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Red-Lentil Soup with Sage and Bacon

Red lentils, which actually have a deep-orange color, are rounder and smaller than the more common brown variety.

Red-Lentil Soup with Sage and Bacon

Photography: BEATRIZ DA COSTA

Source: Martha Stewart Living

Ingredients

  • 5 slices (4 ounces) bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a piece of paper towel, and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon drippings from pan.

  2. Add the garlic, onion, and carrots to saucepan. Cook vegetable mixture over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the minced sage, and cook 1 minute more.

  3. Add the lentils, cumin, and chicken stock; stir to combine. Simmer until lentils are cooked and falling apart, 20 to 25 minutes.

  4. To serve, divide the hot soup among four soup plates, and garnish with the reserved bacon and additional sage.

Reviews (12)

  • tperk 26 Jun, 2013

    Love this soup - easy weeknight meal. Left out the cumin and added a bay leaf - family loved it!

  • sarahjmor 10 Jun, 2013

    Very delicious. I pureed it so my 2 year old would eat it, and then cut the bacon into little pieces and sprinkled on top. She loved it.

  • Chanda Stone 15 Jan, 2013

    I LOVE this soup. I first made it years ago when I was newly married and it became a staple. Four months ago we moved to Saudi Arabia. The red lentils are EASY to come by but the bacon is the trick! I did just make it again tonight, oh so good!

  • Anna in Seattle 20 Jul, 2012

    This is my absolute favorite lentil soup recipe. The red lentils can be difficult to find, but I think they taste better and are much faster to cook than the green ones. I highly recommend this recipe to everyone!

  • CincinnatiMom 24 Oct, 2011

    This is now my go-to lentil soup recipe. Our grocery store doesn't carry dry red lentils so we substitute green and, although not as pretty, they're just as good. I've found that you have to bring the lentils to a boil before simmering in order for them to be "falling apart" after 20 or so minutes.

  • bizylizzy68 19 Jan, 2011

    I used Dry lentils....what a great way to use up what I had left from fa warm lentil salad. Very good, hearty. Be careful with the cumin!

  • topchefnyc 1 Mar, 2009

    Does anyone know if I am supposed to use DRY or canned lentils?

  • kchemistry 27 Feb, 2009

    The curry powder was a great suggestion. I added a 1/2 a teaspoon as well. I also added some kale during the last 10 min of cooking. It is really thick with just 5 cups of broth, so you might want to add more. Overall it's a super easy, tasty recipe.

  • kchemistry 27 Feb, 2009

    The curry powder was a great suggestion. I added a 1/2 a teaspoon as well. I also added some kale during the last 10 min of cooking. It is really thick with just 5 cups of broth, so you might want to add more. Overall it's a super easy, tasty recipe.

  • rct 6 Jan, 2009

    I really liked this. I added a half teaspoon of curry powder as someone else suggested, kept the bacon in rather than using it as a garnish, and upped the sage by a couple of leaves. It reminded me of split pea soup, while my boyfriend thought it was better than split pea soup (he likes lentils a lot). Will make again, though I might add a couple handfuls of spinach when I do.

  • carole7777 30 May, 2008

    The carrot probably blands it out. Perhaps some curry, as opposed to just cumin, and perhaps something besides mild sage...it seems to have potential as a base. Blackforest bacon is a recent discovery, its got a great smoky flavor, is heartier in texture. I found it at Whole Foods. I bet a drizzle of something spicy and contrasting on top as well, would liven it up. Greens pesto and white sour cream, in opposing swirls? Maybe I'm working this one too hard.

  • minmartha2 21 Jan, 2008

    Not particularly exciting soup. Rather bland.

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