Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lovely Lentil Soup

It's been a busy few weeks filled with lots of traveling, and I'm happy to be able to return home to do some of my own cooking.  January's wintry weather has really gotten me craving soup, and I found a great recipe for Lentil Soup.  I've been trying to figure out ways to use lentils, and this is a pretty good place to start.  This recipe uses real bacon to flavor the soup, and I laughed at myself as I bought a package because I realized that I had never bought real bacon before!  I've always bought turkey bacon.  Let's just say that I'm definitely a fan of real bacon.  On to the recipe...

Lentil Soup
(Courtesy of Everyday Food/Martha Stewart Living)

3 strips bacon (3 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch half moons
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 t. dried thyme
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (3 1/2 cups)
1 T. red-wine vinegar
Course salt and fresh ground pepper


In a Dutch oven (or other 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid), cook the bacon over medium-low heat until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour off all but 1 T. of the fat.

Add the onion and carrots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the lentils, thyme, broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook until the lentils are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. If the soup becomes too thick during cooking, add up to 1 cup more water.

Stir in the vinegar, 1 1/2 t. salt and 1//4 t. pepper.  Serve soup immediately.

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