Many foodies feel that bacon makes everything better. Bacon certainly brings a salty and savory flavor to nearly any food it complements, and it is perfectly acceptable enjoyed on its own.
In this recipe for “Lentil and Bacon Soup” from “Soup’s On! Soul-Satisfying Recipes from Your Favorite Cookbook Authors and Chefs” (Chronicle Books) by Leslie Jonath and Frankie Frankeny, bacon is the star of the flavor show. This soup is ideal for chilly winter days.
Lentil and Bacon Soup
1 pound bacon, cut into julienne
1 cup diced yellow onions
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup green lentils
2 quarts chicken stock or broth, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup chopped scallions
Cook three-quarters of the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain any excess fat and add the lentils and 1 quart of the stock. Simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Add the remaining 1 quart stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook the soup over medium heat until hot, about 10 minutes.
Cook the remaining bacon in a hot sauté pan over medium-high heat until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Ladle some of the soup into each bowl and sprinkle with the crispy bacon and the scallions.