French Lentil Soup
Nothing exciting on the horizon today, except the frigid temperatures and lack of greenery.
This is the time of year I would like to live in Arizona.
Here is Ina's recipe for good old fashioned lentil soup.
I used those green beauties, Lentilles du Puy, & added bacon and fennel to make it my own, and it was very comforting.
French Lentil & Vegetable Soup: (adapted from Barefoot Contessa) this makes a lot of soup! (you can cut the recipe in half)
1 pound French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 slices of bacon, cubed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 large onions, chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, chopped
1 head of fennel, sliced and chopped (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
In a heavy Dutch oven, heat your bacon and render the fat and cook a few minutes.
Add your vegetables, thyme and cumin to the bacon fat, and cook about 15 minutes, until soft.
Add the chicken stock, tomato paste and lentils to the pot. Increase the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to moderate and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
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