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Author Notes: Hosting the falling into winter book club means soup, and this tasty lentil soup hit the spot. With the addition of the smoked paprika and pancetta, the soup took on a heartier flavor, filled with spice and that porky richness that pancetta can provide. Yes, there is a bit of dicing, but once it all goes in the pot, you can walk away and let the stove do all the work. Toast some bread for dipping and let the conversation ensue!
—Rebecca and Ruth
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small fennel bulb, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups dried, red lentils
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tablespoon Zataar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- Add olive oil into a large soup pot over medium high heat and then add pancetta and lightly brown.
- Add onions and garlic and cook until onions begin to soften and turn translucent and then add the rest of the vegetables and the salt.
- Sauté until they begin to caramelize and soften.
- Add thyme, zataar and smoked paprika, then stir and add in the red lentils, stirring for one to two minutes
- Add in all the liquid, bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer until lentils and vegetables are soft, about 40 minutes.