Many Lentil Soup

( uses Gourmet Lentil Blend )

  • 4 ounces good quality smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large leek, trimmed, washed well and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound Gourmet Lentil Blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 12 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 bunch flat Italian parsley, chopped
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired
  • Place the bacon in a large soup pot set over medium low heat and cook slowly until the bacon has rendered its fat and is browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the olive oil and leek and raise the heat to high, stirring until the leek softens, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrots and garlic and continue to cook and stir until the vegetables soften a bit, 3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, lentils, thyme, and stock and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer (skimming off any foam that rises to the top) for 35-40 minutes or until all the lentils are tender. Stir in the salt, pepper, and parsley and taste for seasoning. If desired, carefully puree a few cups of the soup in blender and add back to the soup for a thicker body. Top each bowl with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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