Serves 4 | Prep time 8 mins | Cook time 45 mins
2 cups green puy lentils
1⁄4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 small brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 small stick celery, finely chopped
2 teaspoons thyme, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup parsley, finely chopped
600ml chicken or vegetable stock or water
2-3 large bunches greens, such as kale, cavolo nero, chard, silverbeet or spinach
Salt and pepper
12 rashers streaky bacon
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1. Place lentils into a medium-sized pot, cover with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, drain well, rinse with cold water and reserve.
2. Heat the olive oil in a small pot over a medium heat, add the garlic and vegetables and cook without colour for 15-20 minutes, until very soft. Add the herbs, cook for a further minute before adding the drained lentils and stock or water. Return the soup to the heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil and preheat oven to 200°C. Remove the stems from the greens and blanch for 2 minutes before draining and refreshing under cold water. Squeeze out as much excess water as possible from the greens. Roughly chop, then pulse in a food processor with a third of the cooked lentils from your soup pot, until it is as fine as possible. Add pulsed greens and lentils back to the soup and bring the soup back to a simmer and season to taste.
4. Place bacon onto a baking paper-lined oven tray and cook bacon in oven until crisp. Divide soup between four bowls and serve with the bacon on top and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Vegetables love olive oil, so be generous. I use imported tinned extra virgin olive oil to cook with and save a fabulous local extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the top to finish.