Lentil and Bacon Soup

Yield: 8 servings

Time: 1 hour
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!

2 celery stalks
4 carrots
1 large red onion
2 cloves garlic
8 C water
4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (reserve 1 tiny little teaspoon of the grease)
1 3/4 C lentils
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 t dried thyme
1 t balsamic vinegar
6 t beef bouillon
1/2 t fennel
1 t sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Avocado, Cilantro, Sour Cream

1. Saute the celery, carrots, red onion and garlic in a skillet over medium in just a touch of olive oil.
2. In a large pot add the sauteed veggies, water, bacon, lentils, stewed tomatoes, thyme, and fennel.
3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. The soup will start to thicken up as it cooks.
4. When the lentils are soft add the bullion, salt and pepper, bacon grease (just a teeny, tiny little teaspoon full), sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir to incorporate.
5. Serve with chopped cilantro, avocado and sour cream. Enjoy!