Winter vegetables - carrots, parsnips, and celeriac - release their sweetness into this earthy, humble Lentil Stew. Mustard greens, stirred in at the very last minute, wilt in the residual heat of the stew for a lovely finish.
1bunchmustard greens(trimmed of tough veins and sliced very thin)
Cook the lentils
Cook the lentils in advance by dumping them in a large stockpot, cover them with water, and then add the bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then turn the heat down to medium. Simmer, covered, until tender - about 25 minutes. Strain and reserve.
Alternatively, you can cook the lentils in an electric pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot. Combine the lentils, water, bay leaves, and salt in the insert of the pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 8 minutes, and then let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Strain and reserve.
Prepare the soup
Warm the olive oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat, and then add the chopped bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon crisps, and then add the onion to the pan.
Sauté the onion in the bacon grease until fragrant and tender, about 8 minutes. Then add the crushed red pepper flakes, celeriac, carrots, and parsnips. Sprinkle with salt, and sweat the vegetables for about 6 minutes further.
Pour in the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high. When the soup begins to boil, turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer the vegetables until tender - about 20 minutes.
Stir in the lentils and chopped greens, and allow the soup to cook five minutes further before serving. Serve warm. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.