5 from 3 votes

Easy Bacon & Lentil Soup

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This bacon and lentil soup is the perfect cold-weather accompaniment. This tasty, comforting soup is simple, easy, and ready in less than an hour.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
£0.94
Makes: 5
mains, meal prep
British
Freezable

Bacon and lentil soup is a classic, hearty recipe with crispy bacon bits and a filling, creamy lentil base. It’s salty, savoury, and so so delicious. This tasty recipe is comforting, making it perfect for cold weather (or whenever you crave a cosy dish). Pair it with crusty bread so you can soak up all the soup from the bowl.

2 bowls of lentil soup topped with bacon, sour cream and fresh parsley on a wooden board with a bowl of bacon and a bottle of sauce in view.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Comforting and cosy – With the creamy, thick bacon and lentil soup consistency and the bonus of crispy bacon bits on top, it’s safe to say this recipe is a favourite for a comforting meal.

Simple ingredients – Most of the ingredients for this lentil and bacon soup are likely already in your fridge or pantry.

Filling – With the fibre and protein from the bacon, lentils, and other veg, this soup will help you stay full until your next meal.

Easy to adjust to your preferences – There are many options for turning this lentil and bacon soup recipe into one that meets your tastes, like turkey bacon instead of regular bacon.

Use leftover lentils for these yummy recipes: Easy Red Lentil Dahl with Coconut Milk, Lentil Bolognese and Lentil and Chickpea Curry

Ingredients

Ingredients to make bacon and lentil soup laid out on a pale blue back ground and labelled.

Bacon – Adding crispy bacon bits to each bowl of bacon and lentil soup helps provide richness, flavour, and a more exciting texture. You can swap this with turkey bacon, pancetta, or a meat-free alternative.

Lentils – I prefer using red lentils for this bacon and lentil soup recipe, as they help create a thicker consistency as they cook. However, you can also use brown/green lentils, which offer similar consistency. I would avoid French green lentils, unless you want a thinner soup.

Parsley – Fresh parsley adds a lovely colour and fresh flavour. You can use any variety, from Italian to flat leaf, for this recipe. Other herbs, like sage and rosemary, will also work well in this bacon lentil soup recipe. Though, they’re best added to the soup as it cooks, not as a garnish.

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

This bacon and lentil soup is easy to adjust to your preferences. Here are some ways you can alter it to your needs. Instead of crispy bacon bits, consider pan-fried pancetta for a richer flavour. You can also make this bacon lentil soup vegetarian-friendly by leaving out the bacon bits or using a meat-free alternative. You’ll also need to swap out the Worcester sauce for soy sauce.

 Increase the flavour of this soup by using chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.

You can also make this easy lentil and bacon soup your own by adding other veggies of choice. Fire-roasted diced tomatoes and diced potato work well in this bacon soup lentil dish. Instead of sour cream, use Greek yoghurt or a dash of heavy cream (richer taste/consistency). A non-dairy milk can also be used as a swap to turn this soup into a dairy-free recipe.

How to make bacon and lentil soup

  1. Start by chopping the onions, carrots and celery into small pieces (Image 1).
  2. Then add the sliced bacon to a non-stick frying pan over a low/medium heat with half of the oil. Gently fry to allow the bacon fat to render (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with finely sliced onions and carrots on chopping a board and the second with pieces of bacon frying in a pan.

3. After the bacon has been frying for around 10 minutes, or until crispy, remove one third of the bacon from the pan (Image 3).

4. Then add the chopped carrot, onion and celery to the pan (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with pieces of bacon frying in a pan and the second with the celery, onion and carrot slices added to the pan.

5. Season generously with salt and pepper and continue to fry for 7 minutes. Then, add the garlic to fry for 2 minutes (Image 5).

6. Next add the lentils and stock. Stir to combine and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with pieces of bacon frying in a pan with the chopped vegetables and the second with the stock added to the pan.

7. When the timer has 5 more minutes to go, add the paprika and Worcester sauce. The lentils will now be tender and ready to serve (Image 7).

8. Top with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of the reserved crispy bacon, a crack of black pepper and dig in! (Image 8).

