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Chef John's Black Lentil Soup

Chef John

"There's absolutely nothing wrong with green lentil soup, but once you start making it with black ‘beluga' lentils, you'll have a hard time going back. These black beauties cook up melt-in-your-mouth tender, but still retain their structural integrity, which gives the soup both a thick, satisfying body, and a light, non-starchy mouthfeel."
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1 h 20 m servings 348 cals
Original recipe yields 4 servings

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  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir bacon in hot oil until bacon is browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onion, carrot, celery, and salt; cook and stir until onion is softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Season with black pepper, cumin, thyme, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Pour lentils into bacon mixture and stir to coat completely in rendered bacon fat. Add chicken broth and bay leaf; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook, adding more chicken broth as needed, until lentils are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Add 3 tablespoons parsley and stir. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle remaining parsley over the top and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 348 calories; 8.8 g fat; 45.6 g carbohydrates; 21.3 g protein; 16 mg cholesterol; 1468 mg sodium. Powered by the ESHA Research Database © 2018, ESHA Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Read all reviews 27
  1. 34 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

Just made this recipe and the whole family loved it! I put everything in a small crockpot including the bacon (left in whole strips) and cooked on low for 4-5 hours. I did not precook the bacon...

Most helpful critical review

I followed the recipe closely. It was too salty for my taste, but the overall flavor was good. I won't use as much cumin next time.

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Least positive

Just made this recipe and the whole family loved it! I put everything in a small crockpot including the bacon (left in whole strips) and cooked on low for 4-5 hours. I did not precook the bacon...

Delicious. The black lentils really do make a difference. I've made this twice now, once with green Puy French lentils and once with black beluga. There is a textural difference between the t...

I couldn't find any Beluga lentils at my local grocery store so I had to use regular green lentils I had on hand. They still turned out dynamite taste wise, and the texture wasn't all that bad (...

This is THE BEST lentil soup that I have ever made!!!! I omitted the bacon because I do not eat pork, and could not be happier with the results. My kids are raving about it, and my house smells ...

This was fantastic! My only change was to chop and add one small tomato because it had to be used. This will be a regular.

Chef John and his educational, inspirational videos, have given me so much pleasure to watch and reason to create delicious everything! I was given two pounds of crappie filets so while looking ...

This is the most delicious lentil soup I've ever eaten - amazing. We followed the recipe as written. Chef John is talented and creative, and we've used dozens of his recipes without disappoin...

I only have one word yum!

This soup tasted really good. I added diced jalapeños in with the veggies. I sautéed everything in an instant pot and used the slow cooker function. Everything was done after 4 hours. Thanks Che...