Nourishing and hearty recipe for traditional German lentil soup that is a meal in itself.
Soak the lentils for 12-24 hours and then drain and rinse. Proceed with recipe. Alternatively, you can use sprouted lentils and skip this step. This blended trio of sprouted green, brown and red lentils is what I use.
If you do not soak the lentils or use sprouted lentils, use up to 8 cups of broth or broth/water instead of 6 cups.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, flipping as needed to cook evenly. Remove the bacon, place on towel lined plates and then crumble when cooled. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the extra bacon grease from the pan. Over medium to medium-high heat, saute the onions, carrots, and garlic in the bacon grease for about 5 minutes or until softened.
Stir as needed to prevent burning. Add the potatoes, bay leaves, cumin, nutmeg, thyme, soaked (or sprouted) lentils, crumbled bacon, and broth/water. Bring the soup to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover.
Cook for 45-60 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Add up to 2 cups more water or broth if using unsoaked or sprouted lentils. Add more water as needed if the soup becomes too thick. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Feel free to use a garlic press instead of mincing the garlic cloves by hand.
Chicken broth or a combination of chicken and beef broth may be used. Alternatively, a combination of filtered water and broth is acceptable in a pinch.