Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Lentil soup with bacon
I found a recipe very similar to this on a foodie blog and tweaked it as it now looks. I love to find new recipes for lentils as well as recipes which use meat as a seasoning... and this one turned out to be delicious. The leftovers were even better than when it was first served.
2 cups French lentils* (which I had on hand but regular lentils will work just fine)
4 strips bacon, cut into pieces
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced thinly or diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped (more to taste)
6 cups chicken stock or water**
1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
salt, pepper (to taste)
Place dutch oven or similar size cooking pot on medium heat. Cook bacon until the fat is rendered and it is browned (do not drain bacon fat). Add onion and carrots. Saute until softer. Add garlic and lentils... sauteing just until garlic has slightly softened and lentils are covered with bacon fat. Do be careful as both the garlic and lentils burn easily. Add the thyme if using.
Cover with stock or water (see below).** Simmer on low to low-medium heat for a total of one to one and a half hours... adding more water as needed... remember, you do not add all the water at first but as soup thickens and needs more. You will need to keep an eye on the thickness and stir once in awhile to keep from sticking or scorching.
* I love French lentils (the green-ish lentils) for lentil salads but I find with all soups, the brown lentils soften quicker and taste just as good. I only used them this time as that is what the original recipe called for.
** I used two cans of chicken broth and four cans of water... as that is what I had in the pantry. I added the two cans of chicken stock and two cans of water first, then added about another two cans of water as the soup thickened.