Creamy Bacon and Spinach Lentils

Ingredients

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups French green lentils, rinsed
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for topping
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 3 or 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar

Directions

  1. Fry the bacon in a large stockpot over medium heat until browned and crisp.  Remove cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery to the hot bacon grease and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown.
  3. Add the white wine to the pot and allow it to sizzle, scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the potatoes, lentils, broth, bay leaf, and thyme.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  5. Remove the bay leaf.  Puree about 3 cups of the lentils in a blender until smooth and return to the pot.  Add the reserved bacon, spinach, half and half, salt, and pepper and stir well to incorporate.
  6. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.

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