• Recipe by Jamie Oliver

    I always have some basic veg in my fridge – onions, carrots, celery and garlic – as they can form the base for so many different dishes. Here, with a few extra store cupboard items, you can make a fantastic soup in no time. Sometimes I add a few dried porcini mushrooms to make it extra special. 

    Store cupboard lentil soup

    Serves: 4 - 6
    Cooking Time: 40 mins


    • olive oil, to taste
    • 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
    • 2,5ml (½ tsp) dried thyme
    • ½ dried chilli, crumbled
    • 2 red onions, peeled and chopped
    • 2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped
    • 3 celery sticks, trimmed and chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
    • 200g dried lentils (a mixture of green and red is nice)
    • 1 litre water or vegetable stock
    • 1 x 410g tin cannellini beans, drained
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • extra virgin olive oil, to taste
    • a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to garnish
    • bread, to serve



    Place a large saucepan (with a lid) on a medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil and the bacon. Fry slowly until the bacon starts to release all its tasty fat and goes crispy, then add the thyme, chilli, onion, carrot, celery and garlic.


    Cook gently with the lid on until all the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes, then add the lentils and water or vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are soft. (Check the packet instructions as different types of lentils vary in cooking time. If you’re mixing your lentils, cook for the longest amount of time to make sure they are all cooked properly.)


    Add the cannellini beans and, if the soup’s a little thick, some more water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes, then taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.


    Ladle into bowls and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped parsley. Serve with hunks of bread.


    To drink: Go for Sterhuis Chenin Blanc 2007, which has a bacon-like character and flavours of celery and parsley – a perfect match.