Scottish food has a reputation for being a tad beyond the pale, but there is far more to Scottish cuisine than haggis, black pudding, and deep-fried Mars bars. The Scots are also well known for their soups and comfort foods and lentil soup is a Winter staple in many a household. Hearty, filling, and full of beneficial fibre, this soup nourishes the soul as well as the body.
Cut the bacon strips into small pieces and fry in the bottom of a large pot until browned.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the frying bacon and sautee until soft and slightly browned.
Mix in the parsley, lentils, and water.
Bring to a boil, add the bay leaf, then reduce heat and simmer approximately 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
Remove the bay leaf and serve in individual bowls, garnished with bread (optional.)