Amelia’s Field Country Inn French Lentil Soup

1 pound French green dried lentils
1 pound carrots
1 pound onions
1 pound celery stalks
1 clove garlic
6 ounces smoked bacon, cubed
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 quarts chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Wash the lentils in cold water, checking for pebbles. Drain. Peel carrots and onions, and remove strings from celery. Cut into small diced pieces. Mince garlic. Heat bacon in large saucepan until hot but not smoking. Add vegetables and garlic to bacon, cover and cook over low heat for about 2 minutes. Do not brown. Add oil and lentils. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add rosemary sprig. Add stock slowly. Bring to a boil and simmer slowly for 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove rosemary sprig and add wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot in soup bowls with nice, warm crusty bread.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.