Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lentil Potage

Sky Seasoning

A piece of sky
Broke off and fell

Through the crack in the ceiling
Right into my soup,
I really must state
That I usually hate
Lentil soup, but I ate
Every drop!
Delicious delicious!
(A bit like a plaster)
But so delicious, goodness sake
I could have eaten a lentil soup lake.
It's amazing the difference
A bit of sky can make.

by Shel Silverstein (from Where the Sidewalk Ends)

I remember reading Shel Silverstein's books to my children when they were young. So you could imagine how thrilled I was when  Geneviève and Steve took the trouble to quote him when commenting on my lentil soup post back in April 2010. I also recall Geneviève's reaction to the possibility of adding bacon to my mom's original recipe. Well Geneviève, my revised recipe is meant for you, it's my way of thanking you for all those wonderful comments which kept my spirits lifted during those early days of blogging. 
Given the extremely cold weather we've been experiencing in Montreal (-24º Celsius but according to the weather reports, felt like -32 ºCelsius) these last few days, I  added bacon, some minced pork and short cut pasta to the original recipe posted. More of a potage than a soup, this will surely "warm the cockles of your heart"

4 slices of bacon cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 pound lean minced pork
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup tubetti ( or other short pasta)
1 1/2 cups green lentils
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 cup canned tomatoes chopped
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove (whole peeled)
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper

Cook 4 slices of bacon (cut into 1/2" small pieces), until crisp. Transfer to a plate.
In the same hot saucepan, add 1/2 pound of lean minced pork, season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat. Add some extra virgin olive oil if needed. Add 1/4 cup of red wine, this will infuse the pork with a rich flavour. Continue cooking until the wine is reduced and absorbed in the meat. Transfer to a plate.
Using the same saucepan,but making sure it is dry to avoid splattering, add the olive oil, and heat on medium high until hot. Add the chopped onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, the carrots, celery, bay leaf and continue cooking another 4 minutes on medium heat.
Return the bacon and minced pork to the pan. Stir the meat with the vegetables.
Cook an additional 2-4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and peeled garlic clove and continue to cook for 5 more minutes to infuse all the flavors together.
Add the lentils, the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes until tender. 
Add 1/2 cup short pasta of your choice. Continue cooking until the pasta is done.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and for extra flavour, drizzle with some olive oil.

Photos from the April 2010  lentil soup post:


  1. I can see why you love this lentil soup. Your recipe looks and sounds yummy!

  2. your soup is like a sunshine in those lowsy winter days !!!

  3. Oh how cold! I'm sending you warmth from down here in Texas. What a great post you shared with us today. I loved reading that book when I was a little girl...and I can't wait to read it to my children. This soup looks hearty and flavorful. Thank you for sharing with me today. I appreciate you and your creative spirit!

  4. What a wonderfully hearty soup. I have bookmarked this to make before winter leaves.

  5. this looks so comforting and delicious. thanks for sharing this.

  6. This would make an excellent weeknight meal after running around with after school sports. A dish the whole family will love!

  7. My kids loved where the sidewalk ends when they were little...I still have the copy :)
    Beautiful dish!

  8. lovely recipe Anna, perfect for this period...A hug

  9. Anna, I just read this post... SO sweet! I am so touched. I still come visit your blog but don't comment as much anymore, because you have so many to read already!!! xxx