French Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Bacon

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A hearty lentil soup made with French green lentils, vegetables and bacon.

French Lentil Soup with Bacon

I love this French lentil soup for its many layers of flavor: the smokiness of the bacon, earthiness of the lentils, sweetness of the onions and carrots, and acidity of the tomatoes. It’s made with French green lentils (lentilles du Puy), which hold their shape when cooked and thicken the soup without turning it to sludge (which is, sadly, the fate of most lentil soups).

how to make french lentil soup

You can find French green lentils in the bulk section at Whole Foods or other specialty food shops. They are definitely worth going out of your way to find but don’t worry if you can’t get them — common green or brown lentils will work fine. Just watch the cooking time as they can get mushy.

Begin with the prep. I like to chop the bacon, onions, and celery very fine, so they aren’t too discernible in the finished soup, but keep the carrots a bit larger so they don’t disappear.

Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp.

how to make french lentil soup

Add the olive oil, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic.

how to make french lentil soupCook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

how to make french lentil soup

Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper.

how to make french lentil soup

Bring to a boil.

how to make french lentil soup

Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender but not mushy, 45 to 50 minutes (less for common lentils).

how to make french lentil soup

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup a little bit at a time until the broth is slightly thickened. Go easy — if you purée the soup too much, it will get too thick and you’ll lose the integrity of the lentils. If you don’t have an immersion blender, simply transfer a few cups of the soup to a standard blender and purée, then return the blended soup to the pot.

how to make french lentil soup

Season to taste and adjust the consistency if necessary (the soup tends to thicken as it sits, so you may need to add some water).

how to make french lentil soup

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

how to make french lentil soup

French Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Bacon

A hearty lentil soup made with French green lentils, vegetables and bacon.

Servings: 6
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken broth, best quality such as Swanson
  • 1 cup French lentils (lentilles du Puy), or common brown or green lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • A few tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Fry the bacon in a large pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Do not brown; reduce heat if necessary. Add the tomatoes (with their juices), broth, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the lentils are tender, 45 to 50 minutes (less for common lentils). Fish out the bay leaves and discard.
  2. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until the broth is slightly thickened, or to desired consistency. (Be careful not to purée too much or the soup will get too thick, and you'll lose the integrity of the lentils.) If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer about 2 cups of the soup to a blender and purée until smooth, then return the blended soup to the pot. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired and serve. (Note: The soup may thicken as it sits; thin with a bit of water if necessary.)
  3. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: about 1 3/4 cups each
  • Calories: 318
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Fiber: 12g
  • Protein: 17g
  • Sodium: 878mg
  • Cholesterol: 17mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • My husband and son loved this soup! I was told it was the best lentil soup I’ve made. I followed the recipe except for using plain green lentils instead.

    • — Doris on June 27, 2019
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  • LOVED THIS. So much flavour, so hearty and so tasty.

    • — BessC on May 13, 2019
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  • Cost efficient meal I can cook up during the week after a long day at work. I did not adjust the recipe, as it is fantastic just the way it is!

    • — Ester on April 19, 2019
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  • Hi Jen
    I would like to make this “vegetarian” but I am wondering if omitting the bacon and using vegetable stock will give enough depth of flavor. Any suggestions for “umphing” the flavor??

    Many thanks!

    • — Barb on February 26, 2019
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    • Hi Barb, It will still be very tasty sans the bacon, but if you’d like, you could add some browned vegetarian sausage and/or a pinch of smoked paprika (which will lend a bit of smoky flavor that the bacon contributes). Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 27, 2019
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  • This soup was hearty & satisfying. I made it time & a half for more leftovers and was happy with the results.

    • — Ulrike on February 22, 2019
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  • Made this as specified, but asked myself how many rustic French households had/have immersion blenders. Left it unblended, and it was perfect.

    I realize that portions could have been mashed with a fork, etc, but it was VERY good as it was.

    With a rustic French baguette, of course.

    • — JoeW on February 21, 2019
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  • Hello. I don’t eat bacon. If I omit the bacon in the lentil soup recipe, would I need to add anything else instead, or change the cooking time? Thank you.

    • — Mary Trotter on February 21, 2019
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    • Hi Mary, It’s fine to omit the bacon; no other changes necessary. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 21, 2019
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  • Made this recipe last night just as listed except using brown lentils (will get the French lentils next time at Whole Foods). Honestly, I was hopeful and cautious at the same time since I had one bad experience with cooking lentils many years ago that did not turn out (texture). I have not made or eaten them since. I suspect in hindsight it was due to cooking them too long (brown lentils). I was hopeful because I have cooked about 7-8 recipes of Jenn’s the last 3-4 weeks that all turned out great, and I really wanted this one to convert me to a lentil soup lover. This recipe turned out fantastic and was so good last night and even better warmed up today for lunch. Thank you, Jenn, for your thorough notes regarding caution about overcooking brown lentils versus the time mentioned for French lentils. I cooked the brown ones about 20 minutes and it was perfect! This is a good basic soup for the season.

    • — Debbie on January 16, 2019
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  • If omitting (pork) bacon, would this be better subbing turkey bacon or just without? (Turkey bacon has much less taste/crunch than regular, pork, bacon.)

    • — P on December 15, 2018
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    • I’d probably just leave it out, P. You could add a pinch of smoked paprika to replace some of the smoky flavor.

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2018
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  • Excellent soup! Thanks so much for the recipe:)

    • — Cynthia on December 4, 2018
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  • Tried this soup and it is delicious! Added one more piece of bacon and a bit more good olive oil, one more piece of celery. We also used red lentils. Added the lentils to the pot to saute when veggies are almost done. Gives them a bit of smokey flavor due to the bacon. Thank you for this recipe.

