Easy

This type of soup is mostly taken during the winter period. The vegetables which are used to make the soup help make this dish a healthy one.