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Here is a thick, rich and delicious soup that will warm you up on a chilly fall evening. This hearty soup takes less than an hour to prepare, which is always great news on a busy weeknight in my house.

I made this hearty lentil soup on trick-or-treat night to warm us up after spending a few hours outside. I prepared the soup earlier in the day then placed it in a crock pot set to low heat.

The crock pot kept the soup warm for all of our guests and allowed me to interact with our guests and trick-or-treaters instead hanging out in the kitchen. Serve this soup with freshly baked corn bread for an incredibly tasty meal.

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Hearty Lentil Soup

Servings: 2 quarts, 4 to 6 servings
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  • 3 slices bacon, about 3 ounces, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 can, 14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup lentils, 7 ounces, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

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  • In large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, fry bacon, 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; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vegetables are softened, 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.
  • Transfer 3 cups of soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot; stir in vinegar and heat soup over medium-low until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley and serve, garnishing each bowl with some of remaining parsley.
Author: Laura

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Source: Cook’s Illustrated, January 2004

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