Lentil & bacon soup

With cannellini beans, carrots & parsley

Lentil & bacon soup

Lentil & bacon soup

Serves Serves 4
Time Cooks In1 hour 10 minutes
DifficultySuper easy
Nutrition per serving Plus
  • Calories 336 17%
  • Fat 8.5g 12%
  • Saturates 1.9g 10%
  • Sugars 9.3g 10%
  • Salt 1.3g 22%
  • Protein 20.5g 41%
  • Carbs 44.9g 17%
  • Fibre 12.5g -
Of an adult's reference intake
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  • 2 red onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 sticks celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • olive oil
  • ½ a dried chilli
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 200 g dried lentils , (a mixture of green and red is nice)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube , optional
  • 1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
  • a few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil
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  1. Peel and finely chop the onions and carrots, trim and finely chop the celery, and peel and finely slice the garlic. Finely chop the bacon.
  2. Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the bacon and fry slowly until the bacon starts to release all its tasty fat and goes crispy, then crumble in the dried chilli, and add the dried thyme, onion, carrot, celery and garlic.
  3. Cook gently with the lid on for about 15 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft, then add the lentils and 1 litre water or vegetable stock.
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are soft (check the packet instructions as different types of lentils vary in cooking time. If you’re mixing your lentils, cook for the longest amount of time to make sure they are all cooked properly).
  5. Drain, then tip in the cannellini beans and, if the soup’s a little thick, add a splash more water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes, then taste and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Meanwhile, pick and finely chop the parsley.
  7. Ladle into bowls and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped parsley. Serve with hunks of bread for dunking.


Sometimes I add a few dried porcini mushrooms to make it extra special.

Leftover parsley? Toss through simple pasta dishes before serving or add to winter salads. If you have several types of soft herbs left over, why not try making my salsa verde? It’ll transform any roasted veg, or can be stirred into risottos.