Too bad for you! It’s not even officially winter yet, so I’m really just getting started on the annual soup-making binge. Besides, this one has bacon in it, and we all know that anything with bacon in it must be good.
For you vegetarian types (or those who follow a pork-free diet), the soup is still perfectly tasty without bacon. Just please please please, don’t substitute turkey bacon or veggie bacon or any other food that pretends it’s a reasonable facsimile for bacony goodness… that’s just gross.
Lentil Soup with Bacon
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
1 cup diced fennel (about half a bulb)
3 cups water
2 cups broth (I used Pacific French Onion broth)
1/2 cup sherry
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp tomato paste
Salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium-high heat until browned and slightly crisp around the edges. Add onion, carrots and fennel; sweat just until onions turn translucent.
Stir in water, broth, sherry, lentils, herbs and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are soft. Season to taste with salt and a generous amount of fresh ground pepper.
Pair with a grilled cheese sandwich made with caraway rye and cheddar cheese.