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Lentil Soup


Pair lentils with your favorite vegetables to make this flavorful, hearty soup.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2005


  • 3 strips (3 ounces) bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a Dutch oven (or other 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid), cook bacon over medium-low heat until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.

  2. Add onion and carrots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 1 minute.

  3. Add lentils, thyme, broth, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook until lentils are tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

  4. Stir in vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

If you prefer to leave out the bacon, skip step 1, and cook the onions and carrots in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add up to a cup more water if the lentil soup becomes too thick during cooking.

Reviews Add a comment

  • shellbell3471
    18 JAN, 2011
    I used 1 strip of bacon and white wine vinegar instead of the red this time around and it was just as good, if not better. I'll be making this soup frequently.
  • teacooking
    5 OCT, 2009
    This was really delicious! I liked that the soup was had alot of broth versus a stew-like consistency that can happen with lentil soup. Just realized that I forgot the vinegar and parmesan cheese - still great without!
  • oysterchef
    11 FEB, 2009
    Delicious! To lighten the dish I used only one piece of bacon--which still provided enough oil for the carrots and onions. To make the soup a bit n n n n n n greenern n n n n n I added some chopped and steamed brussel sprouts shortly after adding the lentils, stock and water. I did not have the vinegar on hand, but even without it this soup was very flavorful!
  • rivagirl83
    19 OCT, 2008
    This recipe was quick, easy, and tasty! I would definitely make it again. I added in some fresh parsley and next time I might add some chopped tomatoes too.
  • ehguy11
    3 MAY, 2008
    An excellent savory soup for a chilly night! The bacon really adds a lot of flavor and the shaved parmesan on top gave it a slightly nutty flavor. Looked nice with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.
  • memedea
    21 APR, 2008
    Fast, easy and delicious! We subbed out turkey bacon to keep the smoky flavor but cut the fat and doubled the recipe to store half in the freezer for later.
  • galfromwi
    17 MAR, 2008
    We try to have at least one meatless dinner per week. It's inexpensive, and gets my hubby and kids to try new and healthy things. It's easy, delicious and very filling. I have left out the bacon to make the recipe truly meatless, but the flavor of the bacon is so good in this soup that I usually continue to use it. The splash of red wine vinegar at the end really brings out the flavor of the soup. Try it with the crouton recipe from Martha's Vegetarian Lentil Soup recipe-delish! 10/10