    • — Denise on November 29, 2018
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  • I’ve made this several times as my husband and I love soup. The only thing I change is the bacon-I use 5 or 6 slices because we like it a little “meatier”. I make home made cornbread to go with this soup. YUM

    • — Kathleen on November 27, 2018
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  • Wow! Made this today and it was a hit. My 8 year old daughter loved it and I puréed it fully for my infant who couldn’t get enough! The only thing I changed was the tomatoes- didn’t have any canned on hand so I took 4 Roma tomatoes, emerged them into boiled water, skinned and chopped. Definitely a staple!

    • — Anastasia on November 11, 2018
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  • So happy to find this amazing recipe. Was looking for something to use the last of my green tomatoes and this was perfect! Followed recipe with the exception of substituting 4 medium green tomatoes for the canned tomatoes. Lovely soup for a chilly, fall day. Served with a drizzle of olive oil and Aleppo pepper and buttered, crusty bread. This is a keeper!

    • — Rachel H on October 27, 2018
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  • Loved it! Easy to make and the house smelled fantastic. I served it with roast beef sammies on crusty italian rolls-perfect meal for a cool fall day.

    • — Karen on October 5, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn. Thank you for this terrific recipe. This soup is delicious. Can This be made ahead and stored in the fridge for two days for a dinner party?

    • — Maria on September 28, 2018
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    • Sure, Maria. It will likely thicken up in the fridge; just add some broth or water to thin it back to the right consistency.

      • — Jenn on September 29, 2018
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  • This soup was delicious! I didn’t have bacon so used pancetta instead and the flavor was even better. I will be making this again in the future.

    • — Nicole on July 3, 2018
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    • Question: how do you know it was even better? had you made it previously with bacon? I have both in the freezer, so I’m curious before I start cooking…Thx

      • — Anita on September 30, 2018
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  • Followed the recipe exactly, and it was delicious! Even my husband, who usually doesn’t like lentils, loved it and asked me to make it again!

    • — Rachel W. on June 29, 2018
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  • This is a very good and classic recipe. I left out the bacon because I’m vegetarian and substituted a delicious Field Grain brand vegan sausage. Still tasted yummy and I’ll definitely make this again.

    • — Mary Young on June 28, 2018
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  • Does this soup freeze well? 🙂

    • — Rosa on May 4, 2018
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    • Yep!

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2018
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  • This soup is so delicious that it’s on our regular rotation. Big flavor with little effort. I did modify a little by adding 1 tsp. oregano and cooked it in a pressure cooker to save time.

    • — Nancy on March 7, 2018
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  • I made this on a rainy Sunday afternoon and my family enjoyed it for dinner and lunch. It was very good. I doubled the bacon but followed the recipe otherwise. It was very good.

    • — Shari Darling on March 6, 2018
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  • I made a few minor changes & one substitution: I subbed 4 ounces of prosciutto for the bacon; I used Trader Joe’s pre-chopped Mirepoix instead of measuring and chopping my own carrots, onions, and celery; I used 1T dried parsley instead of 3T fresh; and I added 1 large red potato diced into about 1 cm cubes with enough time to cook it to tender. THIS SOUP WAS FABULOUS! My whole family couldn’t believe how delicious and savory it was; they were not expecting a lentil soup to be so delish. Thanks, Jen!

    • — BethA on March 1, 2018
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  • Made this today. It was absolutely delicious. I did use brown lentils and added a pinch of ground cumin for a bit more earthy taste. I served it with a scoop of long grain white rice, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeno, avocado and a squeeze of lime. Would absolutely make it again, a definite winner.

    • — Rowena Gransaull on March 1, 2018
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  • This recipe is perfect, the only change I made is to omit the salt, i use Better than Bouillon chicken broth and it was salty enough. Excellent soup that s very filling!

    • — Emilie Kollias on March 1, 2018
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  • that would be a good replacement for the bacon to make this recipe vegan?

    • — Alex on February 28, 2018
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    • Hi Alex, It’s fine to just leave it out but you’ll need to use a bit more oil. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 1, 2018
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  • While lentil is my soup of choice, I did not care for the flavor of bacon with the lentils nor the texture of the bacon after simmering in the soup. The one substitution I made was to use a sweet potato in place of carrots. I freeze several jars of soup to have on hand for quick soup and sammie dinners. A note for those who freeze soup: the bacon did not freeze well. Upon reheating it floated limply on the top. I prepare this soup several times a month minus the bacon and find it to be delish.

    • — Lyn on February 5, 2018
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  • This is a hearty soup, but we made this tonight as a starter to mushroom risotto, seared scallop and pancetta, and tender sugar snap peas. Delicious!!! We’ve never had lentil soup before; not sure why not. But based on the reviews I could not resist trying this soup recipe. I’m so glad I did! We’ll be eating this soup all the weekend long in-between our outdoor winter activities. Every recipe of yours I try, Jenn, makes me that much more excited for your recipe book!

    • — Nicole on January 26, 2018
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    • 😊

      • — Jenn on January 26, 2018
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  • I really enjoyed this recipe. I used a double smoked bacon and found that Canadian lentils work just fine (they do not go mushy). Other tweaks were a couple of splashes of scotch bonnet sauce and a teaspoon of anchovy sauce; both to further enhance flavour!

    • — Mike on January 25, 2018
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  • This was the best lentil soup I’ve ever had! My whole family loved it. I didn’t have chicken broth, but beef tasted great, too.
    Thanks for another delicious winter supper idea!

    • — Karen on January 19, 2018
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  • For those of us that don’t eat pork, how might you modify this recipe, so we don’t loose the flavor provided by the bacon? Thanks so much!

