French Pyrenees Lentil Soup Recipe

French Pyrenees Lentil Soup
Submitted By: Taz

Ingredients:

2 Cups Lentilles du Puy (can substitute common green lentils) – picked and rinsed
7 Cups Chicken Broth (can substitute plain water or vegetable stock)*
1 - 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes
2 Large Celery stalks - medium diced
2 Carrots - medium diced
1 Medium Onion – small diced
2 - 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic - minced
1 Bunch Fresh Spinach (apx 10 oz) - rinsed and rough chopped
4 - 5 Strips Bacon - finely chopped*
2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar (can substitute cider vinegar)
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Dried Thyme
½ tsp Dried Oregano
½ tsp Dried Basil
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Preparation:
  1. Place a 6 - 8 quart stock pot over medium heat
  2. Fry bacon until fat is rendered and crispy (apx 4-5 minutes)
  3. Add olive oil, onion, and celery - Sauté until onions are soft and translucent (apx 5 minutes)
  4. Add carrot and garlic - Continue to sauté for 1 minute
  5. Add bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and basil - Continue to sauté for 2 minutes
  6. Add tomatoes along with their juice, chicken broth, lentils, and salt and pepper to taste
  7. Bring to a boil - Reduce heat to low, loosely cover, and allow to simmer until lentils are tender (apx 40 minutes - 1 hour)
  8. Remove 2-3 cups of soup to a small container** - Add vinegar and using an immersion blender purée until smooth – Return to pot
  9. Add spinach and allow to simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes
  10. Adjust seasoning, remove bay leaves, and serve
*Use plain water or vegetable stock and leave out the bacon (Skip step 2) to make this
   a vegan friendly soup

**Transfer to a blender (in batches if necessary) as alternative

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