Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hearty Lentil Soup

3 slices bacon
1 large onion
2 medium carrots (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic (1 TB)
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup lentils (7 oz), rinsed
1 tsp salt
pepper
5 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
3 TB fresh parsley, minced

Slice bacon into ¼ inch pieces and fry until crisp. Add chopped onion and carrots and cook until soft. Add garlic for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme for another 30 seconds. Stir in rinsed lentils, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce to medium-low and cook until vegetables are soft and lentils have darkened, 8-10 minutes. Uncover, increase to high, 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, 30-35 minutes. Discard bay leaf. If desired, puree three cups of the soup in a blender until smooth, then return to pot. Stir in vinegar and heat soup over medium until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 TB parsley and serve, garnishing with remaining parsley. Makes 2 quarts or 4-6 servings at 60 calories per serving.

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