Hearty, delicious and fairly quick to prepare this lentil and bacon soup with mushrooms is perfect for colder days. Just add some crusty bread for a satisfying meal.
If you are a fan of pulses in your soups, take a look at this another gem Ham and Pea Soup.
We are all about soups this winter. I find the thought of a pot of soup patiently waiting for me in the fridge for lunch both comforting and convenient. All I have to do it to stick it in the microwave. Two minutes later a wholesome lunch is served!
My mother always made a large pot of soup every Sunday, which would provide lunches for the rest of the week. I resisted this kind of “monotony and planning” for years but finally embraced it, and couldn’t be happier!
As we spent the last two years at home, I found myself slightly overwhelmed. The kids studying from home and my husband, working remotely made me quickly realise I needed to feed 4 people 3 times a day!
So meal planning in the form of a soup of the week became a feature. And the soup category on this website grew and grew. Although the restrictions eased and the kids went back to school I never gave up my soups!
This creamy lentil and bacon soup is the latest addition.
I didn’t grow up eating lentils. I only discovered them as a young adult. My husband brought a recipe for red lentil dal from Nepal when we were in our early 20s. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Apart from their amazing taste and texture, lentils are full of fibre and nutrients. I included them in my babies’ diet as soon as they went on solids. I am so glad I did. Now as teens they still eat them!
Why should you eat lentils? There are so many reasons. They are good for us as I already mentioned. They are very cheap and incredibly versatile. No wonder almost every world cuisine has recipes with lentils!
They are great for making ahead. Cook a bunch and refrigerate or freeze till needed. One of my favourite ways to eat them is cold in salads. They make them so much more robust and filling. Try this Quinoa Salad with Lentils and Beets. Or this Roasted Butternut Squash with Lentils and Feta dish.
Lentils are also delicious in curries. This Vegan Coconut Lentil Curry is everyone’s favourite, meat lovers included. And of course, they are brilliant in soups!
Recipe Tips and Notes
- This recipe calls for streaky bacon (UK) but regular bacon will also work. If you are in the US and Canada, use the bacon available to you. You can also use ham as a leaner substitute.
- I like my soups quite chunky, chock full of vegetables, so I added a handful of sliced mushrooms and frozen spinach to bulk it up. However, not everyone is a mushroom lover. Feel free to omit them if you are not!
- I used green beluga lentils are they cook quickly but hold their shape as opposed to red lentils, which fall apart.
- If you want this soup even hartier, you can add some rice or barley at the same time as the lentils.
- I also added a bit of single cream at the end for a richer, creamier texture. While it made the soup extra delicious, the cream is not necessary and could be excluded for a dairy free version. Or you can use coconut milk.
More Favourite Lentil Recipes to Try:
Lentil and Bacon Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 100g/3.5 oz smoked streaky bacon
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
- 6 button mushrooms sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 200g/1 cup green lentils or beluga lentils
- 1.5 litre/6 cups chicken stock
- 250ml/1 cup single/light cream
- 3-4 cubes frozen spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a soup pot heat the olive oil and cook the chopped bacon till the fat renders. Discard all but 2 tbsp of fat. To the same pot, add the chopped onion, carrots and celery and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes. Once the vegetables softened a bit add the minced garlic, mushrooms and thyme, stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes longer.
- Next bring in the lentils, bay leaves and the chicken stock to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked through. Pour in the cream and add frozen spinach, cook for 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.