Lentil soup seasoned with bacon is a Mexico City staple, with every fonda offering it at least weekly. If you like, add a dollop of Tomatillo Salsa and offer warm tortillas at the table.
1/3 medium white onion, thickly sliced
1 garlic clove, halved
2 medium Roma tomatoes, thickly sliced
6 cups water
4 slices bacon (about 4 ounces), cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
1 cup small or regular brown lentils, rinsed
10 cilantro sprigs
1. In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, tomatoes, and 3 cups of the water and blend until smooth. Set aside.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until the fat is nearly fully rendered, about 5 minutes. Mix in the lentils, then add the tomato mixture and stir well. Add the cilantro, turn up the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat to low, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces by roughly half, about 30 minutes.
3. Add the remaining 3 cups water and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and stir well. Re-cover partially and simmer until the lentils are tender but not breaking apart, about 40 minutes depending on the size of the lentils. Add water as needed to maintain a soupy consistency. Taste for salt, adding more if needed.
Reprinted with permission from World Food: Mexico City: Heritage Recipes for Classic Home Cooking by James Oseland, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
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