I thought I had picked this recipe out specifically for the lentils, an ingredient I really wanted to learn more about. But who was I kidding? The real star in this show is the bacon, and there is a lot of it in here. Between the bits that stew in the pot and the crispy strips sprinkled on at the end its a bacon lovers dream. Everything else in the recipe is just there trying to suck up a little of the bacon essence.
This dead simple simple recipe comes from a chef not exactly known for that cooking style. Charlie Trotter is a big deal here in Chicago, and this recipe from his Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home seems miles away from his multi-course feasts at his eponymous restaurant. But it certainly works for me. And anyone who likes bacon should enjoy this.
- 1/2 pound bacon, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup yellow onions, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup green lentils
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
Add about three-quarters of the bacon to a large pot. Cook over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon has slightly crisped up. Dump in the onions and carrots and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Drain any excess fat. Then add the lentils and half of the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Pour in the rest of the stock, season with salt and pepper to taste, and increase the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rest of the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove pieces and drain on a paper towel.
Pour some soup into a bowl and top with some sliced scallions and crispy bacon.