This soup is comforting, filling, and a perfect meal with a side salad and brown rice or piece of baguette. You can easily make this soup vegetarian by substituting two tablespoons of canola oil for the browned bacon and vegetarian broth for the chicken broth. If you like the bacon, I would suggest buying center-cut bacon. It’s less fatty than regular bacon and cut closer to the bone, yielding more meat than fat.
This is such a quick and super easy soup to make. Even people who are allergic to cooking will find this easy to do! You just have to do some easy dicing, and in fact, that’s just another reason why I make heavily plant-based meals besides the taste and health factor – I really don’t like dealing with huge cuts of meat!
serves about 6
1 cup diced yellow onion
3 celery ribs, split down the middle and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 slices center-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over (I used red lentils)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup (8 oz) water
Over medium heat in a 5-qt Dutch oven or soup pot, cook the bacon. After 5-7 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and brown, take out the bacon with a slotted spoon. Drain the bacon pieces on paper towels. Pour out enough of the bacon fat until about 2 tablespoons is left in the pot. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring every so often, for about 5-7 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the lentils, salt, and cumin. Add the chicken broth and water. Stir to combine all ingredients. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and turn the heat down to medium-low once the soup starts to boil. Simmer lightly for 20 minutes, until lentils are tender. Taste the soup again and add salt as needed. Crumble reserved bacon pieces on top.