World Food Mexico Cover World Food Mexico City by James Oseland

Lentil soup seasoned with bacon is a Mexico City staple, with every fonda offering it at least weekly. If you like, add a dollop of Tomatillo Salsa and offer warm tortillas at the table.

Serves 4

  • 1/3 medium white onion, thickly sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, halved

  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, thickly sliced

  • 6 cups water

  • 4 slices bacon (about 4 ounces), cut into 1-inch-wide pieces

  • 1 cup small or regular brown lentils, rinsed

  • 10 cilantro sprigs

  • Salt

1. In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, tomatoes, and 3 cups of the water and blend until smooth. Set aside.

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until the fat is nearly fully rendered, about 5 minutes. Mix in the lentils, then add the tomato mixture and stir well. Add the cilantro, turn up the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat to low, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces by roughly half, about 30 minutes.

3. Add the remaining 3 cups water and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and stir well. Re-cover partially and simmer until the lentils are tender but not breaking apart, about 40 minutes depending on the size of the lentils. Add water as needed to maintain a soupy consistency. Taste for salt, adding more if needed.

Reprinted with permission from World Food: Mexico City: Heritage Recipes for Classic Home Cooking by James Oseland, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.