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Lentil and Bacon Soup with Root Veggies

Lentil and bacon soup is an easy recipe that uses any old root vegetables that you have lying around to create a hearty and tasty meal.

This recipe takes about an hour to cook, it will feed 6 people for a light lunch and will last in the fridge for 2-3 days after cooking.

Easy lentil and bacon soup with root veggies and fresh parsley.

Lentil and bacon “pottage”

Lentils are a wonderful frugal ingredient that provide nutrition, flavour and texture at a really low cost.

Here they take the role of grains in this “pottage style” lentil and bacon soup.

Rather than using red or yellow lentils which cook down to form a thick soup like in my Turkish lentil soup, Mercimek Corbasi or my spicy carrot and lentil soup I use green lentils which stay whole and provide texture.

They are joined by pretty much any old root veg that I have left lying around at the end of the week.

Add a bit of nice fatty bacon and you have a delicious, simple and really cheap soup that will keep you going for lunch for a few days.

If you have some lentils left over be sure to check out my lentil and asparagus salad.

Overhead lentil and bacon soup being eaten with a spoon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different types of vegetables?

Absolutely! I use this to clean out my veggie tray and any old root vegetables work just as well in this recipe.

I would always add some form of floury potatoes because the starch helps to add body to the broth. But after that, knock yourself out!

Swede, celeriac, turnips, sweet potato, Jerusalem artichokes and even kohlrabi work well!

Can I use different types of lentils?

Yes, I usually have green lentils lying around, but anything from the puy lentils that I use in my puy lentil salad to brown lentils in this lentil and halloumi curry and green lentils that feature in my sausage and lentil casserole would work well.

I would avoid red or yellow lentils in this simple soup because they break down too much.

Can I use ham?

Definitely, ham works really well in this lentil soup but it does not have the same fat content as bacon, which depending on your views could be a good thing.

If I were to make this with ham I would skip the step of browning the bacon and add flaked ham once the soup has cooked. If you have the ham bone throw it in whilst cooking to turn that flavour up to 11!

Can I use dried thyme?

Yes! Use 1½ teaspoons of dried thyme. In fact, you can add a host of different herbs, anything from oregano and basil to lovage and rosemary.

Can I cook this in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker?

Yes, I would keep the methodology the same down to point 10.

Pour in the stock, herbs and seasoning then cook under high pressure for 8-10 minutes, then allow the pressure to release for 10 minutes before releasing.

Close-up lentil and bacon soup with root veggies and fresh parsley.

Serving Suggestions

This easy lentil and bacon soup is a hearty bowl of goodness and all it needs to help it along the way is a bit of bread.

You could, of course, go for garlic bread, it’s always a welcome addition.

However, I prefer a nice hunk of dark and rich bread. Something like this malt vinegar bread would be awesome if you are a baker!

Easy lentil and bacon soup with root veggies and fresh parsley on a spoon.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan with a lid.
  • Large jug or bowl for making stock (if you are using stock cubes).
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and or spoons.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Vegetable Peeler.
Easy lentil and bacon soup with carrots, potatoes and parsnip in broth.
Yield: 4-6 Servings

Lentil and Bacon Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

The simple and basic ingredients in this lentil and bacon soup combine to create an insanely tasty and simple recipe that is both warming and filling!


  • 100g (½ Cup) Green Lentils
  • 200g (7oz) Smoked Bacon Lardons
  • 100g (1 Cup) Leeks
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 125g (2 Sticks) Celery
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Parsnip
  • 250g (1½ Cup) Potatoes
  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Carrot
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Litre (4 Cups) Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Tsp Vegetable Oil
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Black Pepper


  1. Rinse the lentils in cold water and allow them to soak whilst you prepare the vegetables.
  2. Clean the leeks, remove the tough outer leaves and then cut them into 5mm thick rounds.
  3. Peel the garlic cloves and slice them as finely as you can.
  4. Cut the celery into 2-3mm (⅛") slices.
  5. Peel the parsnip and cut it into a 1cm (½") dice.
  6. Peel and cut the potatoes into a 2cm (¾") dice.
  7. Cut the carrots into 2-3mm (⅛") rounds.
  8. Heat a pan over a medium heat and the vegetable oil and the bacon and cook for 5-8 minutes to allow the fat to begin to render out.
  9. Add the garlic and celery and cook for another 2 minutes.
  10. Throw in the leeks, potatoes, parsnip and carrot and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  11. Pour in the vegetable stock, drain the lentils and add them along with the salt, pepper, bay leaves and thyme, reduce the lid to low and cook for 35 minutes.


The calorific value of this recipe is based on 6 portions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 260Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 1259mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 15g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 12th of February 2023

Hi Brian, to save some time and energy (i.e gas) can this delicious soup recipe be adapted for the Instant Pot ?

Brian Jones

Tuesday 14th of February 2023

Hi Tracy...

It's been a while since I have looked at this recipe so I am cooking it again this week and I will give you a shout when I update it with some hints for the Instant Pot. It will probably be towards the end of next week.

All the best.



Wednesday 20th of February 2019

It's currently 35 degrees and raining so soup sounds perfect! This lentil soup is so cozy- can't wait to try!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Thanks Julie, it is a very simple wintery treat.)

Beth Neels

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

This looks like the perfect comforting soup to warm me up in this cold weather! I can't wait to give it a try!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Cheers Beth!


Tuesday 19th of February 2019

Such a heartwarming soup Brian, and there's bacon so I need to make it a.s.a.p.!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Thanks Patty, enjoy.


Tuesday 19th of February 2019

I agree! Nothing humble about this flavor packed recipe! Sounds like a delicious soup that I'll be making for my family. Thanks for sharing

Brian Jones

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

Thanks Susan, Enjoy.

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