Red Bacon Lentil Soup

This hearty and soul-satsfying soup eats more like a stew, and it is so good on a chilly evening. It's easy to put together, freezes well and makes great leftovers. Serve with crusty bread for soaking up all of those delicious juices! This recipe makes 6 servings.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 minutes

6 Slices of bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
12 ounces lentils, sorted, rinsed and drained
8 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a Dutch oven to medium-high. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, until the onions become fragrant and translucent. Add the paprika and garlic; cook for 1 more minute. Add the lentils and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before serving.