2 step by step photos, the first with lentils and vegetables cooking in a pan with a woooden spoon and the second lentil soup served in a bowl topped with bacon buts, sour cream and parsley.

Love a comforting soup? Here are some Autumn Warming Soups recipes to give you inspiration.

A bowl of lentil soup topped with bacon, sour cream and fresh parsley on a wooden board. with a small bowl with bacon bits and a bottle in partial view.

Tips for the best results

Sort through the lentils before using them
Sometimes, as lentils are sorted, they get debris and small rocks mixed in. So, sorting through the lentils before beginning this bacon and lentil soup dish is important to ensure you remove anything that shouldn’t be in the mixture.

Rinse the lentils with cold water
This step also helps remove any additional dust/debris on the lentils.

Chop the bacon before tossing it in the pan
It’s easier to crisp up bacon for this recipe if it’s pre-cut. Use kitchen scissors to chop the bacon into small, even-sized pieces before tossing the bits into a pan.

Use equal-sized veggie pieces
Avoid unevenly cooked veggies by chopping them into equal pieces (or as equal as possible). This will help ensure that the veggies are not overly mushy or undercooked.

Love bacon? Here are some more recipes to give you inspiration; Creamy Bacon Pasta, Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Creamy Green Risotto with Crispy Bacon and Mushrooms

A bowl of lentil soup topped with bacon, sour cream and fresh parsley on a wooden board.

FAQs

Can I make bacon soup in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can make this recipe in the slow cooker. Follow the steps below (including crisping the bacon in a separate pan). After finishing step two, shift the 1/3 section of bacon chunks, bacon grease, carrots, onions, and celery to the slow cooker. Then, follow the rest of the instructions using the slow cooker instead of a pan/pot. Make sure you are stirring occasionally. Voila!

Can I freeze lentil and bacon soup?

Absolutely! Once cooled, store this traditional lentil and bacon soup recipe in airtight bags or containers. Then, keep the containers in the freezer for up to three months.

Can I reheat bacon soup?

Yes, you can reheat bacon and lentil soup. I recommend reheating it on the stovetop, if possible. That way, you can add a small amount of water as it heats up since this soup thickens as it sits.
 
Pair this hearty soup with one of the following salads for a filling meal: Grinder Salad, Halloumi Caesar Salad and Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce

If you tried this Easy Bacon & Lentil Soup recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Easy Bacon & Lentil Soup

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5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
£0.94
mains, meal prep
British
Freezable
Servings: 5
This bacon and lentil soup is the perfect cold-weather accompaniment. This tasty, comforting soup is simple, easy, and ready in less than an hour.

Ingredients

  • 500 g carrots, peeled and diced (£0.30)
  • 1 onion, diced (£0.10)
  • 300 g cooking bacon, chopped (£0.90)
  • 3 celery stalks (£0.75)
  • 350 g red lentils (£1.50)
  • 5 dollops of sour cream (£0.75)
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped (£0.39)
  • Optional parsley to garnish

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce

Method

  • Start by adding the bacon to a non-stick frying pan over a low/medium heat with half of the oil. Gently fry to allow the bacon fat to render out of the bacon.
  • After the bacon has been frying for around 10 minutes, or until crispy, remove one third of the bacon and add the carrot, onion and celery to the pan.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper and continue to fry for 7 minutes. Then, add the garlic to fry for 2 minutes before adding the lentils and stock.
  • Stir to combine and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. When the timer has 5 more minutes to go, add the paprika and Worcester sauce.
  • Top with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of the reserved crispy bacon, a crack of black pepper and dig in!

Notes

  • Before starting the bacon and lentil soup, carefully sift through lentils to remove any debris or small rocks that may be present.
  • Eliminate additional dust and debris by rinsing lentils thoroughly with cold water.
  • Improve bacon crisping by chopping it into small, even-sized pieces with kitchen scissors before adding to the pan.
  • Ensure uniform cooking by chopping vegetables into equal-sized pieces, preventing uneven texture in the final dish.

Nutrition

Servings: 5 servings
Fat: 20g
Calories: 543kcal
Carbohydrates: 56g
Protein: 37g

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