Red lentil and bacon soup

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 6

From The Hairy Bikers' Comfort Food


  • 1 tsp oil
  • 75g/2¾oz smoked back bacon, trimmed of all fat and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1.5 litres/3lb 5oz chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 200g/7oz red lentils
  • large sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the bacon, onion and red pepper. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have started to soften.

  2. Boil a kettle and use this to make your stock – or if using fresh stock, bring it to the boil in a separate saucepan while the vegetables are cooking.

  3. Add the sweet potato, garlic and lentils to the bacon and vegetables. Stir for a minute, then pour over the just-boiled stock and add the herbs.

  4. Season with salt and pepper. Return to the boil – this should be more or less instant – then turn down to a medium heat, cover, and cook for between 15-20 minutes, or until the red lentils are tender.

  5. Remove the herbs. Blend using a hand-blender if preferred – or you can leave the soup as is. Serve.