Lentil & bacon soup

Lentil & bacon soup

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(32 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 30 mins

Skill level



Serves 3

Blend your storecupboard pulses with cumin, turmeric and garlic to create this robust soup with crispy pancetta topping

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 x 70g packs pancetta cubes
  • 1 carrot (about 120g), finely diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, sliced
  • 2 low-salt stock cubes
  • 250g red lentils, rinsed

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  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, 1 pack of pancetta and the carrot. Cook on a low to medium heat for 10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the cumin, turmeric, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes until the aromas are released.
  3. Pour in 1.25 litres of boiling water, crumble in the stock cubes and add the lentils. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 mins, stirring occasionally to ensure the lentils aren’t sticking.
  4. Meanwhile, fry the remaining lardons in a small frying pan for about 10 minutes until crispy. You don’t need to add any oil as plenty will run from the pancetta.
  5. Serve the soup with a sprinkle of crispy lardons on top.

Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com, April 2012

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gwendaapeifion's picture

I repeatedly make this dish, it is just so easy to make and so tasty. I make it and take for lunch to mg freezing work place.

paula92xo's picture

Wow! What a stunning dish. I added 2 vegetable stock cubes, ginger, smokey bacon and half tin chopped tomatoes and it tastes devine! I also had it with rice as my partner has lentils with rice and even he complimented on it. Definitely becoming a regular! I also didn't blitz it as I love the chunky carrot and the bite from the lentils :)

rallerton's picture
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Made this for the first time last night and it was so quick and easy that I will use this recipe for Christmas Day Dinner. Full of flavour, easily serves three.

kjarvo's picture

I've made this several times now without the spices and with bacon instead of the pancetta. I have also added celery too. However, the calories work out a lot less than 493 per serving, but I think I add more water. It is quite thick.

dwatson27's picture

Made this for lunch. So easy and very tasty.
5 stars

kdoy2's picture
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I've just made this soup and I'm in food heaven! Had to find a recipe with ingredients at had already and this fit the bill, even though the weather's a bit hot for soup! It's delicious! I didn't have any pancetta, so used back bacon instead. I also blitzed it, so my son doesn't try and work out what's in it when he gets home from school :) Delish! :)

hazehappy's picture
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really enjoyed this soup and it was quick and tasty

alkaline_fairy's picture

Delicious! Really quick to make as well, which is always a bonus. Omitted chillis, because I didn't have them and it's not at all bland. Love the turmeric colour!

lamchugh's picture

Delicious! Didn't have enough red lentils, so I used 2/3 red and 1/3 green which was great - a bit of bite from the green really worked!

pearlanddean's picture

Just made and had a bowl of this delicious soup for lunch - Oh my word what an absolutely rib sticking soup. This is now my husbands new favourite!

tchadfield's picture

Made this using streaky bacon as that's what I had and it was nice when cooked but even nicer after it had stood for a while - making it again now. I would probably puree for the kids so they couldn't inspect it so much!

vikster67's picture

Love this soup. I used chorizo as thats what was in the fridge. Delicious

debbiebuchan's picture

Loved this soup, so moreish!

dinnertimeagain's picture

This soup is gorgeous and my new favourite! I made it exactly as the recipe says and even my fussy son loved it.

julesthenorweegie's picture

This is such a lovely hearty soup! I made it on a cold Autumn's eve for some friends and myself after having been filming all day! I served it up with cheesy bread and all three was quiet, just enjoying the dish, mopping up all there was to mop up!
I swapped the bacon for some chorizo, which worked a treat! You can see my result on my blog here:

lovemygrub123's picture

I have made many kinds of soup over the years but find this to be the best.
As my wife does not like anything too spicy I reduced the cumin, turmeric and chilli by half. I also added a little extra water near the end to make it thinner.
It is absolutely delicious, full of flavour and ideal for a cold winters day.
Note to make the stock I used 2 x Knorr chicken stock pots.

lovemygrub123's picture

I have made many kinds of soup over the years and find this one the best.
I reduced the cumin, turmeric and chilli by half as my wife does not like anything too spicy. I also added more water near the end to make it a little thinner. The taste was wonderful. It's just the kind of soup to have on a cold winters day, so comforting and warming.
Note I used 2 x Knorr chicken stock pots

rebeccashinn's picture
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Delicious - even though I used broth mix as I had no lentils, forgot to precook the pulses so boiled the soup for 10 mins then cooked for 40mins -still tasted great!

ywinrow's picture
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5 star ... So easy & was really lovely ... Will definitely be having it again!

jaysimpson's picture
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This was one of the best soups l have ever made. Made it for a starter for Christmas Day and have made it nearly every week since. Followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect. Would recommend. Great for a cold winters day!