lentil soup with a hint of bacon and melted cheese | bariatric surgery liquid diet

Lentil soup with a hint of bacon, and melted cheese

I am now 3 days post-surgery from my gastric sleeve weight-loss surgery and am keen to stay well-nourished and keep food interesting while I’m on the two-week liquid diet. I am also keen to create soups that other family members can enjoy alongside me, so whilst this is a soup for the post-bariatric surgery diet, it is suitable for anyone, and also very good for anyone on a reflux diet. 

lentil soup with a hint of bacon and melted cheese | bariatric surgery liquid diet
It may not be the prettiest soup in the world, but it is absolutely delicious and very nourishing!

Ingredients (for one person, or increase according to number of portions)

  • chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want to do this as a vegetarian soup), 300-400ml (allow a generous amount as it will boil down.  I used my home-made hen stock, but you can use stock cubes/pots
  • green no-soak dried lentils, approx. 1 tbsp
  • one thin strip of lean, previously grilled, bacon
  • one low-fat cheese triangle

Method

Place the stock, lentils and bacon in a pan and cook according to instructions (I brought mine to the boil, boiled without a lid for 10 minutes, then simmered with a lid for a further 20 minutes).  Ensure the lentils are very soft by the end of the cooking time, otherwise cook for longer. 

Check the stock for taste – if it has cooked down a lot, it may be too salty and require the addition of a little boiled water. 

Remove the bacon piece and leave to cool a little.  Once it has cooled down, place the stock and lentils into a blender and blitz until there are no pieces left.  Then sieve the blitzed soup through a fine sieve, to ensure it is completely smooth (it is essential that no ‘bits’ are present that could get stuck in the surgical staple line of the sleeve gastrectomy during the first two weeks). 

When you are ready to serve the soup, reheat it gently in a pan or microwave, adding the cheese triangle, cut into small pieces so it will dissolve better.  Stir until all or almost all of the cheese has melted into the soup, serve and enjoy! 

Gloriously simple, gloriously good!

Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian or medical professional.  These are simply ideas based on meals I have created to suit my own dietary needs and, as I’ve enjoyed them, I wanted to share them. If you are unsure about the suitability of any ingredients or recipes on my blog for your own requirements, please check with a health professional first. 

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Vegetarian Sausage | 3 bean, lentil & mushroom sausage

This vegetarian sausage is really quick and easy to make

I’ve recently started  making a lot of different sausages and when my vegetarian friends asked me to come up with some vegetarian sausage recipes, I decided to take up the challenge!

My first one was the sweet potato, caramelised onion and sundried tomato sausage with a chilli kick, but I also really fancied doing something with beans and lentils as they are so tasty, nutritious and versatile.

Note: These vegetarian sausages can also be made into vegetarian burgers / patties without the vegetarian sausage casings.  Simply shape into a burger / patty and fry with a little oil in a non-stick pan.

Vegetarian Sausage | 3 bean lentil mushroom sausage

Vegetarian sausage in vegetarian / vegan sausage casings, ready to ‘cook’

 

Ingredients for 8 vegetarian sausages (these quantities will make 7-8 vegetarian sausages, plus whatever is left in the sausage-making funnel/mechanism)

  • 250g closed cup chestnut mushrooms, cleaned, finely sliced and then coarsely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 50g lightly salted butter
  • 115g tinned butter beans in water, drained (typically from a 250g – undrained weight – tin)
  • 115g tinned cannellini beans in water, drained
  • 115g tinned kidney beans in water, drained
  • 115g ready-to-eat Puy Lentils (I use Merchant Gourmet ones)
  • fine sea salt (to taste)
  • Vegetarian / Vegan Sausage casings (I found these online – available from various retailers)

Method

vegetarian sausages

finely sliced then roughly chopped closed cup chestnut mushrooms in the pan with butter and garlic

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan

Gently fry the garlic on a low heat (do not let it brown, merely soften a little and infuse the butter with garlic flavour)

Add the mushrooms, season lightly with a little sea salt, turn up the heat and cook on a high heat until they are cooked and some of the juices have reduced down – but do retain a little bit of liquid

Meanwhile, ‘blitz’ the butter beans, cannelini beans and kidney beans in a food processor but only very briefly, so as to retain some chunky texture

Add the Puy lentils to the bean mixture and mix by hand

Add the fried mushrooms

If the mixture is a little dry, add a bit of melted butter

Season with sea salt (to taste)

vegetarian sausage mixture

vegetarian sausage mixture ready to go into vegetarian / vegan sausage casings

Push the mixture into the vegetarian sausage casings using a sausage-making machine/funnel (note that when you twist the ends, unlike with natural casings, they won’t remain properly twisted…leave enough room at the end to allow for a bit of expansion of the contents during cooking and prevent all the filling from escaping from the ends)

Grill or fry (careful if you BBQ – the vegetarian sausage casings have a tendency to tear open / explode on the high heat!) and serve with accompaniments of your choice

Vegetarian Sausage – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!