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Smoky Lentil Soup with Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Using the Cuisinart soup maker and blender, you can sauté the vegetables, cook the soup and then puree it all in one vessel. For a quick and easy weeknight dinner, pair this hearty lentil soup with our Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (see related recipe at left). 

Ingredients:

  • 3 thick-cut bacon slices 
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice 
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch dice 
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic 
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika 
  • 1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained 
  • 3/4 cup Red Chief lentils, picked over and rinsed 
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • Sour cream for garnish 
  • Grown-up grilled cheese sandwiches for serving  

Directions:

Preheat a griddle or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Chop the bacon coarsely.

In a Cuisinart soup maker and blender set on high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, tomato paste and paprika. Cover and cook until the vegetables just start to soften, about 25 minutes, opening the lid occasionally to stir. Add the tomatoes, lentils and broth. Cover and cook on high heat until the lentils are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Using a towel, hold the lid down and pulse 5 times to lightly puree some of the soup mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with sour cream and the bacon. Serve immediately with grilled cheese sandwiches. Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.