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Lentil Soup. Germanic

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1/2 lbs or 1 1/4 cups lentils, cleaned and washed
1 large onion, minced
1 Tbsp. lard or butter
1 bunch of soup greens (leek, celery, carrot, parsley), washed and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 large potato, peeled, washed, and cubed
1/2 lbs. medium lean bacon
salt and pepper

Soak the lentils overnight in a pot with 4-6 cups of water. In a large saucepan saute the onion in lard or butter until golden. Add the lentils and the water in which they have been soaking. Add the soup greens, carrot, and potato to the soup along with the bacon. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour, or until the lentils are quite tender. Add salt and pepper to taste after the first 1/2 hour. When the soup is almost done, remove the bacon and dice or divide into 4 equal servings. (You can also heat up some Vienna sausages or other appropriately sized Würstchen in the soup, in which case the bacon that accompanies them should be cut into thin strips.) If the soup is too thin, press a few tablespoons of lentils through a fine strainer and use this paste to thicken the soup. The soup should be seasoned with a little vinegar just before serving; a cruet of vinegar (a traditional safeguard against flatulence, by the way) is customarily placed on the table so that guests can season their own individual portions.

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