This is a very healthy lentil soup that I plan on making again soon. It can either be made with bacon or ham, either way you’ll love it! I found I had to add additional water.
- 4-5 strips bacon, chopped —-(Optional, but adds a lot of flavor!)
- 1 large onion, chopped (I used onion flakes)
- 3 medium carrots, peeled, halved, lengthwise, and cut into 1/4 inch half moons (or whatever you like)
- Add a few stalks chopped celery, if you like (It’s a great addition).
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (you can definitely use more here, you can substitute 1/4 cup tomato sauce just fine)
- 1 1/2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3.5 to 4 cups high quality chicken broth (i.e. first ingredient should not be salt!)
- 3 cups water
- 1 T. red-wine vinegar
- Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- In a Dutch oven or other 5 qt. pot with a tight-fitting lid, cook the bacon until brown and crisp, 8-10 minutes. Pour off all but 1 T. of the fat.
- Add the onion and carrots (and celery if you desire); cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add lentils, thyme, broth, and 3.5 to 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer.
- Cover; cook until lentils are tender, 30-40 minutes. If the soup becomes too thick during cooking, add up to 1 cup more water.
- Stir in vinegar, 1.5 tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Serve the soup immediately.