This is a German-style lentil soup, courtesy of Mrs. Rondinelli. It's pretty easy to make, most of the cook time is simmering on the stovetop. It sure hits the spot on those cold winter nights, although I enjoy this soup any time of the year. You can ask for a ham bone at most meat counters. *Prep time does not include soaking the lentils overnight.
- 1 lb lentils
- 1⁄4 lb bacon, diced (I sometimes use more!)
- 2 medium onions, sliced (or 1 very large onion)
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 quarts water
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 2 1⁄2-3 teaspoons salt (I use Kosher)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large potato, pared
- 1 ham bone
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- The night before, wash the lentils and let soak overnight covered in cold water.
- Next day, drain the lentils.
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, saute the diced bacon until golden brown.
- Add sliced onions and diced carrots and saute until the onions are golden.
- Add the lentils, water, sliced celery, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaves.
- With a grater, grate the peeled potato into the lentil mixture.
- Add the ham bone.
- Simmer, covered, for about 3 hours. The lentils should be tender.
- Remove the bay leaves and ham bone. Cut all bits of meat from the ham bone and return the meat to the soup.
- To serve at once, add the lemon juice and enjoy!
- To serve the next day, refrigerate soup adn then add the lemon juice and reheat.