Lentil & bacon soup

Lentil & bacon soup

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(97 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 30 mins


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: per serving

  • kcal493
  • fat19.1g
  • saturates6.6g
  • carbs50.6g
  • sugars7.3g
  • fibre7.7g
  • protein29.5g
  • salt1.6g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, diced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 x 70g packs pancetta cubes



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 1 carrot (about 120g), finely diced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, sliced



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 2 low-salt stock cubes
  • 250g red lentils, rinsed


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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25th Apr, 2020
My guests always enjoy this soup and it’s so easy to make! :)
Millicent Blandford - Davies's picture
Millicent Bland...
11th Jan, 2020
Really yummy filling soup. We served with home made cheese scones.
30th Apr, 2019
Loved it! Used smoked streaky bacon, as had some already. I didn't add chilli due to other half not able to eat it, but added smoked paprika. I think that I'll add extra vegetables, potatoes and chicken or chick peas next time to make a hearty family dinner.
6th Mar, 2019
Nice taste but too salty, even with low sodium cubes ! I added celery and deseeded the chilli. I also added 1/2 jar soffritto after the initial taste because i felt it lacked something, ( would have used tomato puree but didn't have any) and served with sour dough croutons. I will make this again but use more onion and spice and not deseed the chilli. I think 1 stock cube and a tin of chopped tomatoes would work
7th Jul, 2018
Love this soup. Used it for years. I have stopped eating red meat and have made this soup using turkey bacon and its just as good if not better. Vegetable stock cubes are much better than chicken ones in this. I do add more quantity of spices and green chilli. We eat it on its own or as a side dish with curry as a main. Hearty and tasty.
5th Oct, 2017
Wonderful winter warmer!
16th Oct, 2016
This was nice and easy to make, but nothing to rave about. I won't rush to make it again .
Kim Bambrough
10th Oct, 2016
This was a bit too spicy for us even though i removed all the chilli seeds, if i make it again will add half a chilli and just a dash of turmeric. Other than that it was ok but not dashing away to make it again.
16th Sep, 2016
Forgot the rating.
16th Sep, 2016
This soup is great, I left off the bacon garnish, but followed the recipe exactly otherwise. It was easy, the prep and cooking times are accurate. And it was delicious. Will definitely make it again!


8th Feb, 2020
What type of stock cube should I use, vegetable?
CassieBest's picture
10th Feb, 2020
Hi, Thanks for your question. You could use a vegetable or chicken stock cube for this recipe. Cassie (Senior Food Editor, BBC Good Food)
Kelly Choong's picture
Kelly Choong
28th Nov, 2018
Can I use red split lentils for this recipe and will I have to presoak them beforehand?
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question - this is exactly what you need to use and there's no need to pre-soak just give them a good rinse.
3rd Mar, 2018
Would this recipe work with green lentils instead of red?
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Mar, 2018
Thanks for your question. We would recommend sticking to red lentils due to cooking times and texture.
maggiebleksley's picture
14th Aug, 2013
Why is this listed as vegetarian when it contains bacon?
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