A small bowl of red lentil & smoky bacon soup, with feta muffins in the background.
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5 from 1 vote

Red Lentil & Smoky Bacon Soup

A simple, hearty red lentil and bacon soup that is perfect for the cooler weather. It can be made ahead and freezes well, so double the recipe and stock the freezer. I guarantee that even the fussiest of eaters will love this one.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: bacon soup recipe, easy bacon soup, lentil soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 518kcal
Author: Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 150 g (5 oz) smoky bacon cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium carrot sliced
  • 1 celery stick sliced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 400 g (14 oz) tin of crushed tomatoes
  • 200 g (1 cup) red lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 L (4 cups) chicken stock
  • Salt & pepper


  • Place a large saucepan or soup pot over a medium heat, and add the olive oil.
  • Add the onion to the pot, and saute for 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Add the bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the fat starts to release and the bacon is browned.  I like scrape the onion to one side in the pot as I find the bacon browns better this way. You can also remove the onion from the pot whilst browning the bacon if you prefer.
  • Add the carrot and celery to the onion mixture and saute for 3 - 5 minutes, or until softened.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, red lentils, bay leaf and thyme sprig
  • Pour the chicken stock into the pot, ensuring the ingredients are well covered.
  • Bring the soup to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils have softened and are starting to collapse.
  • Check the seasoning, and add salt & pepper if required. Some bacon is quite salty and you may not need to add additional salt.
  • Serve with loads of crusty bread.


  1. Red lentils do not require soaking and cook quite quickly so this easy bacon soup can be on the table within the hour.
  2. The soup can be made in advance, and reheated prior to serving.  It will thicken slightly on standing so add a splash of water or chicken stock to the pot to loosen the soup as you reheat it.
  3. Rinse the lentils prior to cooking, if you remember.  I always forget this step, and the soup still tastes great.
  4. I like to cook the soup until the lentils start to collapse into the stock.  That way they can’t be picked out at the dinner table.
  5. The soup will last for up to three days in the fridge and up to four months in the freezer.


Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 52.1g | Protein: 24.6g | Fat: 24.6g | Cholesterol: 30.6mg | Sodium: 785.5mg | Sugar: 11.9g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 22.3mg