Sunset Smoky Lentil Soup
Spring Season has arrived! Due to daylight savings time, and the warmer evenings it feels good to stay outside a bit later and enjoy the sunset with your family over dinner.We enjoy soups in our family, growing up it was a staple in our household and that tradition has carried over for my family as well with a soup night each week. I vary the soups by the other meals I might be making during the week, and the leftovers I have in the fridge.The Smoky Lentil Soup would probably be something you say is appropriate for the winter season, its a warm and hearty soup, however with the extended nights out on the porch it’s perfect to enjoy a bowl of soup …especially this one!
This soup is quick and easy to make for a delicious weeknight and pleases the entire crowd. Serve this soup along with grilled cheese sandwiches or even a simple garden salad will do to keep them coming back for mmm more!
*I omit the smoked paprika out of the base of the soup and will sprinkle some on for those that wish for a little kick. Especially with little ones around if they are not use to it, they may not enjoy the meal as much.
Smoky Lentil Soup
3 thick-cut turkey bacon slices
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. smoked paprika* (omit if necessary- sprinkle over individual portions)
1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup Red Chief lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Sour cream for garnish (or I prefer yogurt)
In a dutch oven pot or chili pot, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, tomato paste and paprika* (or omit at this time). Cover and cook until the vegetables just start to soften, about 25 minutes, opening the lid occasionally to stir. Add the tomatoes, lentils and broth. Cover and cook on medium-high heat until the lentils are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Test to check how tender your vegetables and lentils are prior to starting the blend process. Adjust heat or time if necessary.
While soup is cooking preheat a griddle or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp (about 5 to 6 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Chop the bacon into coarse pieces.
Then, using an immersion blender, pulse 5 times to lightly puree some of the soup mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with sour cream (or yogurt) and the turkey bacon.
***NOTE: On the Trim Healthy Mama Plan as long as this recipe serves 6 it works in a FP setting!