This hearty wholesome classic is packed with flavour, full of natural goodness and super tasty too! I am at the stage of my life with my kids where it’s all about getting it done smarter. So for the purpose of saving time I include all ingredients in the slow cooker and 7-8 hours later, done and dusted.
Your lentils will tend to break down after 8 hours becoming more of a thickener for the soup which actually is an added bonus if you have kids. The fussy little people can’t see or feel the texture of the lentils. So they slurp it up none the wiser #winning!! If you have babies to feed even better, a quick whizz of this mix with the hand Blitzer and they are done too! You can freeze the leftovers for easy meals on another day.
I have used bought stock for the purpose of the photo. I do try and make my own most of the time, but needs must! So if you do use store bought be aware, or have a look at the ingredients for any check nasties they might throw in there. If you are a gluten-free household, you may find store bought have gluten. Also, is you are not a fan of MSG have a scan, it can be hiding in there also!
When cooking with a slow cooker I like to do large portions because it means you can freeze down the excess and have an easy meal ready to go at a later date!
- READY IN: 7-8 hours
Gluten-free (if you are using store bought check the stock/stock powder)
- 850g smoked bacon bones (nice meaty ones) or 2 bacon hocks
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 fresh bay leaf (or 2 dried)
- 1 decent size sprig of rosemary
- 2 potatoes peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 litre of stock (I use chicken or vegetable)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup barley
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Place the pork bones, onion, bay leaf, chopped carrots, celery, water and stock into the slow cooker. Leave on Low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours if you are short on time.
Once meat is falling off the bone. Skim off any foam on the top (you can also do this throughout the day if you are about). Remove bacon bones from slow cooker and set aside.
When the bacon bones/hocks are cool enough to handle, remove the good meat from the bones and tear/cut it into small pieces. Set the meat aside to use and discard the bones, skin etc.
Remove the rosemary stalks and bay leaves.
Add the bacon meat back to the cooker, season to taste and stir.
To serve, ladle into a bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
*You can use add a variety of different vegetables to suit your tastes, leek, kumara, split peas, packet soup mix, barley etc are all great ingredients to mix it up.
The soup is easily frozen in a sealed container or to save space I find zip lock bags can be great also. Keeps well for several months in the freezer. A great go-to meal after a busy day when you can just pull out a frozen batch.