Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

Another Ad Hoc recipe.  This book is almost like an education.  The tiny little things that Keller does it why his food tastes so delicious.  This soup is fantastic.  Each step is worthwhile.

8 ounces of bacon ( you are supposed to use slab bacon but I had strips in the fridge so I went with it )
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 cups chopped leeks
2 cups chopped onions ( I used sweet onions and I actually used 2 onions vs 2 cups )
1 tsp. yellow curry powder
1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes
2 Sachets ( one bay leaf, a few peppercorns, 4 sprigs of thyme in cheesecloth or a small sachet )
2 cup of French lentils
8 cups Chicken Stock
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Cut up the bacon into small pieces.  In a 8 quart stockpot, on a low heat, add the bacon.  The bacon just gets soft and renders the fat.  Let this hang out about 20-25 minutes.  The bacon shouldn't get crispy.  You can crisp is up if you want for later use in another pan afterward.

Add the carrots, leaks, onions and curry powder to the vegetables and really mix.  Season with some kosher salt and keep the heat on low.  You are supposed to cover this with a parchment lid ( it took me a few times to figure that out but in the end I just used a folded piece of parchment paper with a hole in it and laid it over the top of the pot ).  Now let the vegetables hang out about 30 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and chop into 1/2 inch dice size pieces.  Put the potatoes, and one sachet and 2 tsp. kosher salt in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil and then down to simmer, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.  When the 10 minutes is over ( I timed it ), drain and rinse with really cold water.  Keller then puts the potato pieces on a tray so they can each cool.  I didn't opt for that and let them cool in the colander after lots of cold water.  Remove sachet.

Add the lentils and the second sachet to the vegetable pot ( once they are soft ) and the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and then simmer, let this hang for about 30-40 minutes or until lentils are soft. 

Add vinegar and salt for taste to the soup ( vinegar is key with lentils ).  Put the potatoes in and serve.  If you want, you can crisp up the bacon and add to the soup too but I opted out of that. 

Delicious.  Can stay about 2 days in the fridge.  He recommends not putting in the potatoes until you serve it if you plan on using the next day.  I am serving this to the kids tonight for dinner but put in the potatoes last night.  That's why he makes the big bucks.