This is a long time favourite recipe of mine from Brenda Costigan to enjoy when the weather turns cold outside and the dark evenings come in. It is super simple to make with easy to find ingredients. I leave out the rashers, garlic and onion and it still tastes delicious. You can blend the soup or simply serve with the chunky vegetables intact! Making this soup in advance is absolutely fine as you can easily reheat it when you need to and you can keep any leftovers, if any, in the freezer! I still use the original recipe printed in The Sunday Independent Life magazine in 2000!
FIVE-A-DAY SOUP (VEGETABLE AND BACON SOUP)
4-6 rashers, back or streaky (see note below)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 large potatoes, diced
2 sticks celery, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ level teaspoon herbes de Provence (or mixed herbs)
¼ teaspoon hot chilli powder (optional)
1 litre (2pts) chicken stock, made with only 1 chicken stock cube
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf (optional)
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley.
Chop the rashers and fry in ½ tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan until lightly golden.
Add the remaining oil and the onion and garlic to the rashers and saute (sweat) gently for a few minutes until soft. Add the rest of the vegetables, seasoning them with salt and pepper and adding the herbs, and chilli powder, if using. Stir them through the mixture thoroughly for 3-5 minutes or so over a medium heat. Now, add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender (about 30 minutes). Check seasoning. Remove the bay leaf. Stir the parsley through the soup. Serve.