Simply Smoky Lentil Soup

I’ve always wanted to make an American style, smoky lentil or pea soup, the kind one orders on a cold day for a hearty and meat-flavored meal in a bowl.
My creation turned out to be just that, a bowl of goodness rich in flavors of smoke, celery and bay, with a bit of meat here and there. This is the kind of soup you’ll mop the bowl clean with some bread, so consider yourself warned.┬áRecipe follows.
We begin by browning some bits of bacon or any other smoked meat (ham, hock, duck, etc). When the meat is brown and crispy, add a whole head of onion, chopped.
Add the pre-soaked lentils and stir for a few minutes. This allows the flavors to seep into the beans.
Add the stock and simmer covered on low heat for about an hour and a half.
Soup is done when beans are soft and the broth is brown and beginning to get thick.
Here it is with an oregano sprig as garnish.
So hearty and filling. The perfect comfort food.
Simply Smoky Lentil Soup

1-1/2 green lentils, soaked in water for 4 hours
1/4 cup bacon or smoked meat pieces, uncooked
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 bay leaf
6 cups vegetable broth

In a large pot, brown the meat until crispy then add the onion. Add the pre-soaked lentils and stir for a few minutes. This allows the flavors to seep into the beans. Add the stock and simmer covered on low heat for about an hour and a half, stirring every thirty minutes. Soup is done when beans are soft and the broth is brown and beginning to get thick. Mix well. Serves four.

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