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Friday, 6 January 2017

Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil & Bacon Soup

A delicious, hearty & nutritious soup containing easily sourced frugal ingredients and chunks of vegetarian bacon!  To bring further texture and interest to the soup,  it can either be served with more crispy meat-free Quorn bacon pieces or croutons.

Homemade Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil & Bacon Soup recipe, made with Quorn meat free bacon

Soup is a perfect quick meal for those cold and frosty winter days.  Homemade soup recipes are nutritious, quick and easy to make.  Not only are they perfect for using up any left over vegetables, grains and even pasta from the previous day, but such recipes can easily be scaled up for the surplus to be portioned up and stored in the fridge or freezer for another day.

This Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil and Bacon Soup is perfect for those chillier days.  Imagine returning home from a walk when the ground beneath your feet is frosty and cold and the northerly breeze makes the air feel even colder!  Brrrrr!  Chilly!  Within ten minutes, if there's a batch stored in the fridge, you could be sat down cradling a bowl of thick hearty vegetarian soup, perhaps served with some crusty bread, enjoying the warmth as it returns to the extremities.



Homemade Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil & Bacon Soup recipe, made with Quorn meat free bacon

Although soup is light meal, perfect for lunch or even as a starter to a main meal, this Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil and Bacon Soup certainly won't leave you feeling hungry, having been packed with nutritious tomatoes and lentils, along with onion and carrot.  And don't forget the vegetarian bacon!

     
Preparing Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil & Bacon Soup.

I'm sure many vegetarians will nod their head in agreement when I say that the aroma of bacon whilst it fries tests the resolve of many vegetarians, myself and Mr E included.  Whether you're passing the open door of a cafe which is in full breakfast mode of serving bacon butties, or your household includes meat eaters, the smell of bacon as it cooks is enjoyed by many, including a lot of vegetarians.

Happily, what was once only to be enjoyed by carnivores and omnivores can now be enjoyed by vegetarian (though sadly its not vegan) thanks to the fabulous Quorn products.  Quorn meat free bacon, which can easily be bought in the freezer or chilled ailes of many supermarkets here in the UK, enables vegetarians to enjoy faux meat recipes without compromising on principals.  In much the same way you can even tuck into a Vegetarian Chicken and Leek PieVegetarian 'Game' Pie or even a Vegetarian 'Pork' Pie for dinner!

Homemade Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil & Bacon Soup recipe.

This homemade vegetarian tomato, lentil & bacon soup is delicious, hearty and nutritious.  It is perfect finished off with crispy meat-free Quorn bacon or even a few croutons.



So, let's get to it and make Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil and Bacon Soup!








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Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil & Bacon Soup
A delicious, hearty and nutritious soup containing chunks of vegetarian bacon alongside tomatoes and lentils.  To bring further texture and interest to the soup,  it can either be served with more crispy Quorn bacon pieces or croutons.
Details
Hands on time: about 10Cook time:     Yield: serves 3- 4

Ingredients
For the Soup
  • 100g Dried Split Red Lentils, or equivalent tinned
  • 3tbsp Vegetable or Sunflower Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tinned Chopped Tomatoes  
  • 1 large Carrot, diced and cooked
  • 1.5 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 2-3 tsp Garlic Puree
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • Pinch Celery Salt
  • Pinch Salt and Pepper
  • 80g Quorn Bacon, defrosted and diced 
Serving suggestions
  • Crispy vegetarian bacon pieces 
OR
  • Croutons

Method
1. Prepare the lentils.  Cook the dried lentils according to the packet instructions.  Avoid overcooking them, as they will continue cooking in the soup for a few minutes.  They should still have shape and be very slightly firm when squeezed between the fingers.  Or, if using tinned lentils, all you need to do is drain them.2. Cook the prepared onions. Place a large pan onto a low to medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the pan and allow it to warm through.  Add the chopped onions and stir with a wooden spoon.   Cook the onions for 5 minutes or until they are soft and translucent but not coloured.3. Add to the onions.  Add the chopped tomatoes to the cooking onions.  Stir.  Fill the empty can of tomatoes with warm water and pour into the pan.  Stir.   Add the cooked lentils, diced carrot, tomato puree, garlic puree, thyme, rosemary and celery salt.  Allow the soup to cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.4. Par-cook the vegetarian bacon. Place a tablespoon of oil into a frying pan.  Set it over a medium heat.  Scatter the chopped bacon into the frying pan.  Move the bacon around periodically allowing it to cook for two minutes, avoid letting it become crisp. 5. Add the bacon to the soup. Tip the bacon into the soup pan and stir.  Cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes.  Taste and add a pinch of salt or pepper if required.6. Serve & enjoy either topped with more crispy bacon pieces or croutons. 
Notes:
a) If serving carrots with your evening meal consider preparing an additional one to be used in this soup the following day.  b) If serving the soup with crispy vegetarian bacon, cook extra in step 4 above.  Retain some in the frying pan to allow those pieces to become crispy whilst the soup finishes cooking.  c)  Allow any excess soup to completely cool before it is transferred to a Tupperware type container and stored in the fridge or freezer.  d) When re-heating the soup re-check the seasoning before serving.
 





















