A Super Easy Red Lentil and Smoky Bacon Soup

Lentil and bacon soup recipe slow cooker

A simple, hearty red lentil and smoked bacon soup that’s perfect for cooler weather. It can be made in advance and freezes well, so double the recipe and store the freezer. I guarantee even the pickiest eaters will love this one.

Last updated: February 19, 2019

Total time investment: 50 minutes

A close-up of a striped bowl filled with red lentils and smoked bacon soup, with feta and olive cheese muffins in the background.

I once read that it takes twenty attempts for a child to accept a new food. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that when it comes to serving soup to La Princesa, she’s probably made it past those twenty attempts. She really doesn’t like soft soups, will tolerate chunky soup, and I’ve even resorted to offering “bribes” to get her to eat her dinner. So when not only did he finish a bowl of this red lentil and smoked bacon soup, but followed up with the admission that “it wasn’t that bad,” I felt pretty happy.

Despite the princess’s aversion to

soup, she finds her way at our table at least once a week during the winter months. Soup is so easy to make, and most of them freeze brightly, so for me they are the perfect meal for busy nights of the week. In winter, my freezer is filled with a variety of soups, and I’m so passionate about freezing soup that I’ve written an entire post about my process. I’ve also produced a quick guide that summarizes the most important tips. The guide is in my Resource Library, and you can get your own copy by clicking on the link below or by asking for the password at the end of this post.

Purple button for the How to freeze soup guide.

Mr. Grumpy is a bit obsessed with smoking his own food right now, which I think is just a cover for him to play with fire. Every time the smoker prepares, he fills the house with smoke, which doesn’t make me want at all. However, on occasion, it is producing some well-smoked food, so I guess it can be forgiven. I used a small piece of their smoked bacon for this recipe, which added great flavor to the soup. And while I’m not suggesting you should smoke your own bacon to put dinner on the table, if you come across some smoked bacon, definitely buy it to use in this bacon soup recipe.

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. Ingredient substitutions

for red lentils and smoked

bacon soup

You can make some easy substitutions to this bacon soup recipe and still end up with a delicious meal. Just use the ingredients you have on hand –

  • smoked bacon is the key flavor ingredient in this bacon soup, so use the best you can find. If you can’t find smoked bacon, cook regular bacon and add a teaspoon of smoked paprika at the last minute of cooking.
  • Bacon can be replaced with finely chopped bacon or ham, although I would add a teaspoon of smoked paprika again if it were this route.
  • Moong dahl or urad dahl could be replaced by red lentils if necessary. Both will break down in the soup similarly to red lentils, although the color of the finished soup will obviously be different.
  • Vegetable broth can

  • be used instead
  • of chicken broth.

  • Replace the can of tomatoes with 1 1/2 cups of tomato passata, or use 2 tablespoons of tomato concentrate and an extra cup of chicken broth.

A simple and abundant red lentil and #bacon #soup smoked, perfect for cooler weather. It can be done ahead of time and #freezes well, so double the recipe and store the freezer. Click to tweet

frequently asked questions about

bacon soup recipes Can I make bacon soup in the slow cooker? This red lentil and bacon soup will cook brightly

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in the slow cooker

. Since lentils need to be broken down in the soup, I would cook the soup in the slow cooker for a full 8 hours. Simply sauté the ingredients in a pan and transfer the sautéed bacon and vegetables to the slow cooker. Rinse the pan with a little broth and pour it into the slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker insert and cook for 8 hours over low heat.

To maximize the flavor of the soup, follow my simple tips for preparing the best slow cooker meals.

Can I make bacon soup in the Thermomix?

This bacon soup recipe could easily be adapted to the Thermomix or any other thermal mixer. Just follow a similar soup recipe in the daily cookbook to tailor the recipe correctly.

Can I freeze bacon soup?

My red lentil and bacon soup freezes brightly and if frozen properly will last in the freezer for up to four months. Follow the steps outlined in my post on how to freeze soup to maximize your freezer storage time. And make sure you grab my easy freezing guide at the end of the post.

Can the bacon soup be reheated?

This red lentil and bacon soup can be reheated quite successfully. Keep in mind that the soup will thicken when standing up, so it may be necessary to add a splash of broth or hot water to dilute the soup as it is reheated. Be sure to stir the pot frequently while it overheats to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

This bacon soup can also be reheated in the microwave.

A striped bowl filled with red lentils and smoked bacon soup, with sprigs of thyme on top. Salted feta cheese muffins can be seen in the background.

Tips and tricks for a delicious red lentil and smoked bacon

soup I

love this soup, and I make it often during the winter months. So let me pass on a few tips to ensure your success:

  1. Red lentils don’t require soaking and cook pretty quickly, making this easy bacon soup recipe a great wait for the night of the week. I can have dinner at the table within the hour when I put this soup on the menu.
  2. You can easily make this soup in advance and simply reheat it before serving. The soup will thicken slightly when standing up thanks to the lentils. Simply add a splash of water or chicken broth to the pot to loosen the soup as you reheat it.
  3. The soup also freezes very well. See my tips above.
  4. Lentils can be rinsed before cooking, if you remember. I always forget this step, and the soup still tastes great.
  5. I’m aware that lentils can be a polarizing dish in some families, and to avoid that I like to cook this bacon soup until the lentils start collapsing in the broth. That way they cannot be elected at the table.
  6. Turn my bacon soup recipe into a hearty vegetarian dinner by omitting bacon from the recipe and replacing chicken broth with vegetable broth. Then sauté a teaspoon (or more) of smoked paprika with the vegetables. Smoked paprika will add a pleasant smoky flavor to the dish, and if you use hot smoked paprika, it will add a slight touch of chili at the same time.
  7. The soup will last up to three days in the fridge and up to four months in the freezer.
  8. I like to serve this soup with lots of crusty bread and butter, or salty feta cheese muffins.
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One year ago: Traditional Irish soda bread

Two years ago: The Viktualienmarkt, Munich

Did you make this recipe? Tell me how you did in the comments below.

And if you loved it, please don’t forget to rate it.

Update notes: This post was originally published on June 7, 2015. Updated January 29, 2018 to include nutrition information. It was updated again on February 19, 2019 to include FAQs, freezing information, and improved readability of the post.

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