Red lentils soup

Red lentils soup is a great tasting lentils soup and is served with smoked pancetta.  This red lentil soup could be served with smoked streaky bacon and croutons.

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 200g red lentils
  • 50g carrots
  • 50g leek
  • 8 rashers smoked pancetta
  • 50g red onion
  • Approx 1½l chicken or vegetable stock
  • 6 parsley stalks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and milled black pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 50g croutons

Getting everything ready

  1. Make the chicken stock.
  2. Put the lentils into a fine strainer and wash well under cold running water.
  3. Peel and chop the carrot and chop the carrot into ½” dice.  Peel and chop the onion into ½” dice.  Wash and chop the white of the leek into ½” dice.
  4. Cut 4 rashers of pancetta into ½” strips.  Cut the remaining rashers into ¼” pieces.  Shallow fry in a frying pan until crispy (no oil).  Remove and drain on kitchen paper and put aside for the garnish.
  5. Make your own croutons from white bread and put aside for the garnish.
  6. Chop the parsley for garnish.


  1. Place the washed lentils into a heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently, skimming if necessary.
  2. Warm the oil in a large frying pan then add the onion, carrot, leek and remaining pancetta.  Sweat for 5 minutes without colour.
  3. Add to the simmering lentils and simmer for a further 45 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, and blend in a liquidiser until smooth.  Pass the soup through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan.
  5. Reheat to nearly boiling.  Season to taste.
  6. Ladle the red lentil soup into warm soup bowls.  Garnish each bowl with a few crispy pancetta and sprinkle over chopped parsley.  Serve with croutons.

Red lentils soup – hints and tips

If you can’t find pancetta, then use smoked streaky bacon instead in this red lentil soup.

For a vegetarian option, exchange the chicken stock for vegetable stock and omit the pancetta, leaving you with a red lentil soup.

Watch this red lentils soup being made

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