Bacon lentil soup is a soup made with smoked bacon and lentils. Most recipes for the dish include vegetable stock, carrots, red lentils, and onion. Many variations on the standard recipe exist, and these can include other vegetables, a different type of stock, a different type of lentils, and other ingredients such as tomatoes. Chefs usually make the dish by shallow-frying the bacon, onions, and other vegetables and then adding the stock. The dish is then left to simmer for around an hour before serving.
Any soup which contains bacon and lentils is a bacon lentil soup. Soups are composed of a thick liquid, usually a stock, combined with other ingredients. Most chefs opt to serve bacon lentil soup with bread for dipping. Pureeing the ingredients is optional for a smoother soup, but some people prefer chunky soup.
Most recipes for bacon lentil soup contain several key ingredients. Aside from the bacon and lentils, other common ingredients are carrots, onions, and swede. Most chefs use vegetable stock and red lentils when making the soup.
Variations on the standard recipe for bacon lentil soup often include additional ingredients, such as celery, parsnips, and cabbage. Condiments such as hot sauce can be added to the dish just before serving to add more flavors. Yellow or green lentils and chicken stock can also be used when making the dish. Bacon lardons or pancetta can be used instead of smoked bacon in some recipes. Chopped tomatoes are sometimes added along with the stock to increase the flavors in the broth.
Chefs make bacon lentil soup using the same basic method. The bacon, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and any other vegetables are shallow-fried in oil. Once the vegetables have softened, the lentils can be added to soak up the flavors of the other ingredients before being cooked in the stock. If the chef is using chopped tomatoes, they are usually added to the pan just before the stock. The mixture is brought to a boil, covered with a pan lid, and left to simmer for around an hour.
The nutritional advantages of bacon lentil soup include providing one fifth of diners suggested daily vitamin A and iron intake. An average recipe will contain around 110 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. The dish contains 5 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol, of which people are advised to consume no more than 200 mg per day. On average, the soup provides 19 grams of carbohydrates, which will increase if the dish is served with bread. 5 grams of protein are consumed in an average serving.