Lentil Soup / Stew
Why I Love This Recipe
I acquired this recipe from my mother back in 1993. I recently found out that my mother acquired it from my grandmother who coerced it out of the owner (Horst Mager) of the Rheinlander Restaurant in Portland, OR ages ago. This is one of my comfort foods from my childhood. Being from the Columbia River gorge area of Oregon, where the East wind blows almost constantly all winter long, there is NOTHING in the world like a hearty bowl of soup to take out the chill. It has morphed a lot in recent years due to readily available stocks at the super markets; The original recipe calls for beef bullion and one of the name brands of season salt. This recipe can very easily be altered for Vegetarian/Vegan tastes by using Olive oil for the sauté and substituting Mushroom stock (which I do anyway) instead of beef stock.
Ingredients You'll Need
3 oz Bacon (Pancetta; American Bacon; or Hot Coppa depending on your taste; Canadian Bacon will
not work, it’s more of a ham, what you want is enough rendered fat to sauté the vegetables.) I prefer Pancetta myself
1 cup Red Onion (Diced) (Although Walla Walla Sweet and Maui Sweet are nice too)
1 cup Celery (Diced)
1 cup Carrots (Diced)
1 cup All Purpose flour
2 cloves of Garlic (Minced) although paste from a jar or tube works well.
3 ½ quarts of Beef Stock…
1 cup lentils
1 cup Red or white potato (Diced)… Why Red? You need a waxy potato; Russet & Yukon have more
starch & less water so they will absorb too much of your cooking liquid.
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp smoked paprika
A couple of grates of Nutmeg
1 ½ TB kosher salt
2 tsp Marjoram
1 ½ tsp Thyme
¾ tsp Dill
½ tsp Sage
Zest from ½ lemon
Black Pepper to Taste
Cook bacon till crispy in the bottom of your stock pot;
Remove bacon to paper towel lined plate.
Add Onion, carrot, & celery to the bacon fat and sauté till transparent, adding garlic at the last minute to avoid burning.
Stir in flour, coating vegetables and cook for about 2 minutes.
Slowly add the stock while stirring to dissolve the flour.
Once the flour has dispersed through the stock, add the lentils and the potatoes.
Crumble your bacon
Bring to a simmer and add the Seasonings, lemon Zest and crumbled bacon
Cook at a simmer for 2 hours