Baby It’s Cold Outside Lentil Soup

It’s one of those days. It’s minus fifteen, the sun is shining in the impossibly blue sky, it’s blinding light bouncing off the pristine snow sparkling through every window in my kitchen. Two pairs of socks and the softest cashmere sweater that my wardrobe has to offer, makes this day warm, fuzzy and smiley. This one pot, comforting meal is all that’s missing to make this the perfect day to stay in with a great book and an avalanche of laundry that will eventually, maybe, probably not, get folded.


back to blue


Ingredients


makes a big batch (freeze it)


2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup bacon (diced)

2 cups white mushrooms (sliced)
2 small onions (small dice)
1 cup celery (small dice)
1 cup carrots (small dice)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 lb. lentils (I used brown lentils)
1 tbsp fresh thyme (chopped)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Montreal steak spice
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 796 ml can ground tomatoes
4 litres beef stock
salt and pepper to taste

Method


In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook bacon until crispy. 

Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside for later, keeping the fat in the pot.
Add mushrooms to pot and cook until evenly golden brown, add onions, celery, carrot and garlic to the pot. Cook until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to high and pour in wine. Cook until pot is almost dry.
Dump in lentils, thyme, bay leaf, spices, tomatoes, bacon, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. 
Bring soup to the boil. Once boiling, lower heat to medium- low and cook until lentils and vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Season to taste keeping in mind that bacon, beef stock and Montreal steak spice add saltiness to the soup already. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Serve hot with crusty bread and a medium bodied, rustic red wine like a Sangiovese.