Lentil Soup

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November 20, 2007 by Erica

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 slices (about 4 oz) bacon, diced
2 medium-large onions, chopped fine
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped medium
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
1 cup lentils (7 oz), rinsed and picked through
1 tsp kosher salt
Ground black pepper
¾ cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Fry bacon in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in lentils, salt, and pepper to taste; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils have darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, add wine, and bring to simmer. 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 to 35 minutes; discard bay leaf.

Puree 3 cups soup in blender until smooth, then return to pot; stir in vinegar and heat soup over medium-low until hot, about 5 minutes.

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