Bean & Lentil Bacon Soup

1 cup dried beans *
2 cans (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth
1/2-1 teaspoon hickory smoked salt, to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 pound Canadian bacon, roughly chopped
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and sorted **
sour cream

Wash and sort beans, cover with water and soak overnight. Or, quick soak by covering beans with water, bring to a boil, boil 5 minutes; remove from heat and allow to stand 1 hour. Discard soaking liquid. (Pre-soaking and discarding liquid will help reduce gas.)

Combine all but lentils and sour cream, in a crockpot or slowcooker. Add 2-4 cups hot water (depending upon size of cooker). Cover and cook on high 1 hour, reduce heat to low and continue cooking 8-9 hours. Add lentils, cover and continue to cook about 30 minutes or until tender**. To serve, garnish with a swirl of sour cream; serve with hot buttered cornbread and a tall glass of cold milk.

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