    • — danielle on January 9, 2018
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    • Hi Danielle, you can use turkey bacon or just omit the bacon. It’ll still be delicious!

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2018
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  • Hi do you typically prefer to use the long carrots or the smaller baby carrots?

    • — Kim on December 28, 2017
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    • Hi Kim, I prefer long carrots. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 28, 2017
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  • My husband’s Italian Nonna does not speak English but she taught me to make her lenticchia soup years ago, she did not measure anything though (of course) and I wish I took better notes. I tried this recipe and it’s definitely close, a little different but I finally have clear instructions to follow for something similar. This is a delicious soup, another great recipe from this site. I modified slightly only to make it a little more like Nonna’s version: I blended the tomatoes mostly at the thickening step because she used a smooth tomato sauce, I used thick cut bacon and more of it, and instead of garnishing with parsley, I garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan – all minor adjustments. Make sure to serve this one with a delicious crusty bread. When reheating leftovers, add a little water and olive oil. And, if you like this one, you have to try Jenn’s Pasta e Fagioli – my husband constantly requests it, I’m making it for the hundredth time tomorrow night. Buon appetito!

    • — Kaylie on December 4, 2017
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  • This soup is absolutely soul warming goodness. Nothing would be better on a chilly night. The only changes I made were to add a can of fire roasted tomatoes and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme because I had them on hand. Thank you again Jenn!

    • — Trudy Black on December 1, 2017
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  • My husband thought he didn’t like lentils until I fed him this soup. Now it’s one of our go-to light meals. It’s perfect as is…I serve with crusty French bread and a pear/walnut/feta cheese salad.

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!!

    • — Maryalice on November 30, 2017
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  • Another smash hit. I was craving lentil soup (it’s getting cold here on the east coast) and made this exactly as the recipe said. Out of this world delicious.

    • — Lisa DePaulo on November 8, 2017
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  • My husband and my 94 yo neighbor loved this soup! Thank you.

  • Best lentil soup recipe ever …..and I have made many. Easy recipe, healthy and extremely flavorful! If you like a little kick grind some pepper flakes. Recipe is wonderful just the way it is written. Thanks Jenn

    • — Karen on October 28, 2017
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  • This soup converted me into a lentil lover!
    I’ve made it several time since first encountering it here. Now I make sure to have a serving or two stached away in zip-lock freezer bags in my freezer for emergency meals–it freezes and re-heats wonderfully. I did not ‘tweak’ it in any way–just too good to fool with!

    • — Gay on September 14, 2017
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  • This soup is happily simmering away right now as I’m writing. Smells wonderful, and I”m sure it will be delicious! (as we’ve found every one of your recipes to be!)
    I have a question – I bought stock instead of broth, and didn’t realize it til I started making the soup. Is there a reason for using one over the other? Any changes I should be making? Thanks, Jenn!

    • Stock should be perfectly fine; no changes necessary. Hope you enjoy the soup!

      • Thanks, Jen! And YES, it was delicious! I froze the leftovers in two containers, and we’re having the last container tonight. Another recipe I’ll be repeating for sure and thinking about adding some extra chunks of veggies.
        Thanks again!

        • — Sandy on July 29, 2017
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      • Forgot to say that I had doubled the recipe. Your recipes are all so delicious that I knew we’d be wanting more! Love having enough to freeze and then enjoy a couple of weeks later. A nice glass or two of wine, a crusty baguette, your soup, and it’s like eating at a French bistro. ?

        • — Sandy on July 29, 2017
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  • Very easy to make. I added a bit more streaky bacon and instead of puy lentils, I used half & half brown lentils and toor dal.

  • I have tried several lentil soup recipes, in an attempt to find one similar to my favorite restaurant’s version. This is IT!! The key ingredient that separates it from all the rest that I have tried is the bacon. The soup is not too thick, not too thin, hearty enough to be a meal and light enough to be a side dish or starter. Its delicious. As I like extra veggies, I used 3 large carrots, and 1 medium potato, finely diced. excellent recipe, thank you for sharing!

  • I love this, soup however I’m carb conscience, try to limit carb intake to 25 to 20 carbs per day. The carb drivers in this soup are the broth, 2 carbs per cup, the canned tomatoes, the carrots and the lentils. Any idea what the net carb count is for 1 serving?? Thank you.

    • Hi Jane, if you scroll down beneath the recipe you’ll see all the nutritional information. Each serving of this soup has 35 g of carbohydrates (per 1 3/4 cup serving).

  • From someone who’s made this soup for years, here’s my review of making it with pancetta instead of bacon:

    Both versions are tasty, BUT: using pancetta instead of bacon looses a lot of flavor. I only tried it once, because I was so disappointed in how much different it tasted. So I’ll never skip the bacon again. Tip: to make “chopping” the bacon easier and faster, for me anyway, I use scissors.

  • Outstanding soup. I swap pancetta for the bacon and double the recipe. So easy and healthy too.

  • I made this recipe for the first time recently. Not only it is hearty, earthy, and delicious, but the recipe is easy! The only change I made out of sheer laziness was to use already cubed pancetta instead of bacon. I also used shallots instead of onions because I can’t eat onions. This soup was even better the second day of heating it up. The flavors and textures were so hearty. I am making it again already. I was unable to find french green lentils in the grocery store here locally, so ordered them from amazon. Perfect!

  • I absolutely love this site! all of the recipes are so easy and the directions are written clearly. This lentil soup is now my go to soup! I followed the directions as written, no changes were necessary and it turned out great and so easy to make. The bacon gave it a wonderful flavor.

