Rustic Lentil Soup in a square white bowl

Rustic Lentil Soup

This hearty winter soup is rich, savory, naturally gluten-free and can be prepared vegetarian or vegan (see notes at the end).
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword lentil soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 310kcal
Author Karen Gibson


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces diced pancetta
  • 2 strips uncooked bacon , diced
  • 1 garlic clove , peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 carrots , chopped
  • 2 celery ribs , chopped
  • 1 onion , peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 portabella mushroom , gills removed, sliced
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small (8 ocan tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils , red or green (or a combrinsed and drained
  • 1 small Yukon potato , diced


  • In a large 4-5 quart stockpot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter starts to foam. Add the pancetta and bacon and cook for about 7 minutes or until the bacon reaches your desired crispiness. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, onions and mushroom and cook the mixture for 10 to 12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
  • Add 4 cups of the chicken stock to the pot and then stir in the tomato sauce, fish sauce (if using), bay leaves, salt, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Add the lentils and potatoes, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil.
  • Partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the soup for about 45 minutes.
  • Add more chicken stock if the soup becomes too thick. Taste the soup and add salt if necessary. Remove the bay leaves and serve.


To make the soup vegetarian, exclude the pancetta and use a vegetarian bacon (such as tempeh bacon or other) in place of the bacon. Exclude the fish sauce and sub vegetable stock for the chicken stock. The vegetarian version is quite delicious in its own right. For vegan, use all olive oil instead of butter.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 310kcal