Spicy-Smoky-Soulful Lentil Soup

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 25 mins
Cook 45 mins

This soup was created on a windy, stormy fall evening, when all I wanted to do was come home from work and make something satisfying yet quick and easy. It's "soulful" because you don't have to hurt a soul to prepare it; it's quite vegetarian-friendly. Of course, the ingredients can be modified to accommodate carnivores - use real bacon instead of bacon bits, or beef broth instead of vegetable broth. For less sodium, you can prepare your own broth, or use just water. The spiciness can also be adjusted to individual tastes, but I like it just like this. Don't be afraid of the amount of Tabasco sauce here; you're using Tabasco's new chipotle variety - kind of like a spicy steak sauce that can be used as a condiment. I like to serve this with saltine crackers, or garlic bread (with or without ooey, gooey cheese!). One other note: don't add salt to beans while they're cooking. It can interfere with the cooking process and make them take longer to finish. Always add salt to beans after they're tender.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In large pot, sauté onion, garlic and celery in olive oil.
  2. When transparent (not browned) add oregano, cumin, parsley and bacon bits.
  3. Sauté a bit longer, then add vegetable broth and lentils.
  4. Stir, then add 2 cups of water (or more broth).
  5. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Uncover, add 1 to 2 more cups of water (use your judgment) and add the chipotle Tabasco, salt and Liquid Smoke.
  7. Cook uncovered over low heat for approximately another 20 to 30 minutes.


Most Helpful

Love the flavor of this soup! This is one of the better lentil soups I've ever made. It has the added bonus of being quite quick and easy to make. Thank you so much, EdsGirl.

sugarpea November 26, 2003

Very very good!! Lots of flavor. I tweaked the amounts, because I just wanted to use the whole 16oz bag of lentils. Definitely need more broth next time; it almost all cooked out. I made it in a crockpot, on high for about 5 hours.

J-Lynn November 14, 2014

I hate to break a streak, but this soup was just too bland for us. It came out with absolutely no taste at all. I did do 2 things differently... We did not have Liquid Smoke, so I left that out. We also choose to use fresh bacon & use those instead of Bacon Bits. Maybe that was the challenge? I used the leftover & it made a fantastic Lentil Loaf, so it never went to waste. I am always willing to give a recipe another chance. I am planning on making this next week

zannah17 April 25, 2010

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a