Lentil soup (Linsensuppe)
The Northern German way, which is sweet/sour, of Lentil soup my Mutti makes.
(if you don't like it sweet/sour, just leave out the sugar and vinegar).
yields 9 Cups (freezes well)
Tips and suggestions:
Only add vinegar (lemon juice), mustard, and tomato paste (ketchup) at end of cooking. The lentils will not get done otherwise.
I cut the vegetables in small squares.
You can use Ham, smokie links, kielbasa or polish sausage, and cut up in small pieces.
I love my lentil soup a bit thicker, so after I sautee the bacon and vegetables, I add flour to the pan, stir until thick and then add the liquid.
1 lb green (french) lentils (or the light color ones)
1⁄4 lb bacon, diced
any amount of other meat mentioned above in tips and suggestions
2 medium onions, diced (or 1 very large onion)
3 medium carrots, diced
2 quarts water or vegetable broth
1 cup celery, diced (if you use celery root, dice small)
salt to taste ( I use less when adding salty meats or salty broth
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. tomato paste (2 tbsp. ketchup if no tomato paste on hand)
1 tbsp. mustard
2 large potatoes, diced
sugar (or sweetener) and vinegar ( maybe lemon juice) to taste
The night before, wash the lentils and let soak overnight covered in cold water.
Next day, drain the lentils.
In a large dutch oven or soup pot, saute the diced bacon until golden brown.
Add diced onions and diced carrots and saute until the onions are golden.
Add the other ingredients, except potatoes and wieners (knockwurst).
Bring to a boil, turn to simmer, covered, for about 3 hours. The lentils should be tender.
Add potatoes after 2.5 hours to the soup and continue to simmer the remaining 30 minutes.
When ready to eat, add sliced cooked wieners (knockwurst) to each plate/bowl of soup served.