Hearty Lentil Soup

This post contains affiliate links.*  This Hearty Lentil Soup is comforting and filling, yet light and fresh.  It comes together easily using common pantry ingredients and lots of fresh vegetables!

The end of winter has finally arrived and spring is in the air.  Little buds filled with springtime energy are crowning the tips of the tree branches and the pollen is flowing in the breeze.  I'm ready to get my hands dirty in my vegetable garden now that all chances of frost have passed.  Gah, I simply cannot wait for those homegrown veggies to start popping up in the backyard.

While I am super excited about the changing of the seasons, it's bittersweet for me if I'm going to be honest.  The fall and winter months bring with them some of my favorite things like bonfires, winter fashion, and all of my favorite comfort food meals like casseroles, roasts, soups, and stews.

I'm happy to trade bonfires for the beach and sweaters for flip flops, but the arrival of spring means it's time to tuck away the stick-to-your-ribs comfort food recipes I adore so much until fall rolls around again.

Sure, you can prepare comfort foods during the spring and summer moths, too, but truth be told, in Florida a piping hot soup is less than desirable in July if you know what I'm sayin'.

This Hearty Lentil Soup is my last nod to winter before the sun is scorching and anything less than a gazpacho will do when it comes to souping it.  This lentil soup has all of the hearty, filling, flavorful qualities that you could ever want in a comfort food classic!

I got this delish recipe from America's Test Kitchen, where I am an affiliate (see notes below if you're not sure what an affiliate is).  I love getting busy in the kitchen with tested, tried, and true recipes from the most trusted kitchen in America!

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As a food blogger, I love getting creative in the kitchen, but sometimes it's nice to find a recipe that has been crafted just perfectly and taste-tested again and again until it is just right.  Lucky for us, that's ALL of the recipes over at America's Test Kitchen!

This soup just screamed make me! while I was browsing the America's Test Kitchen recipes.

To be fair, most of the recipes were screaming their proverbial heads telling me to make them, but this one really stood out to me for some reason.  I just loved that the ingredients were ones that I usually stock in my pantry and everything about it said fresh, fresh, fresh.

I was so pleased with the outcome, but I would expect nothing less from my friends at Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen.  It was slightly smokey thanks to the bacon, hearty and filling thanks to the lentils, and would you just look at those beautiful colors!  Just gorgeous!

All I have to do now is narrow down which one of the America's Test Kitchen recipes I'll be making next.  We shall see!  Stay tuned and next month I'll be sharing another tried and true recipe.  I can't wait!

Hearty Lentil Soup

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Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 slices bacon (about 3 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped medium (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup lentils (7 ounces), rinsed and picked over
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

  1. Fry bacon in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in lentils, salt, and pepper to taste; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils have darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, add wine, and bring to a simmer. Add chicken broth and water; bring to boil, cover partially, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 30 to 35 minutes; discard bay leaf.
  2. Puree 3 cups soup in a blender until smooth, then return to pot; stir in vinegar and heat soup over medium-low until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley and serve, garnishing each bowl with some of remaining parsley.

  • Source: America's Test Kitchen
  • *This post contains affiliate links.  If you decide to make a purchase through my link, America's Test Kitchen will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional! These commissions help me to support my family and pay for blog expenses, so thank you!  Read my full Disclosure & Privacy Policy here.

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