Puy lentil, bacon and sausage broth

Serves 8

  • 3 sticks celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 16 cloves garlic
  • 100g (31⁄2oz) butter
  • 250g (9oz) smoked bacon lardons
  • 16 sausages
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) dried lentils
  • (soaked overnight in lots of cold water)
  • 8 bay leaves

Start by chopping the celery, carrot, and onion, into a bowl – this is the mixture that chefs call a mirepoix and it is the aromatic base for the broth.

Cut off the hard bit of the bottom of the garlic, but otherwise leave the cloves unpeeled and whole.

Pop a really big casserole on the stove and melt the butter in it.

Sauté the mirepoix and the bacon and garlic in it on a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add the sausages and allow them to brown slightly.

Now add the lentils and bay leaves.

Pour in the chicken stock and water and simmer until the lentils are cooked.

At the end, check for seasoning and dole out into big bowls – two sausages each, please. The bacon and sausages will have added all their lovely pigginess to the broth, making it rich and smoky.

Cider and fresh bread complement this dish perfectly.