I've been hearing a lot about lentil and potato soup lately. My friend Liz blogged about her's recently, and my mom mentioned that she had some good Lentil Potato soup at a cafe in Maryland. Plus, I had a bunch of red lentils left over from my Mulligatawny Soup Mix foray at Christmas. So it only seemed appropriate on the eve of *another* Portland snow storm, to make some Lentil Soup.
I started by chopping all my ingredients: carrots, onions, celery, garlic, red-skinned potatoes, and acorn squash. Oh, and bacon too, duh.
I sauteed the mirepoix in 2 tablespoons of butter until the onions were see-thru and it smelled nice and yummy. Then I added the bacon, cranked the heat up and cooked the crap out of it. I cooked it longer than my instincts told me too, and I'm glad I did! I didn't want pieces of gross, soggy bacon fat in my finished soup, so I made sure to fry that bacon for a good while. Oh, I added the garlic in towards the end of the sauteeing- I didn't want it to burn and turn bitter.
Now for the easy part- I added bay leaves, fresh thyme, salt and pepper, and about 6 cups of chicken stock (homemade!). I brought it all up to a boil and then reduced to a simmer until the potatoes and squash were tender. Oh, and towards the end, I remembered that I intended to add some diced tomatoes. But I didn't want to just dump in a whole 14 oz can, after my chicken broth tasted so yummy. So I added about 1/3 of a can (tomatoes and their juice).
I served it garnished with fresh black pepper and sour cream, with a slice of whole wheat bread covered in olive oil. It was delish!