2mediumuncooked carrot(s), peeled, cut into large chunks
2rib(s)uncooked celery, cut into large chunks
1mediumuncooked onion(s), cut into large chunks
2clove(s)garlic clove(s), minced
2cup(s)dry lentils, picked over
1⁄2tspdried thyme, crushed
1⁄2tsptable salt, or to taste
1⁄4tspblack pepper, or to taste
8cup(s)canned chicken broth
4ozuncooked Canadian bacon, diced (4 or 5 slices)
Place ingredients in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker in the following order: carrots, celery, onion, garlic, lentils, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper and broth. Cover slow cooker; cook on low setting for 6 hours. Uncover, stir in bacon and heat for 30 minutes more; remove bay leaves. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.
To thicken soup, remove 1 cup of cooked lentils and puree in food processor; stir back into soup. For a lighter flavor, replace 4 cups of chicken broth with 4 cups of water. To make this vegetarian, substitute a cup of sliced shiitake mushroom caps for the Canadian bacon and use vegetable broth (could affect SmartPoints value). For additional flavor, top each serving with a splash of white wine vinegar.