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Beef, Bacon and Lentil Make for a Comforting Soup

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Delicious lentils meet beef and bacon — what could be better on a cold winter’s night? That’s why this recipe, which I picked up during a recent visit to the Penzeys Spices store in Austin, sounded so perfectly right.

The key to its richness is a roux that you stir for only a few minutes before adding it to the mixture of meats and vegetables. It all goes together quickly and you can let it cook, adding warmth to your house in he process.

Beef, Bacon and Lentil Soup

Beef, Bacon and Lentil Soup

Beef, Bacon and Lentil Soup

1 1/2 cups dried lentils
5 cups cold water
8 ounces bacon, diced
1 pound ground chuck
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 cups warm water mixed with 1 teaspoon beef base, such as Penzeys Beef Soup Base
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Penzy’s Forward! (optional)
2 tablespoons vinegar

Combine the lentils and water in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. While the lentils simmer, brown the bacon in a skillet and remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Drain the bacon drippings. Add the ground chuck to the skillet and cook until nicely browned. Drain well. Add the beef, bacon and vegetables to the lentils.

Melt the butter in the skillet. Blend in the flour and then add the salt, pepper, Forward!, if using, and vinegar. Cook, stirring constantly, untl thickened and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Pour in the waer mixed with beef soup base, stir well to blend, and then add to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the flavors are well-blended.

Makes 10 servings.

Approximate nutritional value per 1 cup serving: 300 calories, 12 g fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 930 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 5 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugars, 26 g protein.

From Penzys Spices/Kathleen and Rick Bergeron

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