Creamy Lentil Soup with Garlic and Bacon
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 onions, minced
1-1/2 cups lentils (I like the small green French lentils, Lentilles du Puy)
8 oz. bacon (about 8 strips cut in half)
7-8 cups chicken stock
1 3-inch sprig of thyme
1 cup cream
salt and white pepper to taste (watch the salt, since the bacon is probably salty enough)
1. Melt the butter over med-low in dutch oven. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft but not at all browned.
2. Add the bacon and cook an additional 2 minutes stirring.
3. Stir in the lentils, 7 cups of chicken stock and the thyme sprig. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours until the lentils are soft.
5. Place a colander over a large bowl. Pour in the soup, separating the lentils from the broth. Remove the bacon strips from the lentils and set aside. Wipe out the dutch oven and pour the broth back into the pot.
6. Place the lentils in the bowl of a food processor and purée.
7. Skim the fat off of the broth, stir in the lentil purée.
8. Slice the bacon. Add the bacon back into the pot and stir in the cream. Simmer over med-low heat for about 10 minutes to heat through.