Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bonne Année Lentil Soup


Bonne Année du Puy Lentil Soup

Serves 8
It is good luck in many countries to eat beans on the first day of the New Year. 
In France it’s lentils, in the southern United States it’s black-eye peas with rice.
 Ladle out this lucky, comforting soup as a way to start your New Year.
We like du Puy lentils, or at the very least French green lentils, because they are more flavorful and toothsome than the mealy generic lentils you see in the grocery store.

1 lb du Puy lentils, or French green lentils

2 TBL olive oil

1 pkg (8-10 slices) Canadian bacon, diced
 (nitrate and hormone free)
1 small yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth (preferably homemade. If not, Rapunzel organic low-sodium is good)

2 bay leaves

½ tsp dried thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Rinse lentils well in a colander. (There is no need to soak them.) Remove any stones or dirt you find. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the Canadian bacon, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring, onions are translucent.
  3. To the pot add the lentils, broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Keep pot partially covered and simmer for 1 hour.  Stir occasionally.
  4. Taste to see if the seasonings need adjusting. Continue to simmer. 
  5. If you want this served as a soup, stop cooking while there is still broth in the pot.  To serve as a thick side dish, simmer until it is very thick, stirring frequently so it doesn’t scorch.

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