Carino's Italian is a United States-based chain of Italian food casual dining restaurants. It has more than 170 restaurants with branches in about 30 states. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the concept is owned by Fired Up, Inc., which was founded in 1997 by partners and former Brinker International executives Norman Abdallah and Creed Ford. Prior to 2006, restaurants were called Johnny Carino's Country Italian, Johnny Carino's Italian then changed to Carino's Italian Grill.

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Bacon and Lentil Soup

Carino's Italian Bacon and Lentil Soup
Chef's Blog Recipe


1/2 cup olive oil       
1 tablespoon garlic, fresh chopped       
1/2 cup carrots, diced 
1 cup yellow onions, julienne      
1/2 lb smoked bacon raw, diced 
1 teaspoons salt       
1 teaspoon black pepper      
4 cups beef broth      
6 cups water       
2 cups lentils, rinsed       
1 cup Roma tomatoes, diced 
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed       
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped    


Place a large stock pot or braising pot on medium heat.  Add seasoned olive oil, garlic, carrots, onions, applewood bacon, salt and pepper to pot.  Sauté until bacon is thoroughly cooked.  Make sure that garlic is not burnt, only golden brown.  Add beef broth, water and rinsed lentils to the pot and bring liquid to a boil.  As soon as liquid reaches a boil, lower heat to low and let pot simmer for 40 minutes.  Lentils should be soft and cooked by now.

Next, we will be removing some of the lentils, blending them and then returning them to the soup to help thicken it:  Using a 4 ounce ladle, scoop out 2 full ladles of lentils from the liquid and tilt the ladle against the side of the pot to drain any excess liquid.  There may be some small pieces of carrot, onion or bacon in the lentils and that is fine, just try to scoop out a majority oflentils.  Add the lentils to a blender.  Then add one ladle full of liquid from the pot to the blender.  Blend until smooth and then return to the pot.  The final soup should contain about 50% lentil pieces and 50% blended lentils.

After blended lentils have been returned to the pot, add roma tomatoes, cannellini beans and parsley.  Let simmer until soup reaches 165 degrees F and then immediately lower the heat.  It is now ready to serve or cool down to save for later.

1 comment:

  1. I don't even bother taking out the lentils to blend. Use an immersion blender and give it a few pulses until you get to desired consistency. This is a lovely, hearty winter soup!

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