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Ham or bacon pieces to taste
2-1/2 cups or 1 (16-ounce) package dried lentils
6 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup grated carrots
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt and white pepper to taste
1. In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, combine ham or bacon pieces, lentils, and chicken broth; bring just to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until lentils are soft.
3. Remove 2 cups of cooked lentils and place into food processor or blender bowl; let cool 5 minutes (if you do not let cool slightly before processing, mixture will explode out of container and make a mess in your kitchen). After cooling, whirl until pureed. Stir pureed lentils into soup mixture.
4. In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, saute onion and carrots in butter or margarine until limp, but do not brown; add to lentils.
5. Add thyme, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper.
6. Simmer another 30 minutes. Remove from heat and serve in soup bowls.
Yield: 6 servings
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