This recipe is large – it makes about 6 L of soup (a gallon and a half). If you’re not cooking for a fundraiser, halve everything.
In a large, deep pan, start 600 mL of chopped bacon (1 lb) low and slow, rendering out as much fat as possible. When the bacon is just about done, add 1800 mL diced onion (7 c) and stir to coat the onions in the bacon grease. Increase the heat and season heavily with black pepper and rosemary. Cook, stirring intermittently, until the onions reduce by half.
The vegetables will cook way down, and the wild rice and lentils will cook way up!
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Boil uncovered, stirring once in a while, until the rice and lentils are cooked and the carrots are soft. This should take about an hour.
Shortly before serving, stir in 1.8 L chopped kale (7 c). Within about a minute, the kale should soften and its color should become notably brighter.
The resulting stew is quite thick, since the lentils and wild rice soak up most of the broth as they cook.
This stew is great for leftovers – it’s dense and it reheats well. It’s even pretty healthy!
The broth-to-water ratio can be adjusted to taste. More broth means more flavor, but too much can make the wild rice stubborn about cooking through. This may have to do with acidity. ↩