makes four generous servings
4 oz bacon, chopped
2 large (or 3 small) carrots, chopped
1 cup leeks, white and light green parts, washed and thinly sliced (or about 1 small yellow onion, diced)
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried Turkish oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus (optionally) more for serving
1 cup French green lentils, picked over for odd little bits
6 cups beef stock
5 oz (about 4-5 handfuls) kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
olive oil and parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
Add bacon to a cold Dutch oven or soup pot and turn flame to med-high. Cook until bacon renders about half its fat and pan begins to take on color, about 5 minutes.
Add carrots, leeks, pepper flakes, thyme and oregano and cook until veggies begin to give off liquid. Add vinegar. Deglaze pan, scraping up all brown bits from bacon.
Add lentils and beef stock and bring to a boil; then reduce to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Add kale, pushing down to submerge in broth, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until leaves have wilted substantially but kale remains green. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, if necessary.
Serve soup piping hot in big bowls with a scant drizzle of vinegar, olive oil and a scattering of parmesan, if desired.
bacon recipe source: Emily Stoffel, the pig & quill (@thepigandquill), January 14, 2015