2014 seems to be the year of the lentil.
I started off creating recipes from The Big Book of Little Lentils cookbook. Then it was announced that Canadian Lentils was having a recipe contest that has seemed to explode online. Everyone has gotten involved and why not. Lentils are not only amazing to cook with they are Canadian. And when you can cook with products that are grown at home that is a bonus. Plus they are inexpensive, easy to use and a power house of nutritional value.
For the Entrée round I submitted my vegetarian Lentil Chili that I posted some weeks back. It is quick, supper easy, inexpensive and full of amazing flavour.
This soup is my submission to the Free Style round.
It is rich and full of amazing flavour. It is like this luxurious warm liquid bacon hug. Perfect in every way!
Creamed Bacon Lentil Soup
3 Tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 shallots, chopped
1-1/2 cups red lentils lentils
10 slices of bacon, chopped
7-8 cups chicken stock
1 sprig of thyme
1 cup cream
pepper to taste
Melt the butter over med-low in dutch oven.
Add the bacon and cook until almost done. Reserve a few pieces for garnish. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft but not browned.
Stir in the lentils, 7 cups of chicken stock and the thyme sprig. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until the lentils are soft.
Place a colander over a large bowl. Pour in the soup, separating the lentils from the broth. Pour the broth back into the pot. Place the lentils and bacon in the bowl of a food processor and purée. Stir in the lentil purée. Stir in the cream. Simmer over med-low heat for about 10 minutes to heat through. Add pepper to taste. Garnish with bacon crumbles and fresh thyme.