Lentil Tomato Soup

This has been one of the favorite soups in our house for over 10 years.  There is something so hearty, so satisfying about it – it’s very flavorful, it is incredibly easy to make, and it freezes like a champ.  Bean soups and stews are really a spectacular way of getting some good protein and fiber into our worlds without making meat the centerpiece of every dinner.

Just to confirm: the alcohol in the wine cooks off completely, and all that’s left is a nice flavor boost.  You don’t have to get the Le Puy lentils or the arborio rice (see below), but those ingredients do take the soup to a different level.  And go easy on the salt at first; you’ll want to taste it towards the end and see how salty (or not) the bacon and broth are.   

Lentil Tomato Soup: This soup is very flavorful, it is incredibly easy to make, and it freezes like a champ. 

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Lentil Tomato Soup

Arborio Rice

You can use any rice you have, but I love the texture of Arborio rice.  Arborio a starchy short grain rice, usually grown in the Po Valley of Italy and most often used in risottos It’s available at most supermarkets there days and can also be bought online.   

Best Lentils for Lentil Soup

Try to find French (Le Puy) or Italian lentils at specialty food stores, some supermarkets, and online.  They are smaller, hold their shape better, and have wonderful flavor.  They are a bit pricier than regular lentils, but worth the few extra bucks, I think.  But regular lentils will do just fine!

Lentil Tomato Soup

Lentil Soup Toppings

This recipe calls for half of the crisped bacon to be added right into the pot, and the other half gets sprinkled over steaming bowls of the soup.  Add a big old sprinkle of Parmesan as well, and you will probably want to add this to your regular rotation.  I have a friend (my old home ec teacher in fact!) who makes a vegetarian version of the soup (below), and freezes it in pint containers so dinner is always a defrost and reheat away.  Also, you might try grated cheddar or crumbled feta instead of the Parmesan.

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Skip the bacon, and use a couple of teaspoons of olive oil instead, and make sure to use vegetable broth and not chicken broth.  

How to Make Lentil Tomato Soup

Heat a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes until crisped.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and add the onions and carrots to the pot, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  

Lentil Tomato Soup

Add the garlic, rice and thyme, and stir occasionally for 3 more minutes.  

Lentil Tomato Soup

Add the wine, if using, and stir for one minute until almost evaporated.  

Add the salt, pepper, tomatoes, lentils, half the reserved bacon, and the chicken broth and stir to combine.  

Lentil Tomato Soup

Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and the rice are tender.  Feel free to add more liquid if you like a thinner soup (the next day the soup will likely have thickened considerably; and you may want to thin with more water and broth at this point, as you reheat).

Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of Parmesan on top, if desired.

Lentil Tomato Soup

And parsley and bacon!

Lentil Tomato Soup

Other Warming Soup Recipes:

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Lentil Tomato Soup

This soup is very flavorful, it is incredibly easy to make, and it freezes like a champ. 
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 slices bacon , sliced crosswise into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chopped carrots
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup rice (preferably arborio)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • splash of red or white wine (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup lentils (look for the tiny French or Le Puy variety, or Italian lentils; see Note)
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth , or more as needed
  • Grated Parmesan to serve (optional)
  • Chopped fresh parsley to serve

Directions

  • Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes until crisped. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off all but two teaspoons of the bacon fat, add the onions and carrots, and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rice and thyme, and stir occasionally for the 3 more minutes. Add the wine, if using, and stir for one minute until almost evaporated. Add the salt (about ¼ teaspoon if you’re using bacon and cheese, ¾ teaspoon if not), pepper, tomatoes, lentils, half the reserved bacon, and the chicken broth and stir to combine.
  • Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and the rice are tender. Feel free to add more liquid if you like a thinner soup (the next day thee soup will likely have thickened considerably; and you may want to thin with more water and broth at this point, as you reheat).
  • Serve in bowls with the rest of the bacon and a sprinkle of Parmesan on top, if desired.

Notes

Where to Buy Lentils

You can buy French (Le Puy) or Italian lentils at specialty food stores, some supermarkets, and online. They are smaller, hold their shape better, and have wonderful flavor. But regular lentils will do just fine!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 692mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2234IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 4mg

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