Recipe Review: We started making this early last year as part of an Anti-Inflammatory diet that called for ½ cup of lentil soup as an afternoon snack. Simon surprised me last week one night 9 pm he declares “I have a serious urge for some of your lentil soup”, so I made some for his lunches!
Cooking time: 60 – 70 minutes Serves: 6 - 8
Preheat oven: Stove top only
- 3 slices bacon, finely chopped*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil**
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup French lentils (lentilles du Puy), or common brown or green lentils***
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- A few tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
1. Fry the bacon in a large pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 4-5 minutes. Add the olive oil, onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and garlic, stirring constantly, and cook 1 minute more. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices), chicken broth, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, 45-50 minutes (less for common lentils). Fish out bay leaves and discard.
2. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until the broth is slightly thickened, or to desired consistency. (Do not purée too much or the soup will get too thick, and you'll lose the integrity of the lentils.) If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer about 2 cups of the soup to a blender and purée until smooth, then return the blended soup to the pot. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired and serve. (Note: The soup may thicken as it sits; thin with a bit of water if necessary.)
* If you live in Melbourne the best bacon for this recipe (or just in general in our opinion) is the free range bacon from Pick a Deli!
** Keep an eye on how much fatty liquid is produced from the bacon, you may find that you don’t need a whole tablespoon. Otherwise the finished product when reheated can be quite fatty on the lips.
*** We tried this with green lentils last week. It just wasn't as good as French Puy lentils.
We don’t have an immersion blender so we always follow the 2 cups in a blender step.