There is nothing more comforting than coming home to the aromas of something hot and delicious bubbling away on the stove or in the slow cooker.
This, for me, is the true essence of winter and instantly makes a home more cosy.
I had this unctuous beef and lentil soup cooking in the slow cooker all night and waking up to the rich, savory smells wafting around my flat was just the way I'd like to start every day.
I even had some for breakfast - I just couldn't wait! :)
Put a pot of deliciousness in the slow cooker before bed and you will have delicious dreams.
Beef and Lentil Soup
125g bacon diced
500g beef shin, bone in - excess fat removed
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp paprika
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup red wine
1 litre NoMU beef stock
3 large carrots, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 tin whole tomatoes and juice
2 sprigs rosemary
1/4 cup lentils (I used red split lentils)
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon until golden
Add the beef shin to the pot and brown
Add in the dried thyme and paprika to flavour the beef
Add in the diced onion and fry until translucent
Deglaze pan with the red wine
Add in the beef stock
It is at this point that I transferred everything to the slow cooker. If you don't have one, just add everything to your original pot.
Add in the carrots, celery, tinned tomatoes, rosemary, lentils, sugar
Bring soup to a boil
Add salt and pepper
Check for seasoning and adjust where necessary
Cook on low for a minimum of 3 hours, or preferably over night, until the shin literally falls apart
Remove shin from the pot
Remove bones and any unwanted fat from the shin, but add the marrow to the soup for extra flavour
Flake the shin back into the soup
Simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes to allow all the flavours to merge
Serve piping hot with bread, if desired.
**Please note that some people who are gluten intolerant may struggle to digest lentils
*Red wine contains yeast