Bacon, Lentil and Cabbage Soup

Posted By Stephen


After not having much luck with soup yesterday, we decided to try again today. As we are both going out relatively early this evening, we had the soup for lunch. It worked out a lot better this time, despite being a made up recipe. In fact I’m going to add the recipe to the post in case we want to make it again.

1 medium to large onion
1 stick celery
1 medium carrot
1 large clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 tin tomatoes (400g) or equivalent amount of passata
1 litre vegetable stock
125g puy lentils / lentilles vertes (very rough estimate as I just poured in what I thought looked right)
8 rashers of bacon (we used a “black” sweet cure bacon for this and it worked very well indeed)
5 or 6 cabbage leaves
olive oil
salt and pepper

Finely chop the onion, celery and carrot. Add a little oil to a large saucepan, heat it up to a medium heat and then add the onion, celery and carrot, letting them fry for a few minutes. Crush or finely chop the garlic and add that too, then add the bay leaf and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Give it all a good stir, then turn down the heat and put the lid onto the saucepan to allow it all to sweat for about ten minutes.

When the vegetables are softened but not colouring, add the lentils, tomatoes and vegetable stock. I pureed the tomatoes before adding them, but if you don’t want to do that then you can break them up with a spoon once they are in the pot, or just use passata. Let this simmer until the lentils are cooked, adding some more water or stock if the liquid level drops too far.

While the soup is simmering, cut the bacon into strips. Fry these in a frying pan. When they are done to your favourite level of crispiness / burntness, put them onto a plate on a piece of kitchen paper for the oil to drain off. Press another piece of kitchen paper onto the top of them to blot off more oil.

When the lentils are done, de-stalk the cabbage leaves and finely shred them, then add them to the soup. You might need to add a little water if there isn’t enough liquid to cover the cabbage leaves. Add most of the fried bacon too, just reserving a little for decoration. Put the lid back onto the saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes until the cabbage is cooked but still nice and green.

Serve, sprinkled with the reserved bacon pieces, and eat with some buttered toast. Delicious.

As I mentioned above, the bacon that we used was a sweet cure bacon, which worked very well in this recipe. We used it because it was what we had, but it was brilliant; the sweetness combined well with the tomatoes and the earthiness of the lentils. This could be made more wintry by adding a dash of wine to it and a few other adjustments. It could also be made vegetarian by adding fried mushrooms instead of bacon.

Sep 30th, 2009

5 Comments to 'Bacon, Lentil and Cabbage Soup'

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  1. LexEat! said,

    This looks delicious – far better than the image I conjured up when you mentioned lentil and cabbage soup last night!
    .-= LexEat!´s last blog ..Roast beef with almond & sun dried tomato quinoa =-.

  2. I love all the colours in this – looks very autumnal and hearty
    .-= gourmet chick´s last blog ..Chez Pilou (Gourmet Chick in France) =-.

  3. Kerri said,

    Thank you both, it was a really good dish and not anything like as worthy as it sounds, the bacon makes a real difference.

  4. Stephen said,

    We have had a couple of queries about the bacon that we used. It was from Emmet’s, a deli and butcher in Peasenhall in Suffolk, which we really should have mentioned when writing the post but were lax in putting in all the relevant facts. We bought it when we were in the area earlier in the year and froze it and then almost forgot about it.

    It is also available on their web site, which is a little easier than driving to Suffolk.

  5. Kelvin said,

    Good to see you are enjoying Emmett’s bacon. You may be interested to now that Emmett’s 2010 Christmas catalogue will be available very soon. Keep in touch through or

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