Slim Down Saturday and Lentil and Bacon Soup

Slim Down Saturday and Lentil and Bacon Soup
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For those of you who are new to this blog, Saturday is the day I set aside to post recipes and food ideas that are healthy, healthy, healthy. You might be wondering how “bacon” got put into a post with the word “slim”. The bacon in this soup is is minimal, but adds a fabulous smokey flavor that can NOT be left out. Just trust me on this one. You need the bacon. Every other ingredient present is the pinnacle of health. Tons of veggies and lentils. 
With a little bit of bacon. 
I have tried many different lentil soup recipes over the past couple of months.
“Why would a girl bother?” You might be wondering. “What in the world could be appealing about lentils.” 
The price. (Dang cheap)
 The shelf life. (30 years, I heard)
 The health benefits. (Fiber, folks)
 That is why in the world I have been bothering. Lentils also cook up a lot faster than dried beans, another benefit!
 My other attempts at lentil soup were not pretty, folks. Nor were they tasty. I got this successful recipe from a neighbor and have added a few things here and there to make it into the tasty treasure you see before you. The addition of avocado, cilantro and sour cream (light of course!) make this a great meal. You don’t need to be watching your weight to enjoy this yummy dish. 
Lentil and Bacon Soup
Yield: 8 servings
Time: 1 hour
Recipe adapted from Kimberly Briggs
2 celery stalks
4 carrots
1 large red onion
2 cloves garlic
8 C water
4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (reserve 1 tiny little teaspoon of the grease)
1 3/4 C lentils
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 t dried thyme
1 t balsamic vinegar
6 t beef bouillon
1/2 t fennel
1 t sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Toppings:
Avocado, Cilantro, Sour Cream
1. Saute the celery, carrots, red onion and garlic in a skillet over medium in just a touch of olive oil.
2. In a large pot add the sauteed veggies, water, bacon, lentils, stewed tomatoes, thyme, and fennel.
3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. The soup will start to thicken up as it cooks.
4. When the lentils are soft add the bullion, salt and pepper, bacon grease (just a teeny, tiny little teaspoon full), sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir to incorporate.
5. Serve with chopped cilantro, avocado and sour cream. Enjoy!


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8 Comments

  1. 1
    Jamie Newman
    March 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Jamie,
    I plan to make this soup this week (I've never used lentils before but I have a vague memory of my Mom serving a lentil casserole when I was a kid…we'll see if I like them or not!). Anyway, I have a question about the fennel. Is it really necessary in this recipe? I've never cooked with it and when I went to buy it it cost $4.25 for a small jar. I don't know if I will ever use it again so I am being a little stingy. Do you think it is necessary for this soup? Please let me know. Thanks!

  2. 2
    March 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Jamie,
    You could indeed leave the fennel out. I had never purchased it either, until this past summer I tried a new spaghetti sauce recipe that called for it. A lot of people think it tastes and smells like licorice. I think it gives things a real italian type flavor. I am seriously in love with it. But I agree, it is a little on the expensive side. The soup should turn out well with out it. Good luck. Let me know if you like it!
    I always try and make some kind of fresh bread or breadsticks when I am making a new soup, that way at I know if my kids aren't thrilled with a whole bowl full, there is still something they like that can fill them up.
    Good Luck!
    ~Jamie

  3. 3
    Anonymous
    March 27, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Jamie,
    This soup was the first of your recipes that I have tried as I am new to your blog…It was great!! Even my pickiest eater liked it. I am a diabetic and our family is on a tight budget and this recipe met both of those challenges. I will surely be making this again. Thanks, Kara Langston

  4. 4
    March 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Kara,
    Thanks so much for letting me know the soup turned out well. I am so glad!
    ~Jamie

  5. 5
    Anonymous
    January 10, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Jamie,
    I made this soup yesterday for the Sat evening company and everyone enjoyed it. Being vegetarian I skipped bacon and used veg. bouillon and also skipped fennel and celery. Also I made your Quick and easy breadsticks to go with it. Even that turned out fabulous. You made me friends with yeast 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your recipes. I also plan on making Fluffy Dinner rolls and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. I am sure even those will be a hit.
    Regards,
    Isha.

  6. 6
    Anonymous
    January 12, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Hi Jamie,

    Do you have recipe for Ciabatta rolls? If you do , can you please share?

    Thanks
    Cathy.

  7. 7
    January 19, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Cathy,
    I don't have a recipe for Ciabatta rolls. I'll have to look into it and see what I can come up with!
    ~Jamie

  8. 8
    Anonymous
    February 22, 2012 at 2:39 am

    I made this tonight when I got home from work. The soup turned out wonderful. Very tasty! Onething to make things go faster is maybe fry the bacon in advance and save some bacon grease. I do this often to save time.

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