Smoky Bacon & Lentil Soup


Smoked paprika enhances the flavor of the bacon and plays off the earthiness of the lentils beautifully. Pureeing some of the hot lentil mixture gives this soup a silky texture. We've used a combination of three different types of lentils, but you could easily just use one type; pay attention to cooking times and cook just until tender. Serve this with a side salad or a small slice of crusty bread.

Smoky Bacon & Lentil Soup
Photo: Jacob Fox
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Nutrition Profile:


  • 8 slices center-cut bacon

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion

  • 1 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 ½ cups red, green, and/or black lentils, such as Nature’s Earthly Choice Lentil Trio

  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 0.5-ounce package fresh rosemary (about 8 sprigs)


  1. Cook bacon in 2 batches in a large pot over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in the pot. Crumble the bacon and reserve for the topping.

  2. Add garlic, onion, carrot, and chard stems to the pot; cook over medium heat until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add broth, lentils, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Tie rosemary sprigs together with butcher's twine or secure in a cheesecloth bag. Add the rosemary to the soup, gently pressing into the liquid and stirring. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape and prevent the lentils from boiling over. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the rosemary sprigs.

  3. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Remove the center piece of the lid (to let steam escape), secure the lid on the blender, and cover with a kitchen towel. Puree until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return the blended soup to the pan.

  4. Stir in the chopped chard leaves; cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Top each serving with bacon.

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.


Butcher's twine or cheesecloth

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

261 Calories
4g Fat
39g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 1 ⅓ cups
Calories 261
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 19g 38%
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 435mg 19%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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