- In the base of your Dutch oven, sweat smoked bacon, onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, celery, and red peppers until the vegetables are very soft. Add in the lentils, cook for a few minutes. Then, add the stock to cover the lentils, bring to simmer and cook very gently until lentils are very soft, about 20-30 minutes. With a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove some of the lentils and set aside.
- After the lentils are cooked and very tender, transfer them to a food processor or blender, puree until very smooth.(Option: Once pureed, pass through a fine strainer,) Return this puree to a clean saucepot and bring to boil, add in the heavy cream, dry white wine, the chardonnay vinegar and Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Thin with a little more stock if necessary. Keep warm.
- In lid of Dutch oven, over high heat, saute the julienned pancetta until crisp. Add in the cooked lentils (that were reserved). Season to taste. Garnish bowls of soup with the bacon and lentil mixture.
Lentils are low in calories, rich in iron and folate and an excellent source of protein. Change up the flavor profiles in this soup by substituting the cream with coconut milk and adding a tablespoon of red curry paste.