Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lentil and Bacon Soup

Today's lunch was a variation on a recipe from old friends in Australia.  They made it for me on my 30th birthday and I loved it!  The original recipe called for red lentils but I didn't have any, so we tried it with brownish-greenish lentils.

First, rinse the lentils thoroughly and make sure there aren't any icky ones, or other bits of debris.

Place in a large pot with a can of petite diced tomatoes (you can use three chopped fresh tomatoes, too), two slices of chopped bacon, a tablespoon of minced garlic, two whole cloves, and a chopped onion.  (Clockwise from bottom.)

Add about six cups of chicken or vegetable stock and let cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until the lentils are nearly soft.

Add about a half-pound diced potatoes, and more stock if necessary.  Continue cooking until both the potatoes and the lentils are soft.

Remove the soup from the heat and allow to cool a bit.  Puree using an immersion blender, regular blender, or press the soup through a sieve.  You are trying to get it smooth, but not too smooth.  Some texture is a good thing.

Add two tablespoons of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve topped with fresh bacon if you like.

The Verdict

I liked it a lot, as did my husband.  Our daughter's friend had two bowls (she's 11.)

All three of my children refused to eat it and instead ate just bread.  We had a lot left over and I would definitely halve the recipe next time.  I also think it needs some sort of green herbage - maybe cilantro, or lots of parsley, or something.  The flavors weren't as bright as I'd hoped.  I don't know if it is because I didn't use red lentils.

Lentil and Bacon Soup, serves six

one cup dry lentils
at least six cups of chicken or vegetable stock
one tablespoon minced garlic
two whole cloves
two slices of chopped bacon
one 410 gram can of petite diced tomatoes, or three chopped fresh tomato
salt and pepper
half pound diced potatoes
two tablespoons lemon juice

Wash lentils thoroughly and drain.  Place in pan with garlic, cloves, bacon, tomato, onion, salt, pepper and broth.  Simmer 45 to 60 minutes, until lentils are nearly soft.

Add potatoes and more stock or water if necessary.  Cook approximately 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft.

Cool slightly and puree to a thick chunk.  Add two tablespoons of lemon juice.  Serve topped with crumbled, cooked bacon (if desired.)


  1. Spinach or kale would be a nice addition. I've also added carrots and red pepper, just to make it more colorful. Great recipe!

  2. This was fabulous! Delaney even liked it and had 2 small bowls. We tried our first bowl without pureeing and thought the broth was amazing. We pureed the second batch, still liked it but next time we make it we won't use the immersion blender.