To my mind, lentil soup is a perfect winter dish. I think lentil soup should be as rich and hearty a dish as possible. I kept that in mind as I came up with this recipe.
2 slices bacon
1 lb kielbassa, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups lentil beans
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp rosemary
4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1 inch thick
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dry mustard
4 beefsteak tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 can crushed tomatoes
In a saucepan over medium high heat cook bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside. Add kielbassa and cook in batches until slices and browned on both sides. Remove and set aside. Remove all but 2 Tbsp drippings from the pan.
Add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes have softened and liquid starts to render out. Add cumin, rosemary, bay leaf and lentil beans. Add canned tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes until lentils are soft.
ADd carrots, bacon and kielbessa and simmer 20 minutes more, until carrots are cooked. Serve the soup as is or put 1/2 cup cooked rice in each bowl and then serve.