  • This is a good standard hearty winter soup – it cooks up quick because of the lentils and tastes better than most lentil soups because the bacon adds great flavor. It also uses ingredients I’m likely to have on hand and doesn’t require an extra trip to the store in cold weather. A definite keeper.

  • This was so good exactly as written and very comforting on a cold blustery day! I did go in search of the specific recommended lentils at my local Whole Foods and found them in the bulk section. I also used a pre-prepped mire poix so it came together very quickly. If you do it that way, the pay off is considerable given how easy this goes together – just be sure to adjust your proportions. Sometimes you get too many carrots with a prepped mire poix and that can make dishes overly sweet.

  • I pretty much always love lentil soup, but the bacon in this recipe adds a nice, hearty touch that I think will appeal to those folks who just “have to” have meat for dinner. Even my legume-rejecting son enjoyed this soup! I made it with the pairing suggestion (Arugula, Apples & Manchego in Cider Vinaigrette), which was absolutely perfect. Thank you, Jenn, for another wonderful recipe.

  • The French lentil soup was amazing. I did not have leftovers and I almost feel like I should have made double. Loved it. Thank you

  • I don’t know why, but adding a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to the pot of lentil soup really brings out the taste of the lentils.

  • This soup is seriously so good! I added some crumbled lamb sausage to entice my boyfriend who was convinced that soup could never be dinner. Served with some warm crusty bread, now he’s a total convert! Love it.

  • So do you drain the bacon fat? I imagine you’d have a layer of oil at the top of the soup otherwise?

    • Hi Jenny, as the recipe is written, the fat isn’t drained. It’s delicious for cooking the vegetables and helps give the soup a nice smoky flavor. (Feel free to drain it, though, if you’d prefer.)

  • I have made this soup countless times, and it never fails to impress.
    However, this time I made it vegan by omitting the animal products and adding a pinch of smoked paprika. AMAZING!!

  • Just made this today – amazingly delicious, thank you for the recipe! One small change I made was instead of starting with bacon I used finely diced chorizo, that beautiful paprika flavour was something else. It’s going into the permanent recipe book, wonderful soup.

  • Delicious soup – I used lots of fresh thyme and added a Parmesan rind while simmering. Garnished with shredded Parmesan and crumbled bacon. Was perfect for a blustery December lunch.

  • Since discovering your site, have made this soup several times. As suggested by another reviewer, I omit the bacon and add a good pinch of Herbs de Provence. Absolutely delicious!

  • Hi Jenn, I’m a real fan of your recipes and the lentil soup is no exception. I do have a question about the French puy lentils: the last few times I’ve made the soup, the French puy lentils (which I purchase in bulk foods at local supermarket, don’t soften as they should, even after an hour of simmering. What’s your guess on what is causing this? I really do not care for al dente lentils. Thanks, Vicki

    • Hi Vicki, The only possibility that I can think of is that the lentils you are buying are old so they’re not softening up as they should. Perhaps the next time you try this, avoid the bulk lentils and buy a bag from the shelf. Hope that helps!

  • found this an easy soup to make and freeze. now my favorite lentil soup recipe. thanks so much.

  • This is one of my favorite soups. The bacon really adds a lot of flavor to the lentils. Perfect cold weather comfort food!

  • Forgot to add the stars!

  • I’ve made this twice in a week…once for my daughter and family who have a newborn so they could freeze some and again today for my husband and me because it is so good and easy. I use a bit more bacon because…well BACON, and find the French lentils (for a reasonable price) in the open bins of grains at Whole Foods. A winner soup!

  • Made this soup yesterday and it was delicious!!!

  • Tried the soup this week. So delicious. I omitted the bacon for a vegan version. Very delicious!

  • Fabulous recipe! Very flavorful and so easy! Will definitely become a winter staple.

  • Just made this soup despite being in the 80’s where I live!! It is fabulous…I was able to find the french green lentils at Gelson’s..lentils did not turn mushy….very flavorful soup….I will make this often regardless of the outside temps!!

    • — Wendy G Schoenburg
    • Reply
  • I can’t wait and try this recipe next!!! I am not familiar with freezing soups…How long would they last in the freezer? My daughter and son-in-law are coming for Thanksgiving and I thought I’d make a few types of soups for them to take home with them besides the leftovers!!! Thanks.

    • — Wendy G Schoenburg
    • Reply
    • Hi Wendy, I think you could freeze this for up to 3 months. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Delicious. Made exactly as recipe states – using green lentils. YUM! Thanks again Jenn!

  • Tonight for dinner we will be enjoying French Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Bacon, the house smells absolutely wonderful. We have been “sampling” to be sure I seasoned the soup just right…this is so good. We can hardly wait to sit down for dinner.
    Thank you for your website and sharing your passion for 5 star recipes, I have tried so many of your recipes and every one has been absolutely fantastic.
    Waiting for your cookbook to come out.

  • I see this recipe makes six servings, but how much is 1/6th of the recipe? I’m tracking my calories and wanted to measure my portion. Thanks!

    • Each serving should be about 1 3/4 cups. Enjoy!

  • Can I make this soup with red lentils instead?

    • Hi Alice, Yes, but they generally don’t take quite as long and tend to get a bit mushy when cooked. The soup does get pureed, so it shouldn’t make a significant difference, but just be aware that they are a bit different.

  • Great recipe! I will make it again, for sure.

  • Omg! Followed this recipe to the T and it is wonderful! I’m a new totally inexperienced cook and this worked. It’s so good.

  • This soup looks delicious! I wondering, I would like to add beans. Do you think adding beans could be a nice addition or is the soup hearty enough?

    • Hi Olivia, I think this soup is hearty enough as-is!

