Also calling out to me? Bacon! Put some bacon in anything and I’m there. There’s not a lot of bacon, though, so this is still a relatively healthy soup. And if you took out the bacon it would still be hearty and filling thanks to the lentils and the vegetables.
With the exception of the lentils, which I personally had never eaten or bought before I made this recipe, it doesn’t have any other specialized ingredients. I had everything already sitting in my kitchen and I definitely prefer recipes where I can use ingredients I already have. I hate, hate, hate, buying a special ingredient for a recipe and then having the leftovers go bad or sit in my pantry collecting dust. (And now that I know I like lentils, I’m finding new recipes to make with them so they’re becoming a pantry staple along with kidney beans and black beans.)
This soup is really easy to make and pretty flexible. I added in a few more vegetables and herbs than the original recipe called for, you could add in other favorites. I think I’m going to add a can of diced tomatoes next time. I’ve also seen other Lentil Soup recipes that had spinach (which I don’t like very much). This would be a great soup to make if you needed to clean out your fridge/pantry and use up whatever you have on hand.
Soup, Dinner | Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 20 min
- 3 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and diced
- 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 3 1/2 cups (2 – 14.5 oz. cans) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Fresh, flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
- In a Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid, cook the bacon over medium-low until browned and crisp about 8-10 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. of the fat.
- Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the lentils, bay leaf, thyme, broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 30-45 minutes. Add more water if the soup becomes too thick while cooking.
- Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf. Top with parsley and serve immediately.