With Christmas and New Year just around the corner, it is time to start taking out those pot pans to make a batch of lentil soup.

Whether you are looking for the perfect Christmas or New Years Day starter - or you just want to warm up, we have pulled this popular recipe from our sister title Heraldscotland's archives. 

Since I was a very young girl I always remember my Gran’s old Belling stove tucked in the corner of the scullery with a big huge pot bubbling away.

Maybe it’s just the old fashioned girl in me, but lentil soup hits the mark every time. We all have a wee twist in a recipe that we want to pop in, however start with the basic and then, if spicy is your thing, add some chilli flakes, ground ginger and garam masala which will certainly heat things up.

What would your granny say if you added a spoon of creme fraiche with crispy bacon and chives?

Here's what you need

340g red split lentils
1 tbs oil
4 slices back bacon, finely diced, or a ham bone (optional) I use Ramsay’s of Carluke
2 medium onions, finely diced
3 carrots, grated
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
3 sprigs parsley finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1.5 litres vegetable stock boiling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.      Soften the onions, carrot,garlic, bayleaf and celery in a heavy based pot over a medium heat

2.      Then add the lentils and bacon/ham if you are using them, pour over the hot stock

3.      Simmer gently for 30 mins skimming off the top as you go

4.      If you are using a bone remove this and the bay leaf now

5.      You can either blend this in a liquidiser or leave a little more rustic

6.      Pick the meat off the bone and stir through the soup, serve with a chunky doorstep of bread