Wednesday, 8 December 2010

With thanks to Woman's Hour!

The roads are still icy but my ankle is on the mend! Hurrah! I decided not to risk a run on the ice rink and stayed in the gym today. I am not really enjoying my audio book, and didn't fancy listening to music, so used the app on my 'phone to listen to the radio instead.

I love Woman's Hour! The articles are diverse and interesting. When I have been observed teaching I get lots of comments on the 'breadth of my knowledge' and my ability to 'link science to everyday events.' A lot of this comes from listening to Radio4 in general and Woman's Hour in particular. So, with my headphones on I started to run on the dreaded treadmill. I set the treadmill at 11mph and set off. I decreased the pace to 10.5kph for two 8% hills, each about 1k long, and after I had got the horrible hills out of the way I played with the speed, varying it between 12 and 15kph. I listened to articles on bathing babies with eczema, women on submarines, and Chinese Imperial robes. None of them were relevant to me, but interesting non the less. Before I knew it I had completed 30 minutes on the machine. Probably to longest I have ever survived on a treadmill before terminal boredom forced me off!

I've spent the rest of today wrapping the presents that need posting, and making a casserole. I am still waiting for several presents to arrive - if they don't arrive I'll have lots of lovely things to give as birthday presents next year. We'll be busy after school with 'Carols by Candlelight.' Hamish is in the choir, I am looking forward to it greatly, people who went last night said it was 'magical!'

I've been asked for this recipe a couple of times, so thought I'd post it here! Was going to make it at the weekend, but had run out of red lentils! Enjoy! It makes plenty, I usually make it in a stockpot, but I guess you could halve the quantities.

Lentil and bacon soup

3 Onions - the huge ones if you can get them, if not 4 or 5 smaller ones
Carrots }
Celery } you need equal quantities of onions, carrots and celery
10 rashers smoked bacon
Red and green lentils - up to the 900ml mark on a measuring jug
Chicken stock cubes
3 litres of water (adjust if using chicken stock instead of cubes)
Herbs - oregano/thyme
Tomato purée - about a tablespoon (ish)
Lee & Perrins - a good shake
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan to serve

Peel and chop onions, carrots and celery. Snip bacon into small pieces.

Olive oil in pan, enough to thickly cover base, heat on low. Add onions, carrots, celery and bacon, put lid on and sweat for 10 - 15 minutes. Don't let them brown, they should become tender. Stir occasionally, while you are doing this fill the kettle and boil the water.

Add lentils to the pan and stir.

Put stock cubes in jug and add boiling water then add to lentils, heat rest of water (to make up to 3L) and add to pan.

Stir in lots of black pepper and a little salt, add herbs, tomato purée and L&P.

Bring to the boil. Turn heat down and simmer with the lid not quite fully on, for at least 30mins until red lentils are soft and green ones are cooked by with a bit of a bite in them. It is quite forgiving if you cook it for longer.

Check seasoning before serving.

Freezes really well!


  1. Do you think you could make it with just green lentils? I haven't found red ones here.

  2. I don't think so, I think it is the fact that the red ones go very mushy while the green ones hold their shape that makes it work. I am going to brave the post office tomorrow, so will attempt to post some to you.