Like with my barley post, I was still in the mood to keep things simple when I decided to make a soup from the leftover salt pork used in my tamales night refried beans.
Easy Lentil & Rice Soup
3 oz. salt pork - estimate
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped onion
6 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup bulk lentil & rice soup mix (consisted of brown & wild rice, and green, orange, & yellow lentils)
On stove, preheat removable ceramic bowl of crock pot (you could also use a pan) to medium heat. Remove much of the meatless fat from the salt pork. Dice remaining salt pork. Should have about 1/2 cup diced pork that's probably about half fat, half meat. Brown diced salt pork in preheated bowl or pan until crispy.
Remove crispy pork bits and set aside, leaving drippings in the bottom of the pan. Add carrots, celery, and onion to the pan and saute in the salt pork drippings over medium-high heat until tender. Add soup mix of rice and lentils to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes until coated with drippings.
Replace ceramic bowl into crock pot base (or transfer entire contents of the pan to your crock pot if not using a removable bowl). Add chicken broth, bay leaf, and reserved crispy salt pork. Cover and simmer on high setting for 4 hours. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Et voila! A simple, hearty, tasty soup perfect in this fresh Autumn weather.