Temperatures are starting to dip as we get closer to fall, which means it’s time for a cool weather stand-by: soup. This soup takes advantage of carrots found at the local Farmer’s Market, using orange, white, yellow, and even purple carrots. If you cannot find mixed carrots, use regular carrots and perhaps a parsnip for variety. Also, this recipe uses the carrot greens, but parsley is a perfectly adequate substitute.
For this recipe, I used French lentils, which are black and smaller than standard lentils. Regular brown or green lentils are fine as well, just check cooking times to be sure the lentils are softened to a desired consistency. I also used an infused Tarragon Vinegar, but white wine or red wine vinegar can be used instead (or another infused vinegar of your choice, such as shallot vinegar).
French-Style Lentil Soup w/ Mixed Carrots
adapted from Everyday Food
3 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3-6 small to medium carrots of various colors, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups French lentils, picked over and rinsed
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp tarragon vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp carrot greens, minced
In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Add onions and carrots, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and saute for 1 minute.
Add lentils, thyme, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, chicken broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, until lentils are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. If soup becomes too thick, add up to 1 cup more water (or chicken broth).
Remove thyme sprig, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick. Stir in vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Top with carrot greens and serve immediately.