  • Made this soup a week and a half ago, but put it in the freezer right away. We ate it today and really enjoyed it. It was so nice to be able to pull out a ready made soup. It has great flavour and my husband even loved it!
    Can’t wait to try more recipes!

  • Hi Jenn,
    Loved the soup! I need to make my recipes low salt, so I omitted the added salt. Wondered if I could also tweak the tomatoes by adding fresh instead of canned. Do you have a suggestion for how to do that? Do I need to add more liquid?

    • Hi Lisa, glad you liked the soup! Yes, you could use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. I think 3 large tomatoes should do it and no need to add any liquid except for the liquid that comes from the tomatoes when you cut them.

  • This soup is simmering on the stovetop right now. It smells delicious. 🙂

  • Simple and fantastic at the same time. We now have it once a week. Thank you!!

  • Tried tonight, was fantastic, i used double smoked farmers sausage instead of bacon, yum yum yum. Thank you Jenny!

  • Your recipes are fantastic! We LOVE this soup but would prefer not to use bacon. Can we get the smoky flavor from simmering a ham hock? If so, for how long should I simmer it!

    • Hi Donna, You can prepare the recipe as instructed and use this method for using the ham hock. Hope you enjoy!

  • Tried this soup recipe for my Book Club and they all raved how delicious it was. I followed the recipe as stated and the seasoning was perfect. I did have to cook it longer than stated as I am at high altitude, but I always have to adjust for that. I made it the day before and the flavors married beautifully. Passed the website on to 8 happy ladies.

  • My family loves this soup! It’s one of our go to recipes because my 5 and 2 year old eat every bit of it. This website is where I go to try new recipes. Haven’t tried one we haven’t liked yet.

  • Hi Jan,
    I noticed that there are petite and regular French green lentils available. Which would be better suited for the recipe? Can’t wait to make it!
    Mahalo!

    • You could get away with either, but if you have both available to you, I’d go with the petite. I hope you enjoy!

  • I recently subscribed to your website and am thoroughly enjoying it.
    This Lentil Soup with Bacon is so delicious!! Made it last week and will be making more this weekend. YUM!!!!

    • — Susanna Alcaro Funk
    • Reply
    • I couldn’t agree more! Made it for best friend’s BD luncheon. Had to message them the recipe. Had it just as written, squeeze of lemon at end. Lovely.

  • This is the very best soup I have ever made. Thank you Jenn for yet another wonderful recipe. All the recipes I have tried have been tasty and easy. Can’t wait to try more.

  • I just made this soup and it is delicious. The only thing I added were some chili flakes (we like a bit of heat). I also used home made chicken broth. Great recipe Jenn, thank you for sharing.

  • Hi Jennifer,

    I’ve really enjoyed your recipes for their flavor and ease of use. I also love the nutrient listing after each because I track my daily calories. Which leads to my question: where are the carbs hidden in this recipe? 35g per serving seems high for a soup made primarily of veggies and a little fat. Please advise.

    Thank you!

    • The lentils and the carrots rack up the carbs –everything else is not carb.

      Gonna try this recipe later today.

    • All dried beans are very high in carbs.

  • Is there any way to make these delicious recipes without onion or leeks? Would garlic work?

    • Hi Milla, Yes, garlic will work.

  • I’m not exaggerating when I say this is one of my favorite soup recipes! Prep and execution are simple and quick, it’s super healthy, the ingredients are so affordable (which makes the recipe more accessible to families with different financial circumstances), but most important…it’s so extremely delicious!

    In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I follow the Weight Watcher program for healthy eating. I prepare this recipe exactly as stated by Jenn. I divide it into four generous portions (instead of 6) and each serving is only 5 PointsPlus each! I can combine it with a large crunchy salad and a serving of crackers, if desired, and it’s a satisfying and nutritious meal. Even my husband, who is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, says it’s “pretty good” which is his highest praise!

    This recipe freezes very well. I make it often, so that we can pull a couple of containers out of the freezer for a quick lunch or dinner…comfort food at its finest!

    • So glad you and your husband are enjoying this recipe, Sandy. Thank you for all the feedback!

    • Hi, I’m also doing WW but when I entered all the numbers into the calculator, it gave me 10 points for the 1 3/4 cups. How did you get 5 points?? Thanks, just a bit confused being a WW newbie.

  • Made as written, but added the 1/2 cp of white wine after veggies softened and a splash of fresh lemon juice at the end which really brought the soup to life. Loved it. How does it freeze Jen? Thanks for another great soup

    • Hi Carol, Glad you enjoyed it. It freezes well 🙂

  • Is this a soup that can be frozen?

  • Made this soup for folks coming over for lunch. Quick and easy. Got rave reviews!!

  • Love this lentil soup so much that I tend to eat too much of it. How much do you consider a serving? A cup? Cup and a half?

    Thanks,
    Robin

    • Hi Robin, Serving sizes on this site are approximate, but I would say about 1-1/2 cups. Hope that helps!

  • This soup was so delicious! I going to make it again and again. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  • Loved the soup but what is the serving size as per the calorie chart

    • Hi Jude, Serving sizes are approximate — about 1-1/2 cups.

  • This was quick, easy and delicious! Thank you!

  • My daughter, a junior in college living in her first off-campus apartment, made this soup last night. She reported that is was awesome! Once Upon a Chef is her go-to site for recipes so now I know she’ll be eating nutritious, wonderful food.

  • I made this last night and it is fabulous. I added some sauteed organic chicken sausage for my husband because he enjoys meat of some kind. This recipe will be one of my Winter favorites.

  • This soup was amazing!
    It’s quick to make. Tastes amazing.
    The only thing I changed was using turkey bacon instead of regular bacon.

