1Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat (or indirect heat over a campfire) and add the bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 7-8 minutes.
2Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
3Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pan and return it to the heat.
4Stir in the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, oregano, and bay leaf; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 14-15 minutes.
5Add the lentil, broth or stock, and tomato paste, and bring to a boil.
6Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer until the lentils are tender, 28-30 minutes.
7Remove the bay leaf and stir in the bacon, salt, and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
* "Picking over" your lentils means sorting through them to remove any small stones or other debris that may be mixed in during harvest. By soaking your lentils before cooking, you make them easier to digest and maximize their nutrition. To soak, simply place lentils in a glass mason jar and cover with water. Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and soak 4-12 hours, covered. Rinse, then proceed as directed in recipe above.
This recipe is part of the Cozy Campout Fun menu, with Lentil Bacon Soup, Flank Steak and Vegetable Wraps with Chimichurri Sauce, Campfire Grilled Peaches, and Freeze-Dried Fruit, Nut, and Seed Mix. Check out the Cozy Campout Fun Menu and Guide for links to all the recipes, plus more handy tips and activities for a fantastic campout, even in your own backyard!
Originally published in The Virgin Diet Cookbook, Grand Central Life & Style, 2014
Want more yummy, healthy recipes? Check out jjvirgin.com/recipes.