This fast and easy Smoky Lentil And Bacon Soup is as cozy as your favorite winter sweater. Omit the bacon and use vegetable stock to easily make it vegetarian or vegan! It's simple to prepare using basic ingredients and freezes beautifully. Make a big batch now and save some for later!
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Soups should be simple and this recipe is exactly that. It's basic and delicious just the way it is but can also be altered to use up other ingredients in your fridge, try different spices or herbs and different types of lentils.
Ingredients you need to make this soup
- Smoked Sweet Paprika (affiliate link) , preferably Spanish,
- dried lentils
- chicken or vegetable stock
- fresh or dried parsley
- Other optional ingredients: chopped fresh fennel, mushrooms, potatoes or sweet potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, kale or other hearty greens, sausage, ham or any left over meat, cut into small pieces, herbs such as thyme, rosemary, dill or cilantro.
- Parmesan rind is a great addition especially if you are making this soup vegetarian.
Can I make this vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, you can! Just omit the bacon and use vegetable stock. The addition of mushrooms would add some great umami!
FAQs about Lentils
Lentils are rich in protein, fiber, iron, and folate which makes this soup a big bowl of nutritious goodness!
Canned or dried lentils? Dried lentils are always best. Not to mention they are more economical and take up less storage space. Canned lentils are fine if you have them and want to use them up, but if you are making a shopping list I recommend picking up some dried lentils.
What type of lentils should I use? You can use any type of lentils for this recipe. I used brown this time but have also used green and French lentils. Red lentils would be my last choice for this particular soup but can still work. Note that they take less time to cook. If you are looking for ways to use up your red lentils check out this recipe for Curried Red Lentil Soup.
How long do they take to cook? Lentils do not need soaking but should be rinsed. Cooking times will vary depending on how fresh they are. After about 20 minutes, taste them and decide if they need more cooking or not. I prefer some texture to mine so I cook them for a bit less time but if you want them to fall apart and be more creamy, cook them longer. Check red lentils after 15 minutes.
How to make this recipe
- Clean and chop vegetables, garlic, parsley and bacon
- Rinse lentils under cold water
- Heat a large pot, over medium heat, and cook bacon until just beginning to brown and crisp.
- Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic.
- Saute for approximately 10 minutes or until onions are soft.
- Add lentils and spices. Stir until lentils are coated in the spices. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
- Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are your desired tenderness.
- Remove from heat and add chopped parsley.
How to store this soup
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Other Recipes you might like to try
As always, post your comments, questions, and ratings at the bottom section of the post. I love hearing from you!
Smoky Lentil And Bacon Soup
- 4-6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 large onion, white, Spanish or yellow, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, preferably Spanish
- 1 cup dried brown or green lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup fresh parsley, rinsed, dried, and chopped
- Sour cream or yogurt
- Balsamic vinegar
- Grated cheese, especially Parmesan
- Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until lightly browned.
- Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes or until onion is softened.
- Add cumin and smoked paprika and lentils. Stir to coat lentils in spices.
- Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are desired tenderness.
- Remove from heat and add fresh parsley.
- Storage: Let cool completely and store, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Monique HOWARD says
This is by far the best soup I’ve ever had and so easy to make!
Another perfect recipe from Andrea! My husband and I had it for our lunches all week and I am making another batch tomorrow. We added extra spinach to bump up the greens. We loved it!
I am disappointed it didn’t last long. Next time I will double this one, it is absolutely delish.
Another super delicious recipe and so easy to make. I topped with parm and balsamic. Thank you Andrea! Another hit.
Yum! So happy you enjoyed the soup! Perfect additions too! 👌
This soup is so delicious and easy to make! Perfect way to warm up on a wintry day. I've made it with both bacon and sausage, equally yummy!
Fantastic! So happy to hear you are enjoying the soup!
Another hit! We love lentils and this was a delicious add to my repertoire of recipes. I decided to add a few handfuls of baby spinach to beef up leafy greens while following Gina’s program! 😋 Thank you again, Andrea, for another winner!🏆
Perfect addition with the leafy greens 🥬 So happy you enjoyed it! 😀
Heather Knight says
I made this for lunch today and it was absolutely delicious ! And I love that it's on plan.. thank you
Awesome! So happy you enjoyed it!
Can you use canned lentils instead?
Yes absolutely! You will need about 2 cups and can reduce the cooking time to about 10-15 mins. as the canned ones are already cooked.
SO delicious! I added a grated zucchini and half a bag of frozen spinach at the same time as the other veggies to pump up a bit more veg into this soup. Will definitely be making this on the regular at our house. Thanks as always for your delicious recipes!
Great additions and a good way to use up the bounty of zucchini many are faced with! So happy you liked the recipe and thanks for commenting!
Diane H. says
Lentil soup is one of my favs. This was so delicious...best part was how fast and flavourful it was! I used my hand mixer which gave it a nice thick texture. We enjoyed it on a grey, cool day - it was perfect!
Thanks so much for your comment Diane! So happy you liked the recipe and like the idea of pureeing it for a different texture.
Donna Fradette says
We LOOOOVED this soup Ann! About to make it again right now. Unfortunately I don’t have any bacon 😫😭 Wouldn’t change a thing in the recipe!
Fantastic! Sausage, keilbasa and ham are all great substitutes! So happy you love it!
Leah Vergotine says
Wow. I just made this soup for lunch since it is a cold windy day and I needed something different from the salad routine I had going on. I added a bit of curry powder to the pot and a cup of spinach to my helping--oh my! So yum! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!
Awesome! So glad you like it. Perfect for a cold and windy day!
This soup was beyond delicious. I doubled the recipe and added spinach. Used 1/2 fresh parsley and 1/2 fresh cilantro.
This will be one we make again!!!
Hi Tracey! I am so happy you enjoyed this soup!! Like the additions too. It's a flexible soup that you can tweak to use up what you have in the fridge.