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Lentils with Sausage and Chard
    Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 pound mild smoked pork sausage (to taste), such as Italian sausage, cut in 2-inch pieces
2 ounces smoked bacon, trimmed of some of the fat, and diced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 pound lentils, preferably imported green lentils, washed and picked over
2 quarts water
2 bay leaves
  salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bunch Swiss chard (3/4 to 1 pound), stemmed, washed and coarsely chopped
    1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and brown the sausage lightly on all sides. Transfer to a plate and pour off the fat from the pot. Add the bacon to the pot, turn the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until it renders its fat and browns lightly. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant, one or two minutes, and add the lentils, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, return the sausage to the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer 40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the greens. Cook another 10 minutes or so, until the lentils are tender. The chard should be tender but still bright. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve.
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