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1 tbsp olive oil
150g smoked back bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
200g carrots, peeled and diced
250g Jerusalem artichokes or new potatoes, peeled and diced
150g red split lentils, thoroughly rinsed
Large sprig of thyme
2 x 500g packs Cooks' Ingredients chicken stock
Heat the oil in a large casserole or saucepan. Add the bacon and onion, and sauté over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until the bacon is crisp and brown and the onion has softened and started to caramelise.
Add the carrots and artichokes/potatoes and sauté for another couple of minutes. Add the lentils, thyme and stock. Season.
Bring to the boil and bubble briskly, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the lentils have broken down and the vegetables are tender. Remove the thyme stalk (most of the leaves will have fallen off). Serve as it is, or purée all or half of it for a smoother texture.
If you have any leftover Jerusalem artichokes they can be used raw in salads. Peel, thinly slice and drop them into a bowl of cold water and lemon juice to stop them going brown. Drain, then add to a salad or simply dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
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