|Lentil Soup with Speck & Kale is a great lunch for a|
gloomy, cold late Fall day.
This is the kind of healthy soup that doesn't taste "healthy". Chock full of good stuff like lentils and kale, it'll warm you up without slowing you down. You could make this a vegetarian soup using olive oil in place of the bacon fat or butter, vegetable stock, leaving out the speck and adding about 2 drops of liquid smoke; also remember to use a vegetarian Worcestershire, or the Pickapeppa which has no animal ingredients. This is also gluten free. A great carry-to-work-lunch, too, that will have your coworkers swooning around the microwave when you heat it up. Don't share unless you've brought extra.
Note: Speck is smoked proscuitto, and if your grocery or good deli doesn't carry it, use smoked bacon instead. It does not taste the same, but will still be delish.
Lentil Soup with Speck & Kale
2T bacon fat or butter
3 oz. diced speck (can sub minced, smoked bacon)
1 lb. regular brown or green lentils, washed and picked over
1 large onion, diced finely
2 celery stalks, diced finely
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
1 quart of homemade or no salt added chicken stock
1 quart of water, plus extra if needed
2 bay leaves
1T dried marjoram leaves
1T dried thyme
2 tsp. Worcesteshire sauce or Pickapeppa sauce
Coarse salt and pepper
1 lb. kale, leaves and small stems only, blanched, squeezed out and chopped
2T good quality balsamic vinegar
1. Heat the bacon fat or butter in a deep soup pot, and sauté the speck until brown.
2. Add everything else through the worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook about 45 minutes to an hour until the lentils are tender .
3. Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed, stir in the kale and the balsamic vinegar, and heat through. Serve piping hot.