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.
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.
What kind of stock do you use for this recipe?
Andrew James says
A simple recipe with a delicious outcome.
Oh, this looks great. My son loves lentils. I will add this to the menu next week!
I have this cooking right now! My only question is about the bacon. Is it cooked first or added raw to the soup in the beginning? Since I did not know, I mostly cooked it and added it. I also sauteed the celery and onion as I generally find I do not like the taste that raw onion brings to soup. And did not have the time to sprout the lentils, so just let them soak a bit. I think they generally cook up quickly anyway. Looking forward to tasting and so is my family!
Additional note to my above post. Soup was a big hit with my 3 teenagers. For the fluid I used one box of Pacific brand low sodium organic vegetable broth and topped off with water. More bacon next time and glad I cooked it first as I did not want the fat so much in the soup. Buying more lentils today to make frequently. Thank you for the great recipe!
Karen Scribner says
Please be sure to specify organic lentils (or any legumes, seeds, grains) for your recipes. These things are sprayed with glyphosate (Roundup and 12 other brands by 7 companies) to dry or ripen the field before harvesting. They do it on potatoes and cotton also. Do not use any stock from the store or cube flavoring even if it says no MSG. Don’t worry, it’s in there.
I think the authors here don’t necessarily mention organic for individual ingredients because they assume since the whole website is about clean, real, sustainable eating, the vast majority of readers know their stance on which to buy; organic over non-organic, and preferably local. Take a look at the whole site. Seeing what you wrote, I’m sure you’ll enjoy what you find.
I wonder if sprouted lentils keep their health benefits when they are cooked; I thought that only when steamed or a light stir-fry would keep the enzymes. Other people say that anyway the enzymes do not survive the stomach. I’d appreciate if you could explain. Thanks.