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Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs
I've been making this soup for years. It is a favorite in our household. Sometimes I substitute ham or a ham bone for the bacon. Other times, I use both ham and bacon. And if I have neither in the house, it's delicious without. Just substitute olive oil for the 2Tbs. of bacon fat and sprinkle each bowl of soup with grated cheese (my family prefers pecorino romano but parmesan is good, too.)
- Cook bacon in soup pot. Remove to drain. Crumble bacon and set aside.
- Remove all but 2 Tbs. of bacon grease from pan. Saute onions and celery till onions are translucent and celery is soft. Add garlic and saute for one minute. Add 8 cups beef broth, tomatoe sauce, and lentils. Return bacon to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer slowly for 2 hrs, adding more broth if needed, until lentils are lender and broth has thickened.