Up until last night, I didn’t think I liked lentil soup. However, I have now changed my mind. Give this a try and see if you enjoy it as much as I did!
The cast of characters:
Bacon – the beginning of all good things. Embrace it now and enjoy the rest of your life. And this soup while you’re at it.
Chopped onions, carrots, and garlic. Don’t worry, the carrots are hiding under the onions. They’re shy, but they’ll come out to play in a bit.
Canned diced tomatoes, lentils, fresh thyme, and a few bay leaves. I used du Puy lentils, but you can use brown, black, or regular green lentils if you like. Stay away from red lentils though – they’ll disintegrate in your soup. Word to the wise – rinse your lentils and pick them over unless you enjoy pebbles in your soup. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
And last but certainly not least, chicken stock and dry white wine.
Ok, so let’s get cooking!
To start things off, fry the bacon in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp:
Add the onion and carrots, and cook until the veggies begin to soften. After they’ve all gotten acquainted, add the garlic – the fashionably late party guest.
Go ahead and add the tomatoes, bay leaves, and thyme. Throw the lentils in about 30 seconds later. Add some salt and pepper if you like, and then put a lid on the pot and cook until the veggies have softened and the lentils have darkened a bit – about 8-10 mins over medium-low heat. Did you know that by sweating the lentils in a covered pan before adding the rest of the liquid will help them remain intact? Well, now you do!
Increase the heat to high, and add the wine…
Add some chicken stock and water for good measure too, and bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 30-35 mins. Try to refrain from eating it all right now – and threaten anyone who tries to!
Remove the bay leaves, and puree a few cups of the soup in the blender until smooth. This will give you a creamy base with some texture. However, if you’re like me and discover a massive crack in your blender right before you attempt to puree the soup, pull out your immersion blender and puree until you reach a consistency that you’re happy with.
Add about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the pot and stir in some minced parsley to wake everything up. Garnish each bowl with some more parsley, and enjoy!