1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 slice bacon, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
7 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
2 cups dried lentils (about 12 1/2 ounces)
2 large fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions
Combine onion, celery, carrot, bacon and garlic in heavy Dutch oven. Stir over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Uncover; add 7 cups broth, lentils, thyme and bay leaf and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
Transfer half of soup to processor; cool slightly. Puree until smooth. Return puree to Dutch oven. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine parsley and chives in small bowl. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle parsley mixture over and serve.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Bon Appétit, March 1996