Fry the bacon over a gentle heat for three minutes.
Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
Cut the bread into cubes and add to the bacon fat in the frying pan.
Fry the bread until golden on all sides, then set aside.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Sauté the onions for two minutes.
Add the carrot and celery and cook for four minutes, stirring twice.
Add the lentils, chicken stock, seasoning, bay leaves and basil.
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for about two hours. Stir occasionally.
Stir in the bacon and parsley. Simmer for two minutes, then serve with the prepared croûtons.
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