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Bacon Lentil Soup

Lightly adapted from Once Upon a Chef
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 3 slices center cut bacon finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil if needed
  • 1 large Spanish onion diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup small whole green lentils also known as French lentils
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Add chopped bacon to a large stock pot. Fry bacon over medium heat until crispy.
  • Depending on how much fat renders off the bacon you might not need to add olive oil, but if pan is a little dry, add olive oil and then toss in the onion, celery, and carrots. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Saute for about 7-10 minutes, or until onion and celery appear translucent. Then add garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
  • Add tomatoes, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, and chicken stock.
  • Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Then cover partially with lid and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer for about 50 minutes or until lentils are tender, but not falling apart.
  • Using an immersion blender partially puree the soup, but be careful not to overdo it- you want to have a decent amount of whole lentils and vegetables for texture. (Note- if you don't have an immersion blender, puree 2 cups of soup in a regular blender and then return to the pot).
  • Season with salt and pepper to finish.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley (optional).