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Lentil, Bacon and Bean Soup

This quick soup feels extra cozy with lots of lentils and a touch of smoky, bacony goodness. You might want to cook up extra—I think it's even better the next day! —Janie Zirbser, Mullica Hill, New Jersey
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 30 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings (2 quarts)


  • 4 bacon strips, chopped
  • 6 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine or additional chicken stock
  • 2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each ) lentils, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh thyme sprigs, optional


  • In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Cook and stir carrots and onions in bacon drippings until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic, thyme and pepper; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Add stock and wine; increase heat to medium-high. Cook 2 minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in butter beans, lentils and bacon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Uncover; continue simmering until vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs if desired.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Top with a dollop of sour cream for a cool flavor contrast.
  • Use shredded chicken or turkey as a leaner alternative to bacon.
  • Butter bean or lima bean, it's pretty much the same thing—although butter bean sounds a little more appealing to us.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 271 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 672mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 13g fiber), 18g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 medium-fat meat.

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    • Ann
      Jul 24, 2018

      You state butter beans and lima beans are about the same thing in this receipe. I will differ with you, they are completely different beans and taste completely different. I would not use lima beans in this receipe.

    • Katherine
      May 31, 2018

      Loved it! I used turkey bacon and added 1T butter to saute the carrots & onions. Seasoning was just right for my taste per recipe. I think this soup would be very amenable to using a variety of different veggies and meats depending on what you had on hand. Made 12 cups at 173 calories per cup as I made it.

    • Carol
      Jan 25, 2018

      I made this yesterday and it was delicious and flavorful. I made half a recipe, and used 5 oz. dried lentils instead of the canned. This was just about right. I used lima beans instead of butter beans, because I had them on hand. I microwaved the carrots for a couple of minutes before adding them to soften them up a bit. I used homemade chicken broth, and ended up adding a total of 4 C of liquid (including 1/2 C of white wine). The recipe can use some salt, I added it to taste. This soup was great with a dollop of sour cream on top, along with a salad and some rolls. I'll definitely make it again!

    • beach033
      Jan 22, 2018

      I made this soup for Sunday supper. We all liked it and appreciated how hearty it was. Easy to make . I did use white beans rather than butter beans and it worked! It's a keeper.