Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bacon and Lentil Soup

So, it's mid-November, and that means cold dreary weather. Except, lately it's been rather warm here in central Ohio. I mean, it was 70°F this past weekend! Most people would be quite pleased with that, but for myself, I'm ready for winter soup season, and I want my weather to cooperate. But since I haven't yet figured out how to change the weather, I might as well get started on the soup making.

Last month I did a simple tomato soup that you hopefully read about (and made, and enjoyed!). Well, this time I'm back with another simple soup. How simple you ask? Well lets see, there are 7 ingredients, and one of them is water. You make it all in one pot in about an hour. And you probably (or at least should) have all the ingredients handy all the time. I say that last bit because everyone should have at least two containers of lentils in their cupboard (red and puy being the two). And only crazy people don't keep bacon around.

As you'll quickly see, what makes this soup so great is that it's ridiculously easy to prepare. Crisp up the bacon, cook the veggies, then add water and the lentils. In about than an hour you're eating. So lets get too it!

Bacon and lentil soup:
1 lb. pepper bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, coined
1 larger potato, cubed (pref. yukon gold)
1/2 cup puy lentils
4-6 cups water
  1. Put your soup pot over medium high heat and add the bacon. Cook until it crisps up then add the carrot and potato.
  2. Cook another 2 minutes then add the celery and onion. When the onion turns translucent, add the lentils and enough water to completely cover the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and then let simmer ~45 minutes.
  3. When the lentils are plump, the soup is done. Dish into bowls and enjoy!
Mmmmm, yummy soup...

That was easy huh? Told ya so. Now, I know what you might be thinking... a pound of bacon, water, no salt?! Yup, yup, and yup. You see, the bacon serves a couple of roles here. The first is to provide fat for cooking the veggies. The second is to add tons of flavor. And by using pepper bacon, you've got all the seasoning you need (bacon naturally has a good amount of salt). Now, in case you're wondering, puy lentils are sometimes referred to as french lentils. I suggest buying them in bulk from Whole Foods or a similar store than a normal grocery store. Just look for the greenish/blueish ones you see below.

Puy lentils, unlike red, don't get mushy when cooked, so don't substitute the two.

So, when you're in a bind, and need a fairly fast, incredibly easy, and extremely tasty dinner, give this soup a try. I can promise you that you won't regret it!

Till next time,
Mike :)