Summer Okra Lentil Soup

Don’t get me wrong, I love Arizona for its amazing red rock scenery to the expansive hiking trails to the ideal conditions for target shooting 😉 most months of the year.  But….it was hot as hell yesterday!  How hot?  I got into my car, and it registered 130 degrees.  No joke, wish I was.  Also wish I didn’t have leather seats on a day like today, and got around to putting a towel down on said seat, but that’s another story.  So if it’s so friggin’ hot, then why the hell am I making soup!?!  Well, i went to North Scottsdale Farmers Market got some okra from Circle Key Farms, and I had a plethora of veggies including eggplant, kale, and zucchini from On The Vine that I had not yet cooked.  I didn’t know what to make for dinner, and took the advice of my sister, who when she doesn’t know what to do with what’s in her CSA basket, she makes  soup. Granted, she’s a vegetarian, so she wouldn’t have put Circle Key Farms bacon (the best bacon ever) in it, but I think the bacon gives it a hearty and salty kick.  To my surprise, even the baby couldn’t get enough of the okra.

Happy Friday everyone!  

Summer Okra Lentil Soup
3 slices bacon, diced
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup okra, chopped
1 cup eggplant, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
1 cup pink lentils
2 boxes chicken or veggie stock
1 tsp thyme, dried
3 bay leaves, dried
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, drizzle olive oil, and saute bacon until browned on medium heat.  Add onions and carrots.  Cook for approximately 7 minutes until onions and softened and slightly caramelized.  Add tomatoes, okra, eggplant, zucchini, chicken stock, lentils, thyme, and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, and turn down heat to low allowing soup to simmer for 30 minutes.  Add kale, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Check to see if lentils are softened.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 8.

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