Rinse your lentils very well and set aside.
Dice your vegetables and garlic. Nice, small and even dice.
Cook bacon. I do this in the oven, but it can be done in the pot as well. Just avoid excessive darkening as it makes a murky and bitter soup.
Cook sausage. I always do this in the pot itself.
Pour off all but about a tablespoon of fat. Chop and add cooked bacon, adding about a tablespoon of that fat as well.
Add the vegetables and soften about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with seasonings, as desired.
Add the tomatoes.
Add the chicken broth, leaving about 2 inches to allow for the displacement caused by the lentils. Bring to a boil.
Add lentils, return to boil, then drop to simmer. Simmer on a medium low heat until lentils are tender and flavors blend.
I do not add salt until the very end, as it frequently isn't necessary. I top with parmesan cheese. This freezes beautifully, which is good as it makes a lot of soup.