    Since I don’t have an immersion blender I just scooped about 2 cups of soup into my vitamix and smoothed it out.

    Delicious.

  • Made this soup yesterday and I’ve really enjoyed it, as I have enjoyed all the recipes I’ve tried on your wonderful site. I am wondering how you think white wine would taste in this soup and how much you might add?

    • Hi Noelle, I think wine would work beautifully. I’d add a half cup and reduce til nearly evaporated before adding the broth.

  • I’ve tried this recipe with different lentils, I didn’t have the petite green ones from the recipe, and the soup did not turn out as well. Definitely find the lentils as instructed in the recipe, they make a world of difference.

    Thanks once again for an amazing recipe!

  • My daughter recommended your website and I have tried three recipes so far and we have enjoyed all of them. Thank you

  • I grew up on lentil soup with bacon, so was pleased to find this recipe. It’s another soup we just love – flavorful, interesting, and nourishing. We don’t make any changes in this recipe when we make it – except we don’t have an immersion blender and we don’t always blend some of the soup to thicken it.

  • This was my first try at using lentils and this recipe made it easy and great-tasting. I divided the soup into 2 portions and when we thawed the frozen portion, the lentils still maintained their integrity and the flavor was even better. Definately a soup I’ll make again.

  • Perfectly yummy – no alterations needed! Did you know lentils are really high in fiber? Making this soup satisfying in so many ways 🙂

  • I’ve made this twice and will make it again and again. It’s really that good. It’s also the most re-pinned recipe from my Facebook “Snagged Recipes” page (Pinterest).

  • Well, today was cold with a side of freezing and a dash of frigid here in the frozen tundra. A perfect day to make soup, and boy did I pick a winner! The aroma of the bacon cooking w/ the veggies and garlic was superb. I had to tweak the recipe just a bit (low on ingredients). Chicken stock for broth, smoked turkey bacon, Goya lentils (in place of the French) and Adobo seasoning in place of the salt. Still, what a moth watering recipe to enjoy~Perfecta. Thanks for a hearty bowl of warm deliciousness to help soothe the soul Jenn 🙂

  • I tried this soup in a snowstorm in Chicago a few months ago and have made it about a dozen times since! It’s absolutely fabulous, hearty, flavorful and easy to make.

    You can swap the bacon for chorizo too.

  • Best lentil soup I’ve ever had! Worth searching out French green lentils (available at Bulk Barn in Canada). Loved the balanced texture and creaminess by only pureeing some of the soup.

    This was so good after a bowl, I emailed my family with the recipe!

  • I really loved this soup. Such a great balance of flavors. The small amount of bacon adds great flavor. Easy to put together. I am really enjoying your website. Next I am going to try your Cashew Chicken.

  • This was the best lentil soup I’ve ever eaten! I was unable to find the French small lentils at my Whole Foods, so I used regular green lentils. The quality of the rubbed black forest bacon I used added much to the flavor. It’s a bit costly, but worth it. I followed the recipe exactly, otherwise. It was necessary to cook the lentils a bit longer, but well worth the wait. I’ll definitely be making it again.

  • Hi, in the nutritional information, you have serving size: 6. Is that 6 ounces?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Mila, Thanks for catching that; should be 6 servings. It has been corrected.

  • Hi there,
    You have beautiful recipes and I love this lentil. However, is there a way to make it without tomato?

    Best,
    Dana

    • — Dana Silverstein
    • Reply
  • I made this Friday night and found that it makes a tasty soup for sure. I bought ‘green lentils’ but they didn’t say ‘french’ or ‘du puy’. They felt tender after about 45-50 minutes. I also had pancetta instead of bacon in the fridge so I swapped that. I used low-sodium chicken broth (College Inn) and didn’t add any salt to the soup while it was cooking. I didn’t find that it needed any once the soup was ready to eat but that is probably a personal preference. I’ll definitely make this again – like literally every single other recipe I’ve tried from OUAC.

  • This soup was fantastic! We made the recipe as stated and it will be a definate must on a cold winter night!!!

  • Thought this had way too much garlic. It was overpowering. I would do half the garlic next time. Didn’t like this recipe.

  • I made this soup a second time. My wife bought a 14 oz can of roasted tomatoes. Made it even better. Added some heavy cream just before serving and topped with parm cheese.

  • The soup was a 6 on a scale of 1 to 5. I finished it off with a spoon full of sour creme when I served it. It was great!

  • This is by far my favorite recipe for lentil soup I have tried. As another reviewer mentioned, I added herb de Provence as well, and it is really, really an amazing soup. Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to try your fish tacos tomorrow!

  • Absolutely delicious!! I was hoping it would taste similar to the lentil soup in my favorite French restaurant, and it did. I dint have any thyme though, so I added tarragon instead. It gave it a nice lemony kick.

  • Very tasty soup! It came together very easily, and was great for a cold day. Instead of straight thyme I used herbes de provence, which I think gives a little more depth of flavor.

  • This is the 2nd soup I’ve made from your website and BOTH have turned out delicious. The recipes are easy to follow and you always use quality ingredients. I am a FAN now.

    My next attempt is your French Macaroons. Already bought the ingredients 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your recipes and knowledge!

  • This recipe earned a place in my standard menu rotation. Quick, delicious and satisfying with crusty bread and a big salad. The only change I make: I add smoked paprika, about 1/2 tablespoon, I think. To taste, yeah, to taste, that’s the ticket (I have no idea how much I add, actually). Thanks for this one.

    • Love that idea, Marji. Thank you!

  • Served this for dinner last night, but took your advice and made it a day ahead so the flavors could meld. Served with a chunk of baguette. All three kids (ages 13, 10 and 8) had second helpings — and one even had a third! Definitely a keeper! We love your recipes, and will continue to work our way through them.