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Homemade Vegetarian Tomato, Lentil & Bacon Soup recipe, made with Quorn meat free bacon







This post has been shared with:

Meat Free Mondays hosted by Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes 

Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina Over at Searching for Spice 
Hijacked By Twins







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22 comments:

  1. This soup sounds lovely Angela! I have never tried vegetarian bacon, wonder how it compares to the meat one, which I am not crazy about, which makes me a bit of a weird meat eater. Why am I not a full vegetarian then?

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    1. Hahaha, perhaps you should be :-) It must admit that vegetarian 'bacon' is different to regular bacon, as you may well expect, but for non-meat eaters it's a great alternative, though be aware it cooks a lok quicker than regular bacon.
      Thanks for your lovely comment Monika,
      Angela x

      Delete
  2. Hmm, sounds delicious. I love soups, but I'm yet to make one with bacon. I like the Quorn bacon, so I'm sure I would love this recipe.

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    1. Ooh you should try it then Anca especially if you enjoy Quorn bacon - it just makes a lovely alternative.
      Angela x

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  3. Hmmm this is the perfect winter warmer - I could just eat a bowlful right now ! :)

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    1. It certainly is Cheryl, it was a chilly day when hubby and I had this - it was just what was needed!
      Angela x

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  4. Sounds delicious! I need to start making my soups more exciting. Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare

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    1. Thank you Mandy, but I imagine your soups to be absolutely delicious and packed with great ingredients! You're welcome, and thankyou for hosting,
      Angela x

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  5. This sounds really tasty! I know I'd miss bacon if I was a vegetarian - I love the way it adds flavour to soups and stews like this although I'm actually not that bothered about it just by itself! Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice

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    1. Thank you Corina. I must admit that the smell of bacon as it cooks can be quite weakening for a lot of vegetarians, me & hubby included, so it's lovely having a vegetarian friendly alternative. It is a little different to regular bacon, as you would expect, but still good to try.
      Angela x

      Delete
  6. that looks so inviting for this time of year Angela, hearty and packed full of flavour. It is a soup I have not tried before (even using *whispers* real bacon), but it does look good x

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    1. Hahaha :-) Mum and Dad were enjoying a bowl of tinned lentil & bacon soup a couple of weeks ago that they were really enjoying, so it made me wonder if we could do something similar with the quorn product. Hubby and & I tried it one day when it was feeling particularly chilly, like all soups it really warmed us up!
      Angela x

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  7. This sounds so good, Angela - I love a hearty lentil and tomato soup. It's quite similar to something I used to make all the time a few years back but has dropped of the list recently (the trouble with food blogging, I'm always inventing new recipes so never getting to eat my old favourites!) Never thought of adding bacon to it - I can imagine that would taste pretty good, though. I can't remember if I told you or not that I was veggie for quite a number of years and funnily enough bacon didn't have that effect on me - I know it's the normal one and many a veggie has unveggie'd themselves over a bacon sarnie! And when I went back to eating meat I didn't even like bacon to start with - I just found it way too salty! I like it now, but it definitely took a while! Eb x

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    1. Ah, yes! The pitfalls of blogging - that certainly sounds very familiar with me too Eb! Bakes that I would regularly bake before starting the blog are very rarely (if at all) made these days! Ooh, I had no idea that you used to be a veggie Eb. Yes, it's fascinating how bacon can affect many a veggie so much and yet not others! I can imagine how you found the bacon too salty too there is so much added to it isn't there!
      Thanks for your lovely comment Eb,
      Angela x

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  8. Lovely looking soup. Thanks for submitting them to Meat Free Mondays. I featured your recipe and the roundup is now live. Now I am going to promote your recipe :)

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  9. I adore soups especially at this time of year. This one looks and sounds both delicious and filling, perfect! x #CookOnceEatTwice

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    1. I know just what you mean Kirsty, they're so filling and warming aren't they!
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  10. This soup is just what I need for the cold winter dinners.
    thanks

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  11. The soup looks delicious. As a vegetarian I have to confess that I am not a fan of quorn products, have you tried cheatin bacon? It's available in Waitrose, it's actually very good!

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    Replies
    1. Thankyou Jhules. I have to confess I've not come across cheatin bacon - but sadly we don't have a Waitrose near us.
      Angela x

      Delete

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