I had never made this dish before but it just sounded so healthy and tasty that I couldn’t resist! If you wanted to make this a vegetarian version, you could use vegetable broth and omit the bacon, adding liquid smoke instead for the hickory flavor.
2 tbsp olive oil, 1 cup finely chopped onion, 2/3 cups finely chopped celery and 2/3 cup finely chopped carrots, 2 bay leaves, 12-14 oz green or orange lentils (I mixed both together). 4 slices smoked bacon or bacon ends. 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 3 cups of chicken broth, 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, 6 oz crumbled goat cheese, 1 lb spinach and collard greens, 2 chopped garlic cloves
Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium heat and add carrot, celery, onion, 1/2 of the garlic, red pepper flakes, bacon and bay leaves. Saute until soft about 8 minutes. Add lentils and stir together. Remove bacon after it is crisp and chop finely then add back into the pan. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow to simmer until lentils are tender – about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves, season with salt and pepper. Then add Mascarpone and stir into lentils until blended.
Greens: in another saute pan, add 1tbsp olive oil along with garlic – saute on high for 1 minute until garlic is softening. Add 1 tbsp water and greens to pan – tossing with tongs until greens are softened but not soggy.
Ladle your lentils into bowls, top with greens and crumble goat cheese over the top.