  • Was wondering if I could use the pre-cooked steamed French lentils from Trader Joe’s (in refrigerated section, they come vacuum sealed)? My first thought is that if I use them, the soup won’t thicken up.

    • Hi Gerri, I think you could but you’re right — the soup wouldn’t be as thick or flavorful.

  • I used 1 smoked turkey drumstick instead of bacon and it turned out fabulous. Didn’t use the immersion blender because I prefer it with more substance. I completely agree with the other reviewer about it tasting so much better the next day. Shared it with my mother-in-law post hip surgery and she goobled it up! Thank you 🙂

  • Having made, this I found when it was done cooking that there was still a bit of ‘tang’ in the flavor, possibly from the tinned tomatoes. I think using a tomato puree or even tomato paste might resolve that. I added a few tablespoons of creme, which mellowed it a bit but the flavors still weren’t ready. So, at first, I wasn’t thrilled with it, but on day 2 the soup was nothing short of superb. An overnight rest was just what was needed to let all of the flavors mingle. Definitely recommended.

  • I made this French Lentil soup for supper and it is VERY good! I modified the recipe by excluding the bacon, using beef broth and extra bay leaves. I also doubled the recipe and am glad I did,, as now we have more leftovers. Blending some of the lentils created a wonderful creamy base. I served the soup with a baguette ~ yummy meal, indeed!

  • Delicious!! I made a huge pot and froze leftovers to pull out when I need a quick meal.

  • This lentil soup was AMAZING! I’ve made lentil soups before from different cookbooks, but this was the best by far! Even my husband, who is French (and they know a lot about lentil soup..) said it was the best lentil soup he’s ever had. Now that’s a compliment!! Definitely a keeper and thank you for such great recipes.

  • I tried this with the fresh green lentils. I think I made the mistake of blending it too long (as you describe), so it didn’t look as good as photo. The taste was good though.

  • This is soup is great as is. Because I make it so often, i use already diced up pancetta instead of bacon and I sometimes add 1/3 cup of tubettini and supper is served.

  • I just made this soup exactly as directed and it came out amazing!!! So delish! Thank you

  • I tried this recipe, and it was FANTASTIC!! I added more bacon ( because who doesn`t love more bacon). I added a touch of hot sauce as well. I`ve tried a lot of different lentil soups, and this one is by far a favorite. Even my girls (2&5) gobbled it up! Thanks!

  • Fantastic tasting soup! I cooked it for a bit too long and had to add water to thin it down again, I had no dried thyme on hand so I used herbs de Provence instead. Still turned out really well. Next time I will try with homemade chicken stock and home grown tomatoes.

  • Lovely, I made it last night using green lentils….it was delicious, a real surprise for my husband who was totally against the idea of lentil soup! I now have a convert. Will definitely have again.

  • What a meal! All the ingredients worked well together. I would not change a thing and very easy to make. Will be a regular in our family.

  • Hi Jenn. Have made this soup many times and remains top of list for the family. Made it yesterday using stock from a smoked ham I cooked it was amazing didn’t have to add any salt to the recipe. Keep up the good work.

  • Love your site and recipes. I’m now a kale lover thanks to learning about massaging it from you. Would you please recommend an immersion blender? Long ago I had a Kitchen Aid one that broke after only a few uses. Want to get a good one that will last. Thank you! -Rachael

  • Is there any chance you will include nutritional information soon?

    • — Virginia Mitchell
    • Reply
  • This is cooking as I type. I cooked the bacon then took it out of the pan. Left the bacon fat to cook the onions in. My husband and I like the crispness of bacon and was worried it would be chewy. I will throw it in as a garnish. We live in Finland so I got what I could in terms of lentils. Also, there is no such thing as chicken broth here ( in run of the mill type) so we use those gelled pots of flavor you add water too. Usually works ok. But never the same. I do what I can!

  • I made this soup using pancetta instead of bacon because I had some on hand. It was delicious. Try a bowl of the soup with a warm baguette.

  • Made this twice now. The bacon is awesome in this and my family love it!

  • This soup is out of this world! The smokey bacon really makes it amazing. I don’t have an immersion blender so I just go nuts with a potato masher. I’ve played around with this recipe a little by adding barley, sausage, and chiles to give it some kick, however, the recipe is definitely great as is. It’s a keeper for sure!

  • Made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious! Easy to make and everyone loved it.

  • Absolutely delicious soup. My husband was going to make red lentil soup and then discovered we’d run out but had green lentils. He then found this recipe on the Internet. What a find!!! We’ll definitely be having this again.

  • The best lentil soup ever!!! Many thanks

  • I’m cooking this tonight (in Darwin, Australia) even though it’s 34C. This soup sounds perfect – and I love puy lentils. Thank you!

    • Hope you enjoyed it, Joanne.

  • My husband and I are big lentil soup fans so I was eager to try this recipe and we were not disappointed! Absolutely love the flavor combination of bacon, tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaves. This soup was even better the next day for lunch with a tiny bit of leftover rice added in. Thanks, Jenn – this one is going in to our lentil soup rotation!

  • This was my first time at making lentil soup and it was delicious! I bought the exact lentils shown in the recipe & think it made a difference. Easy to follow instructions made this a keeper.

  • I made this with the French Lentils and it was a winner – one of my husband’s favorites! The bacon adds great flavor to the soup. I served it with bread and a salad.

  • I have never been a fan of lentils. This recipe looked so compelling I had to try it, and so glad I did. Seriously wonderful. And my husband and best friend loved it as well. I like to try lots of new recipes and have only a few I return to. This will be one. Thank you so much!

