Rating: 4.86 stars
50 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 44
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

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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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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

329 calories; protein 20g; carbohydrates 44.3g; fat 8.2g; cholesterol 10.2mg; sodium 267.6mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (37)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/11/2015
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 or any other ingredients. I omitted the vegetable oil and olive oil. After the soup was finished cooking, I discarded the bacon and bay leaf. I added spinach to individual bowls just prior to serving. Will definitely make this recipe again! Read More
(21)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/06/2018
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. Read More
50 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 44
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2014
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 two. The black belugas have more a round shape than most other types and this seems to give it a pearl look and texture. They do tend to hold their structure while they melt in your mouth. Both were creamy and flavorful. I made mine in a pressure cooker to save time. The first time I augmented the broth to 6 cups just to make sure there was enough liquid and the end result was a bit more thin than in the picture but still creamy and delicious. The second time I used 5 cups of broth, cooked 20 minutes in the pressure cooker and it was exactly as it should be: a thick and creamy soup. The cumin and spices are just perfect. It freezes well too. Thanks for the recipe. Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
08/11/2015
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 or any other ingredients. I omitted the vegetable oil and olive oil. After the soup was finished cooking, I discarded the bacon and bay leaf. I added spinach to individual bowls just prior to serving. Will definitely make this recipe again! Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2015
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 divine tonight. I served with naan bread and salad. I will be making this alll the time now. Read More
(11)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/28/2016
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 (although I'm sure the Belugas would have made a difference). The heat level was a perfect spicy enough just to leave a bit of a tingle but nothing too overpowering. The bacon added a smokyness that kept having me going back for more. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
05/16/2014
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 through stew soup and chowder recipes I saw and watched his black lentil soup video. I wonder what Chef John would say about using this his lentil soup recipe as a base. Since he's not here to try my creation I (as always) am relying on the opinion of my family. I love my version and so do they. I had small whole green lentils and they stood up to simmering for 45 minutes. Also I did add half of a chopped jalapeño pepper and 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper to the onion carrot and celery. Another ingredient that appealed to me from a Bermuda fish chowder 3 tablespoons of tomato paste I stirred into the chicken broth. The small crappie filets (after sprinkling them with Old Bay seasoning) were added during the final 10 minutes of simmering. What do you think Chef? Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
05/19/2014
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. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/20/2015
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 disappointment. Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
07/29/2014
I only have one word yum! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
06/14/2016
Excellent! I do not eat pork, so added some smoked paprika in oil to saute onions, carrots, and celery. Also used 'not chicken' broth instead of chicken broth (sorry Chef John!). Very, very good, and will definitely make again! Read More
(2)
Rating: 3 stars
01/06/2018
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. Read More