Lentil and bacon soup recipe

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This delicious lentil and bacon soup recipe is quick and easy to make and it's absolutely packed with flavour. It's also great value - inexpensive to make and filling - great for lunch or dinner.

Lentil and bacon soup recipe
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
  • healthy
  • healthy
Serves4–6
SkillEasy
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time1 hours
Five A DayTwo
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories224 Kcal11%
Sugar6.7 g7%
Fat9.3 g13%
Saturated Fat2.2 g11%
Salt1.32 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein12.8 g26%
Carbohydrates24.0 g9%
Salt1.32 gRow 7 - Cell 2

This lentil and bacon soup is such a great recipe to know if you're trying to save some pennies but you don't want to compromise on taste.

Lentils and bacon are such a classic flavour combination. The rich, salty taste of the bacon really infuses the whole dish and works so well alongside  the smoky, earthy flavour of the lentils. You don't need much bacon to create this amazing effect, and it doesn't need to be fancy. In fact, this is a great recipe for using the cheap bacon off-cuts you can buy in most supermarkets. Lentils are a powerhouse ingredient - packed with protein and fibre so they fill you up and keep you feeling full right through to your next meal. And although this soup takes a while to cook, it doesn't require much effort at all. Simply leave it to slowly bubble and in an hour you have the most amazing meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 200g (7oz) red lentils
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crusty bread, to serve

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the bacon, onion and carrots and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes, or until the bacon has started to turn golden and the vegetables have softened. Add the lentils to the pan and stir well. Add the chopped tomatoes and 1.5 litres (2½ pints) boiling water, and stir in stock cube. Bring to the boil, cover, and then simmer the soup gently for about 1 hour, or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the soup to cool slightly. Purée the soup with the parsley, and add seasoning to taste. If the soup is too thick, a little extra boiling water can be added.
  3. Reheat the soup for serving in mugs, with crusty bread.

Watch how to make lentil and bacon soup

Tips for making lentil and bacon soup:

To save time (and washing up), this soup does not need be puréed, but can be left slightly chunky - just make sure it's cooked for long enough, so that the lentils are very tender. If the soup isn't going to be pureed, ensure that both the bacon and onion are finely chopped.

What type of lentils are best for this soup?

Red lentils are ideal here because they soften down as they cook to give just the right texture, plus we love the vibrant orange colour. Yellow lentils will soften down in much the same way to give a lovely texture, but they tend to have a milder, less sweet flavour than red ones. 

What other types of lentils are there?

The main types of lentils are red / yellow (split lentils), brown and green. Because the red and yellow varieties are split, they cook more quickly, and do not hold their shape as much in cooking. Green lentils (puy or French lentils) take the longest to cook and have a lovely distinct, nutty flavour. Brown lentils are the most common (unspecified lentils are usually brown). They are cheap and filling and work well in warm salads and casseroles. You can also get black lentils (Beluga lentils) which are very small and hold their shape really well, making them a little like a vegetarian caviar. 

Are lentils good for you?

Yes! All types of lentils are low in calories and a good source of protein (as well as being really affordable compared to other protein sources). They're also rich in iron, folate and potassium.

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Jessica Dady
Senior Content Editor

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.