Total Time
Prep 1 hr
Cook 0 mins

This is a hearty, spicy and highly nutrious soup. Vegetarians can ommit the bacon. I would like to add that you don't have to add cumin to dishes to make them taste Mexican or authentic. I was born and raised in Mexico, and most of the dishes my family and friends enjoy there have little or no cumin at all. I'm appalled when I see recipes that call for more than a pinch of this spice.


  1. Soak the lentils overnight.
  2. Boil them in about a liter of water with the half onion and the whole garlic clove. If the pot starts to run dry, just add more water. Remove onion and garlic after they finish cooking.
  3. In a large pot, fry the bacon until slightly crispy.
  4. Add chopped onions, jalapenos and crushed garlic. Cook until soft.
  5. Add tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add cooked lentils with their juices and stir.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Simmer in low heat for 15 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately topped with fresh cilantro.
Most Helpful

Finally someone says it! 99.99% of the time authentic Mexican food does not, I repeat does not require cumin. For some odd reason, ppl think cumin is a staple ingredient in Mexican food, BUT ITS NOT!! I love your recipe, this is the exact way we cook our lentils (minus the bacon) but Im gonna give that part a try as I love me some piggy. Greetings from Guanajuato & Monterrey Mexico

Yuriana A. January 11, 2016

Loved this recipe ! It was hearty and tasted just like the lentejas my mom used to make and she's from Jalisco, Mexico!

ygkddr December 31, 2013

I'm sorry, but I really wanted to be able to give this a higher rating. I made the vegetarian version of this recipe and hoped that by adding an ordinate amount of salt and pepper that it wouldn't be bland. I found that I had to keep adding and adding not only salt, but numerous spices and seasonings in order to give it any flavor at all - onion salt, garlic salt, chili powder, and yes, even cumin - anything to make it work, because I hate giving low ratings on recipes. I'm willing to admit that being an American, and a Californian to boot, my palate has been way too overstimulated over the years by Tex-Mex, so perhaps it's difficult for me to appreciate authentic Mexican cuisine. However, I think there needs to be a few more spices as well as specific salt and pepper amounts in the ingredients list in order to make this soup more flavorful.

Recipe Junkie May 23, 2006