June 11, 2012
I was still in grade school on the day I was given this recipe handout from the Rheinlander. My family and I would go there to eat once or twice per year for birthday celebrations, and I'd always order the lentil soup with the chicken cordon bleu. This was back before I could drink the beer.
Anyway, I haven't been to the Rheinlander in years. I still visit Gustav's, though, which offers most of the same delicious food. I usually go during happy hour for a cold glass of beer, swiss cheese fondue, and a bowl of their amazing lentil soup. As for the recipe I was given back when I was a kid? It's perfect, and it's one of my favorite things to make at home. I've made a few changes based on the ingredients we usually have around the house, so you can either follow my version below, or you can check out the original from the photo above. Either way, it's delicious.
4 oz diced bacon
2 onions, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 quart beef stock
1 pint water (more as needed)
1 1/2 cup green lentils
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4-5 medium potatoes, diced
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt to taste
Cook bacon in stock pot over medium heat until browned. Add the diced onion and carrot and saute until golden. Add the stock, water, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, and pepper, and cook for 1/2 hour.
Add the potatoes and cook until the lentils and vegetables are tender, adding water when/if needed. Grate the nutmeg into the pot and add salt to taste. Stir in the vinegar before serving.
Serve with bread, such as these buttermilk yeast rolls, with plenty of jam.