Yes you read that correctly…BACON!
Hey friends and happy Wednesday!
It is such a glorious time of year! Summer is winding down, it’s not scorching hot, summer evenings are just picturesque and perfect, and by golly, we’ve got great people to share it with!
Speaking of great people, I recently had a special person in my life have a root canal. NO FUN – right? Especially when you have to recover alone…cue the violins.
So I thought it would be a great idea to deliver a batch of easy-on-the-teeth, and punchy on the taste buds soup!
And so I made, what I’d like to believe, is not only the most delicious lentil soup — because hey…it uses BACON! But also, the most rustically fabulous soup this side of the Mississippi!
And quick note: one of the things that makes this soup so delicious is that it uses FRENCH lentils! These are green lentils that hold onto their bite after cooking. The red and brown lentils, admittedly, become a bit mushy after you cook them, but these french lentils remain firm! So it’s a really great texture for soup. So make the extra effort to locate some French green lentils if you can! (You can buy them on Amazon here!)
And speaking of lentils, I love them, because not only are they Specific Carb Diet friendly, but they are really affordable, healthy, and a plant based source of protein! A win, win, win, win!
Here’s what you need! (Makes 6 servings)
3 slices of bacon, chopped small
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large, yellow onion, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
2 medium carrots, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced san marzano (or Italian) tomatoes (splurge and get the good, authentic brand!)
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup French green lentils
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley
freshly grated parmesan cheese
bread on the side!
Immersion Blender ((Or blender/food processor!))
Large stock pot
Good chef’s knife
Measuring cups and spoons
First, fry the bacon in a large stock pot over medium heat until the fat is rendered. Stir frequently for about 4-5 minutes until the backon is crisp.
Then, add the olive oil, onions, celery, carrots and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes – stirring every not and then.
Add the tomatoes, broth, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn down the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender — about 45 to 50 minutes.
After the lentils are tender, remove the bay leaves, and with an emersion blender, partially puree the soup until the broth is slightly thickened, but you still have integrity to the vegetables and lentils. You can also do this by adding 2 or 3 cups of the soup to a regular blender or food processor, and blending until smooth, and then stir that in to the rest of the soup. Just be careful, as it is a hot hot liquid! ((I used a food processor.))
Serve with grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley as a garnish, along side a crusty roll!
Wow, wow, wow! This soup was outrageous!
If you think lentil soup is a humble supper, think again! This is so inviting, and hearty, and cozy, and you won’t believe it’s super healthy!
This soup packs a punch, nutritionally. It’s got fiber and protein, and lots of vitamins and minerals.
But the taste is phenomenal. There’s a smoky meatiness from the bacon, and an earthy, herby groundedness from the french lentils and the thyme.
But the texture is wonderful. It thickens as it sits, and yet the lentils still have a bite to them — they’re not like the mushy lentil soup you may have originally thought of when you saw the title of the post. No sir.
And the best part is that it gets better with time! The longer it sits in the fridge, the more the ingredients have time to “marry!” And the thicker it gets.
So make this soup. It’s awesome to have on hand for a quick lunch or fast and easy dinner.
Your tastebuds, wallet, and body will thank you!
Talk to ya tomorrow!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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