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This soup is perfect for the end of winter. Lentils and salty, crisp pancetta.
1. Put the lentils into a colander. Rinse the lentils under cold running water, making sure they are nice and clean. Put them into a bowl and add enough water to cover them. Let them soak for about 4 hours.
2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Heat and stir until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and paprika and season to taste. Let the mixture cook for a further minute.
3. Add the chicken stock, water, drained lentils and the bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Let the lentils cook for 45 minutes, or until tender. Adjust seasoning adding salt and pepper as needed.
4. Discard the bouquet garni. Set pot aside.
5. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add the pancetta, cooking until golden, roughly 3-4 minutes.
6. Ladle soup into bowls and top with pancetta.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!