I made the Hearty Lentil Soup for supper and it is delicious. My thanks to Laura for sharing the recipe! I made some changes, leaving a few things out, and also added ham to the soup. The changes I made are shown below in bold. My version probably makes more than Laura’s as I used more tomatoes, more chicken stock and more lentils. The soup can be made in one pot, which I like. Not much clean up.
3 slices bacon (cut into 1/4 inch pieces)
1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2cup) [DH is allergic to onions, so I substituted 2 T. dry onion flakes.]
1 c. celery, diced [I added this for a bit of bulk because I left out the onions.]
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped medium (about 1 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 T.)
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained [I used a 29 oz. can of crushed tomatoes.]
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
1 cup (7oz) lentils du puy [I used a 16 oz. bag of brown lentils, as this is all that was available in our store.]
2 c. diced ham [I added this to the original recipe.]
1tsp. salt [I used maybe 1/4 tsp. salt because I added ham to the recipe and it contains salt.]
ground black pepper
1/2 c. dry white wine [I omitted this.]
4 1/2 c. chicken broth [I used 48 oz. chicken stock.]
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
3 T. minced fresh parsley leaves
Fry bacon in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.
onions, celery, and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, dry onion, and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in lentils, ham, salt, and pepper to taste;
cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils have darkened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Uncover, increase heat to high,
add wine, and bring to simmer.
Add chicken broth and water; bring to boil, cover partially, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 30 to 35 minutes; discard bay leaf.
Puree 3 cups soup in blender until smooth, then return to pot; stir in vinegar and heat soup over medium-low until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley and serve, garnishing each bowl with some of the remaining parsley.
The balsamic vinegar is a great addition to this soup, adding wonderful flavor. I also liked the addition of the ham, but you can certainly leave that out, if you prefer.
This made a large pot of soup and we’ll have plenty of delicious leftovers. ~~Rhonda