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Lentil Soup

A hearty and wholesome lentil soup topped with bacon and creme fraiche. Don't forget to check out our step by step photos and tips above!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings (3 quarts)
Calories 522kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cups carrots diced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt plus additional to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme plus additional, for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence optional
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 lb. dried lentils
  • 1 12-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Crème fraiche to serve

Instructions

  • Add bacon and olive to a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Cook, turning occasionally, until bacon is crispy, about 7 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon from pan to a paper towel–lined plate. Set aside.
  • Add onion to bacon drippings in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  • Add carrots, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic; cook, stirring often, 1 minute.
  • Add wine; stir to release any browned bits from bottom of pan.
  • Add thyme, bay leaves, Herbes de Provence, stock, and lentils.
  • Increase heat to medium high to bring soup to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are just tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Stir in spinach and vinegar; simmer 10 minutes more.
  • Garnish servings with crème fraiche, thyme, and cooked bacon.

Notes

  • Feel free to cut the cook time down on the onions until they’re just softened, if you like. I like the extra sweetness they get from caramelizing, but it’s not necessary.
  • If you’re feeling fancy, you can use French puy lentils instead of regular brown lentils; adjust the cook time accordingly.
  • Before adding the lentils to the pot, it’s a good habit to pour them into a bowl and sort through to make sure there are no small stones leftover from harvesting.
  • Herbes de Provence is a French seasoning blend that can include dried thyme, lavender, rosemary, and fennel. If you can’t find it at your grocery store, visit Williams-Sonoma.
  • Don’t want to splurge on crème fraiche? Whisk a little buttermilk into sour cream for a similar-tasting garnish.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 652mg | Potassium: 1445mg | Fiber: 27g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 13878IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 9mg