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Lentil Soup

November 13, 2015

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This soup is easily adaptable to vegan by substituting olive for the bacon grease and vegetable broth for the chicken stock.

Ingredients

1-3 tablespoons bacon grease
1 big or 2 small onions
3 carrots, peeled
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or red pepper
1 28-ounce can of stewed tomatoes
1 – 1 1/3 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 – 2 cups chopped fresh collard greens or kale, ribs removed
Juice of ½ lemon

Instructions
1. You can chopped the garlic, onion, and carrots by hand although it is much easier and quicker to use a food processor if you own one. With the food processor running, add garlic cloves and run till finely chopped. Stop the processor and add the onion, using the stop/go method, process (chop) the onion into small (but NOT fine) pieces. Remove the onion to a bowl and then process the carrot in the same way. Remove the carrots to the same bowl with the onions and garlic.
2. In another (small) bowl measure out your spices (curry, cumin, thyme, hot pepper, salt and black pepper)
3. Warm the bacon grease in a large pot over medium heat.
4. Once the bacon grease has melted and hot, add the chopped onion. carrot and garlic mix. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the spices (cumin, curry powder, thyme, pepper, salt). Mix into the onion mixture.
6. Add tomatoes into the onion/carrot mixture and stir.
7. Add the lentils, broth and water. Continue to cook until the mixture comes to a low boil and then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
8.Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Better yet, if you have an immersion blender, pop that into your soup and blend until you like the consistency. I blended until about 50/50 half puree/half beans. Make sure if you use the immersion blender that the blender is completely covered with soup before you turn it on or you will have a big mess! If you are using a stand alone blender, I would suggest you let the soup cool before you transfer to the blender. I’ve been burned before while messing with soup when it is still hot.
9. Once you have pureed the soup either with an immersion blender or regular blender, add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking.
10.Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt and pepper.
11. Although I served the soup for dinner the same night I made it, I found it to be even better the following day for lunch. For future, I will make this soup the day before and give the flavors of the spices and kale to meld.

Notes

Adapted from http://cookieandkate.com/2015/vegan-lentil-soup-recipe/

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