Creamy Lentil Soup


Lentils boast one of the highest protein levels of any vegetable.  Lentils cook quickly and do not require soaking as other legumes do.  Their nutty flavor melds well with a wide variety of ingredients.  Try tossing in a cup to any soup recipe for their added benefits.


3 bacon slices (turkey bacon, if desired)
2 cups chopped leek
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups water
2 cups chopped peeled potato
1 cup dried lentils
¾ cup chopped carrot
½ tsp salt
1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
½ cup half-and-half
1 tbsp dry sherry
Fresh flat leaf parsley sprigs (optional)


  1. Cook bacon in a pot over medium heat until crisp.  Remove the bacon from pan and reserve the drippings.  Crumble the bacon, set aside.
  2. Add leek and onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes.  Add water, potato, lentils, carrot, salt and broth; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Place in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.  Return pureed mixture to the pan; stir in half-and-half and sherry.  Cook until thoroughly heated.  Ladle soup into bowls.  Sprinkle with bacon.  Garnish with parsley

Half-and-half adds creamy body and a satiny finish to this hearty soup.  Serve with bread and a salad for a filling and nutritious supper.  Make this a vegetarian soup by substituting 2 tablespoons of olive oil for the bacon drippings and vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Yield: 6 servings