Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rainy day bacony lacinato kale with lentils

Opening the fridge door, I do the stare. The stare, no, not into the abyss, but into the illumination of possibilities that would spark some edible imagination. My gaze falls upon the slab bacon I bought from Sea Breeze Farm last weekend at the U-District Farmers Market. And, with that gaze, a firm resolve to not forget what's hidden in the vegetable crisper. The constant patter of rain against the house windows seals the deal for some kind of soup and bacon and veggies. As luck, or the kitchen gods would have it, I came up with the following concoction. The result is a jade green soup with bold, smoky flavors, of course, from the bacon. But it also has a sweetness from the carrots and celery. The kale retains its' crunch. The lentils soak up all the flavors together and provide substance.

Lacinato Kale and Lentils with Bacon

1-1/2 - 2 cups organic carrots, diced
1-1/2 - 2 cups organic lacinato kale chiffonade
1-1/2 - 2 cups organic celery, diced
one-fourth to one-third cup slab bacon sliced into bite-size pieces
one-half cup green lentils (not French green lentils aka lentilles vertes du puy)
4 cups organic chicken stock
2 cups water
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. sherry vinegar
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Heat a large pot on medium high. Add 2 T. EVOO. Saute carrots and celery with a pinch of kosher salt until tender. Add bacon and saute until slightly crisped. Add lacinato kale and stir to coat the kale. Cook the kale until wilted. Add the chicken stock and water. Add lentils. Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add sherry vinegar and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 3-4.

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