Easy Lentil Soup with Kale and Bacon
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 8-10 servings
gluten-free (see recipe notes for vegetarian / vegan option)
  • 4-5 slices bacon -- optional, see recipe notes*
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ tsp. cumin powder
  • ¾ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 lb. brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or you use fresh tomatoes, if they're in season)
  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 big handful fresh parsley, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • Salt, to taste
  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel, and set aside. Leave the bacon grease in the pan for sauteing the veggies. (If you want to make the soup vegetarian / vegan, see recipe notes below.)
  2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pan, along with a big pinch of salt, and saute for 6-8 minutes. If the vegetables start to brown too much, turn the heat down. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, and turmeric, and cook for another 2-3 minutes to toast the spices.
  3. Add the bell pepper, lentils, tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, and another big pinch of salt. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the lentils are tender, but not mushy.
  4. Optional: you can leave the soup like this, or, for a thicker consistency, puree some of it by transferring a few ladle fulls to a blender, then returning to the pot, or using an immersion blender. You can puree as much or as little of the soup as you'd like, to reach the desired consistency. (I like to use an immersion blender, pulsing for just a minute or so, for a thickened but not smooth consistency.)
  5. Chop the kale, parsley, and reserved bacon, and stir them into the pot. Season with salt, to taste. Serve immediately, or let cool and store in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a couple of months. Soup is even better the next day, once the flavors have had a chance to mingle. Enjoy!
*The Husband and I love using a little bacon in our lentil soup for some added smokiness and depth of flavor, but if you want to make this soup vegetarian/vegan, you can certainly leave it out. Instead, use 4 TBSP olive oil to saute your veggies, and of course swap the chicken stock with vegetable broth.

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown -- check it out Lentil Soup here.
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at https://www.willcookforfriends.com/2016/03/easy-lentil-soup.html