As soon as I woke up this morning I knew it would be a soup day. It was cold and rainy and I was feeling a little off, groggy. After a full morning of chasing my enthusiastic toddler, I was exhausted and achy. As much as I wanted to lay down when he did for his nap, I knew I would be happy come 5 o’clock if I had dinner already made. I always crave hearty soups and stews on “cold days” - either cold outside or when I feel a cold coming on and today was both. So I decided to make one of my stand bys – lentil soup. It’s easy, delicious and calls for ingredients I always have on hand. About an hour later, I sat down to enjoy a bowl and recharge…just as my son woke up. But that’s okay, later we enjoyed a bowl together and it gave me the fuel I needed to get through the rest of the day.
- 1 large organic yellow onion, chopped
- 4 organic carrots, cut in half lengthwise then chopped
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme
- 3 ½ cups of reduced-sodium free range organic chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- 3 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (can be omitted for vegetarians, substitute 1 tbsp of olive oil to cook onions & carrots)
- In a large pot with a lid, cook bacon until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain grease, reserving 1 tablespoon in pot.
- Add onion and carrots to bacon; cook until softened. Stir in garlic. Add tomato paste, and cook 1 minute.
- Add thyme, lentils, chicken broth, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 30-45 minutes until lentils are tender.
Stir in vinegar, season with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve with crusty bread – I love it with multi-grain sourdough.
Photo by Kari Burks
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