As the temperatures cool down I make this sprouted lentil soup with bacon, or some version of it, at least once a week for our lunch. It is super simple to make, cooks up quickly, and is very economical.
When I am on the ball I will sprout the lentils ahead of time. You can find a tutorial on how to do that here.
The sprouting process really doesn’t change the flavor of the soup at all. It does, however, produce a tiny little “tail” that comes from the lentil. At this point it has absorbed a bit of moisture so you may not need quite as much liquid to cook the soup. Alternatively, if you find it too “soupy”, allow it to simmer a bit longer uncovered.
You can absolutely make this soup without sprouting first, though the health benefits of sprouting sure are worth it. What I wouldn’t do, unless under the most dire of circumstances, is omit the bacon.
One thing I like to do with a simple soup like this, is jazz it up with a cultured dairy sauce for enzymes and flavor. Let the soup cool a bit, so as not to kill the culture, and drizzle over your favorite flavorful yogurt or kefir dressing like this.
Simple Lentil Soup with Bacon
- 1 1/2 lb green lentils
- 4 medium carrots, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 strips of bacon, diced (or more as desired)
- stock or water to cover
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak or sprout lentils as desired before cooking.
- Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Cover with stock or water by about 2 inches. You can add more liquid if necessary towards the end of cooking.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer soup for about 45 minutes. Check the lentils to make sure they have softened adequately. Add more water if desired, or remove lid and turn up heat to simmer off some of the moisture in the soup.
- Once the lentils are tender and the soup has cooked to your desired consistency, season with salt and pepper, taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve warm.