RE: What is a soup?
Here it is…from the Jan/Feb 2004 issue of Cook’s Illustrated:
HEARTY LENTIL SOUP
(makes about 2 quarts, serving 4-6)
3 slices bacon (about 3 oz.), cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1½ cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped medium (about 1 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tbsp.)
1 can (14 ½ oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. Fresh minced thyme leaves
1 cup (7 oz) lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 tsp. Salt
Ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine
4 ½ cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ tsp. Balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. Minced fresh parsley leaves
1) Fry bacon in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in lentils, salt, and pepper to taste; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils have darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, add wine, and bring to simmer. Add chicken broth and water; bring to boil, cover partially, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 30 to 35 minutes; discard bay leaf.
2) Puree 3 cups soup in blender until smooth, then return to the pot; stir in vinegar and heat soup over medium-low until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley and serve, garnishing each bowl with some of the remaining parsley.