French Lentil Soup with Bacon is a rich and hearty soup packed with flavor. Makes a delicious, nutritious, and satisfying meal. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy.
My French lentil soup is made with Le Puy lentils which have a dark green color with hints of blue. They hold their shape beautifully when cooked unlike brown lentils which tend to turn mushy. That doesn’t mean that brown lentils are bad. Brown lentils are perfect for lentils with rice and tomato onion dressing.
The thickness of this soup comes from the potatoes that are cooked along with everything else instead of being added towards the end. I count on some breaking up creating a natural thickener. The addition of red wine vinegar brightens the soup and is added at the end along with the parsley.
The seasonings for this French lentil soup take it to another level. It’s seasoned liberally with kosher salt to bring out the sweetness of the vegetables. A tablespoon may sound like too much, but realize that since it’s kosher salt, the crystals are larger than table salt. After all, you’re seasoning six cups of liquid along with potatoes that need salt when cooked.
Bacon is diced and cooked until crisp. Then the onions are added and sauteed in the bacon fat until they're nice and soft. The garlic is added and cooked until fragrant which only takes less than a minute. The remaining vegetables are added along with the lentils and it’s cooked until the lentils are tender. The red wine vinegar and parsley are added at the end.
Be happy, eat well.
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French Lentil Soup with BaconPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 6 slices bacon diced (about 6 ounces)
- 1 large sweet onion diced
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 1 cup French Le Puy lentils a.k.a French lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 russet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a stock pot over medium high heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp. There should be about ¼ cup of fat rendered from the bacon. You can eyeball it. If there’s more, pour off and reserved for another use. Just store it in the fridge until needed. Remove some of the bacon and set aside if you like for garnish.
- Add the onions and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.
- Add the carrots, celery, lentils, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Give it a stir to wake up the seasonings.
- Pour in the stock, water, and add the potatoes. Stir, bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to medium low. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove cover and using the back of your spoon, smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot then stir it back in. This thickens the soup beautifully.
- Finally, stir in the red wine vinegar and parsley. Serve with crusty bread for a hearty meal.