  • I made this soup with both green lentils and red lentils. The red lentils cooked down much quicker than the green (and were pureed into thick consistency) but both versions were very good. The soup is great comfort food for a cold afternoon with a baguette and salad.

  • Yum I love lentil soup and this is by far the best recipe I’ve tried so far. It was very flavorful and I froze some of it for eating later. It worked out great!

  • So hearty and good. Perfect for a cold winter night. I love it with a warm whole wheat roll and a greek salad. No need to tweek the ingedients; it’s perfect as is!

  • A wonderful hearty soup. I serve the cornbread recipe with it and it is a great meal.

  • This soup is delicious, have made lentil soup for years, but I also add 2 links of good smoked sausage (no I do not leave out the bacon) to the soup during the last 20 minutes, then remove before serving & slice up into bite size pieces & add back to the soup right before serving. A hearty winter meal with just hot bread.

  • I absolutely love this recipe!
    I made it exactly as is and it came out great.
    It’s fast, nutritious and delicious. My husband loved it as well, and he usually dislikes lentils.

  • this was a nice recipes but we tweaked it a little for our 5 grandkids…instead of diced tomatoes,crushed and we add thin spaghetti cut to bit size pieces[cook pasta seperate,save some pasta water if you need more liquid when mixed] and topped spaghetti cheese

  • Love, love, love this soup. I made a special trip to Whole Foods to buy French lentils. I couldn’t find the packaged lentils like you show, I had to buy them from the bulk section. I excluded the bacon. Blending some of the lentils provides this soup with a rich creamy texture. I also added a little cumin. Thank you for the great recipe.

  • One of my favorite soup recipes! I add a bit of Irish Whiskey for an extra zip!

  • Another great recipe! It tastes great and makes the whole house smell good. FYI: The instructions don’t mention when to add the olive oil. I almost forgot. Thanks again!

    • Thanks for catching that, Berit; it’s been corrected. So glad you enjoyed the soup!

  • Very nice soup and healthy to make at home

  • A double batch of this soup is resting on my stove as i type. I’ll serve it tonight for dinner with a fresh loaf of bread and salad.

    I don’t eat meat, so I skipped the bacon and added the extra olive oil as noted to another poster. After the soup was done and partially blended, I did my usual “taste test”.

    For me the flavor didn’t bowl me over…perhaps I overcooked? I’m not sure. I wound up adding about a tbsp. more of thyme which improves it, but I’m wondering if the loss of the bacon flavor impacts the result more than thought?

    It will be a nice soup (the thyme with lentils has a savory flavor), so it’s not a loss. But it’s not as jazzy as I’d hoped.

    • Hi Robin, I’m sorry to hear you found the soup a little bland. The bacon does add a lot of flavor but it should still be quite tasty without it from all the vegetables. I’m wondering, did you use regular chicken broth or low-sodium? That would make a big difference. In any case, it may just need salt to bring out all the flavors, or else you could try a dash of smoked paprika to mimic the smokiness of the bacon or a splash of balsamic vinegar (add little by little) to brighten it up.

  • OMG! Just made this for dinner! It was amazing! My kids were licking the bowl!! So far every recipe I have made has become a family favorite! Thank you for doing all that you do! You have made me a much better cook!!

  • I really appreciate the initial picture with the ingredients for this reason: I have a really busy schedule, I look at the picture, know I only need to get the Lentils, and then open the entire email when at home and ready to cook. Love it! Thank you

    • Thanks for the feedback, Kathleen. Good to know!

  • This was the first time I’ve ever had lentils. The soup had amazing flavor, but the texture was kind of strange. I think next time I’ll blend it a little more. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Hi Jessica, You can definitely can play around with the thickness of the soup. I prefer it just slightly thickened, but it’s a matter of personal taste.

  • Made this tonight and it was fantastic!!! This is a keeper.

  • I saw this recipe come through my email while I was at work and wanted nothing else to eat for dinner. We just finished eating this for dinner and it was fantastic. The whole family (especially my 5 year old) loved it. My husband is Greek and adds a squeeze of lemon to just about everything. I had my soup without the lemon and had a taste with the lemon. Both were magnificent! Thanks for such a wholesome and delicious meal!

    • Hi Liz, So glad you all enjoyed. You can also add a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end for a little zing.

  • Hi Jenn,

    I’ve been looking for a good lentil soup recipe and here it is! I bought some the other day but they are “red split” ; the bag gives a cooking time of 12 min. When I make your soup, I’ll let all the flavors meld for awhile and toss in the lentils toward the end. Looking forward to it thank you

    • Hi Linda, Sounds like a good plan. Please let me know how it turns out.

  • We are experiencing a “January thaw” in New England, but it is still cold and this soup will be delicious. It is so helpful to see the ingredients you use in the beautiful photos. Like all your recipes, can’t wait to try it. Thank you, Jenn!

  • Lentils was on my shopping list for this weekend already. I was going to make the Food 52 post for lentil salad, but this looks good too. I’ll have to forego the bacon.

    • Hi Danita, If you want to leave out the bacon, simply use a few more tablespoons olive oil. It will still be delicious.

  • The soup looks wonderful, but please note that not all French green lentils are Lentilles du Puy. They must have that marked on the box or package for it to be real. And it makes a huge difference. Coops and Whole Foods sell French green lentils in bulk (at least in the Twin Cities, and they are NOT du Puy.

    • Hi Susan, Interesting. I’ve found the real deal at my Whole Foods in the DC area. In any case, you can tell authentic lentils du Puy by their color — they’re slate green, marbled with flecks of darker slate blue. They look a whole lot different than common brown, red or green lentils so they should be easy to spot.

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