Lentil Soup with Bacon – Chunky or Pureed

Delicious, nutritious lentil soup in thirty minutes! Chunky or pureed? You decide.

This lentil soup goes from chunky to smooth in just a couple of minutes. You could even have it chunky the first day and pureed the second day. Or, as my friend Leanne pointed out, you could puree half to get a nice smoothness to the broth while keeping the other half chunky so you have some interesting texture. Oh, the possibilities!

bacon lentil soup chunky on spoon

And, because it’s made with red split lentils it takes less than half an hour to cook. All the goodness of veggies, legumes and bacon in very little time!

bacon lentil soup pureed l

We made this lentil soup in my recent super soups workshop and it was a big hit. We also made a very tasty vegan version (exclude bacon, use canola oil and substitute chicken stock with vegan broth). Thanks to the herbs and spices in this soup, it was just as tasty.

Recipe for Lentil Soup with Bacon

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Lentil Soup with Bacon

A delicious, nourishing soup that can be made silky smooth, chunky or something in between. Ingredients
Prep : 15 mins
Cook : 25 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon diced into ¼” pieces
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion diced finely
  • 1 celery rib diced finely
  • 2 carrots diced coarsely
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/4 inch grated turmeric root ½ tsp powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cups red split lentils rinsed
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ to 1 Tbsp lemon juice to taste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • In large, heavy pot, fry bacon until crispy. Remove 2 Tbsp bacon to reserve as topping.
  • Add onion, celery and carrots to pot with bacon. Cook until onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • Add cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper and lentils, cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  • Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover with lid slightly askew and simmer until lentils and vegetables are tender, 15 to 17minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning, including lemon juice.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve or puree depending on your preference.

Chunky

  • Serve soup as is, garnished with fresh parsley and reserved bacon.

Smooth & Chunky

  • Puree one quarter of the soup using a hand-held immersion blender or blender until silky smooth. Stir pureed portion back into the soup to transform the broth into a creamy consistency while still enjoying a few pieces of veggies. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and reserved bacon.

Smooth

  • Puree entire pot of soup with an immersion hand-held blender or blender until desired consistency. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and reserved bacon.

Notes

Red split lentils cook quickly and will lose their shape entirely if cooked too long. No problem if you're making pureed soup. They also turn a lovely golden yellow when cooked.
If using green, brown or other whole lentils, increase cooking time by 15 to 20 minutes and be prepared for a dark green/brown color.
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Can I use Other Lentils in this Lentil Soup?

I love red split lentils in this soup because they’re pretty and they cook up super fast. In fact, because they cook so quickly, the challenge will be not to overcook it and have the soup turn to mush!

Yes, you can use other lentils in this soup. The flavor, color and texture will change depending on which lentil you use, but the overall idea is the same. Most importantly, the cooking time will change. Whole lentils will take longer to cook. Read the package or check out Pulse Canada for tips on different lentils and how long to cook them.

Brown Lentils

  • will hold their shape and cook in about 20 to 30 minutes
  • color varies from khaki to brown to black
  • common varieties Spanish brown, German Brown, Indian Brown or Beluga (black)

Green Lentils

  • will hold a firm shape
  • require 45 minutes to cook
  • common varieties French lentils, Puy lentils

As to whether to sever it chunky or pureed, I put the question to my Facebook peeps. While a good number of voters would love a bowl of homemade bacon lentil soup no matter how it was presented, the majority ended up voting for the pureed version. Just FYI!

bacon lentil soup pureed

What’s your preference? I’d love to hear your comments or see your results when you make this soup. Please leave a comment or take a photo and tag #getgettys so I can see it and like it!

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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