This chunky, thick bacon and lentil soup is a comforting and filling meal. We use gravy granulates for an easy soup base, and add celery and carrots for extra veg. Made in less than an hour, it’s a perfect one-pot weeknight meal.
My partner hates soup. He doesn’t like the idea of eating spoonfuls of hot, thick liquid and calling it a meal. I don’t get it, as soup is one of my favorite dishes. So I’ve made it my mission to make lots of soups that he genuinely enjoys to prove him wrong and get him onboard the soup train. I have previously made Slow cooker lasagna soup with minced beef and Creamy vegetable soup with tortellini, which both have been received well. This hearty soup with lentils, bacon and traditional British veg was also an absolute hit. As it was incredibly easy to make, I imaging we’ll be eating this soup regularly through autumn and winter this year.
What do you need to make a bacon and lentil soup?
- Brown lentils
- Bacon with little fat – back bacon or bacon medallions are ideal
- Red onion
- Stock cube
- Gravy granulates
How do you make this lentil soup with bacon?
Start by chopping and dicing your vegetables. Remove the fat from the bacon. Ideally you want to use bacon with a lot of meat and only a little fat, which we simply cut off as it doesn’t taste nice after boiling.
Heat some oil in a pot, and add onion. Cook for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Add garlic, and cook for one minute while stirring. Add bacon and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. It’s fine if the bacon doesn’t cook through, because it will boil in the soup for a while. Add lentils, water and the stock cube. Bring it to a boil, reduce down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Leave to boil for about 20 minutes. Add the diced carrots and celery. If the soup looks a bit dry, you can add more water. Cover with a lid and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
Taste to make sure that the lentils are soft, and carrots and celery is cooked. When it’s all cooked through, add some gravy granulates to make the broth thick and creamy. Serve plain, garnished with fresh coriander, or a tablespoon of Greek yogurt, sour cream or creme fraiche.
How to serve bacon and lentil soup
This soup is so hearty and filling, it’s best to serve it as a main course. I prefer mine served as is with some buttered bread or toast on the side. If you want to garnish the dish, consider using fresh coriander leaves, crispy bacon, some Greek yogurt, a drizzle of oil or maybe some grated cheese.
Tips and substitutions
Bacon – You can use smoked or unsmoked bacon in a bacon and lentil soup, whichever is your preference. As we don’t want bacon fat in this recipe, you can use bacon medallions, or back bacon with the fat cut off and discarded. In a pinch you could use regular bacon with pieces of fat, but I don’t think the consistency is very nice after boiling. If you’re a fan of crunchy, streaky bacon, you can fry up some bacon pieces and add to the soup when it’s finishes cooking. It makes for a tasty garnish.
Carrots and celery – You can omit or replace these vegetables, but the flavors do fit the soup well. If replacing with other veg you might have to reconsider the cooking time.
Red onion – I love the subtle sweetness that red onion adds to the dish, but any onion will do. Use regular yellow onions, or even shallots if you have that on hand. You could also omit the onion all together, but it does add a lot of flavor so I highly recommend including it if at all possible.
Gravy granulates – It might sound a bit odd to add gravy granulates to a soup if you haven’t tried it before, but it’s honestly great. It adds nice flavor, but also give the soup that thick, lovely consistency. Gravy is an excellent thickener for any stew or chunky, hearty soup. As an alternative you can make a simple roux, or add a mixture of cornstarch and water. You can also thicken the soup by simply pureeing part of it with a hand blender or food processor. Gravy granulates is the easiest option in my opinion as it doesn’t add any extra washing up!
Can you store bacon and lentil soup in the fridge?
This soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. As with most soups, the flavor will just enhance and be much better on the second or third day. You can even freeze the soup for up to 3 months, so this recipe is a great idea for meal prepping.
Bacon and lentil soup
- 150 g bacon without fat, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 1/2 large red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 stock cube
- 200 g brown lentils
- 1,5 l water
- 3 tbsp gravy granulates
- Measure and dice the required ingredients
- Heat a bit of oil, butter or cooking spray in a large pot on medium high heat
- Add onions, and saute until it's softened and translucent, about 4 minutes
- Add garlic and cook for one minute while stirring
- Add bacon and cook for two minutes while stirring
- Add water and the stock cube, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, put the lid on, and leave to boil for about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally, and add more water if the mixture gets too dry.
- Around the 25 minute mark, add carrots and celery, put the lid back on and cook for around 20 minutes.
- Taste the soup and make sure that the lentils, carrots and celery are soft. If they are too hard for your liking, cook for a few more minutes and keep monitoring it.
- Before serving, add salt and pepper to taste. Your soup will be quite brothy at this point, which is why we want to add the gravy granulates. Add 1 tablespoon gradually until you're happy with the consistency. If it gets too thick, you can add a bit more water.
- When you're happy with seasoning and consistency, add the soup to bowls and serve!