1. Cook the lardons, chopped onion, garlic, celery and diced carrot in a large saucepan for 5 minutes until the bacon lardons begin to crisp – there should be enough oil in the lardons so you won’t need to add more.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, cook for 1-2 minutes or until pulpy then stir in the lentils and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add the orzo pasta and cook for a further 8-10 minutes until both the lentils and pasta are tender. Stir in the parsley then ladle into bowls and serve with plenty of black pepper.
If you make this in advance, the pasta will slowly absorb all the soup as it cools. If you want to get ahead, make to the end of step 2 and leave to cool. Reheat then continue with step 3.
Try this fresh and fruity red: Vignale 2010 Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy.