Hearty Lentil Soup

Here is a thick, rich and delicious soup that will warm you up on a chilly fall evening. This hearty soup takes less than an hour to prepare, which is always great news on a busy weeknight in my house. I made this hearty lentil soup on trick-or-treat night to warm us up after spending a few hours outside. I prepared the soup earlier in the day then placed it in a crock pot set to low heat. The crock pot kept the soup warm for all of our guests and allowed me to interact with our guests and trick-or-treaters instead hanging out in the kitchen. Serve this soup with freshly baked corn bread for an incredibly tasty meal.

One Year Ago: Garlic Knots 

Hearty Lentil Soup

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  • 3 slices bacon (about 3 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup lentils (7 ounces), rinsed and picked over
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves


  1. In large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, fry bacon, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in lentils, salt, and pepper; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Uncover, increase heat to high, add wine, and bring to simmer.
  7. Add chicken broth and water; bring to boil, cover partially, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 30 to 35 minutes; discard bay leaf.
  8. Transfer 3 cups of soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot; stir in vinegar and heat soup over medium-low until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley and serve, garnishing each bowl with some of remaining parsley.

Yields: 2 quarts, 4 to 6 servings

Source: Cook’s Illustrated, January 2004

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17 Responses to Hearty Lentil Soup

  1. Caroline says:

    Lentil soup is one of my favorites. Yours looks so thick and hearty…beautiful color too. It’s actually cooling down here in CA (well, maybe I’m just being a baby…it’s not that cold), but this would be the perfect meal to warm me up. 🙂

  2. jennknee says:

    I LOVE lentils!! It is really chilly here today…definitely worth making!

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    That’s the great thing about lentil soup: it doesn’t need to simmer for hours on the stove. The idea of sitting down to a bowl. like the one pictured, in less than an hour seems impossible but it’s not at all. Great recipe!

  4. Laura says:

    I was just thinking of making lentil soup in the next couple weeks. I will be trying this recipe. Seems like a perfect dinner for a chilly fall evening. I also know my husband will like it because bacon is in the ingredient list!

  5. Yummy! Confort food 100%

  6. Linda Gartner says:

    That’s the most delicious looking bowl of lentil soup I’ve ever seen! Yummy! Thank you for continueing to delight us with your recipes.

  7. It’s definitely soup weather now, isn’t it? Thank goodness or we wouldn’t see this pretty bowl of zuppa you’ve made for us:)

  8. My lentil soup is never this rich. I need to try yours. How do full crockpots do in the mail?

  9. Anne says:

    I love lentil soup! And pretty much anything Cook’s Illustrated makes.

  10. Pingback: Soup’s On! A Soup Roundup! | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  11. Peggy says:

    This almost looks like a lentil-esque chili! I love how thick and hearty this is – and I’m sure it’s the perfect bowl of comfort and warmth =)

  12. CB says:

    What kind of lentils did you use? This looks so good!

  13. lentil soup has become my new favorite to make. So easy, so good and just so good for you!

  14. Tina says:

    I love lentil soup and was excited to try it at home. What a hit! Hubby and kids just raved about it..In fact the kids had a second bowl and my husband said to put this immediately in our menu rotation for fall/winter time.

  15. iamahoneybee says:

    I keep buying bags of lentils but have never made anything with them. I have to fix that! Soup looks awesome.

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