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Looking for a comforting fall dinner recipe? Warm up on a cold fall night with this easy and delicious Apple Bacon Lentil Soup!
Scroll down for the Apple Bacon Lentil Soup recipe or PIN IT for later!
When the weather begins to dip and we welcome autumn with brisk nights, fluttering leaves in golden hues and burnt orange harvest moons, nothing warms the soul quite like a big pot of soup simmering on the stove.
Hearing that low rumble as carrots, celery and earthy herbs come together in a pot of comfort and joy is music to my ears.
To celebrate the changing of seasons and the cooler, shorter days, today I’m sharing a soup recipe that tastes like fall in a bowl – Apple Bacon Lentil Soup!
This Apple Lentil Soup with Bacon has earthy green lentils, sweet caramelized onions, smoky bacon, robust apple cider and tart Granny Smith apples.
An autumn twist on a simple and classic soup recipe that is layered with flavor and had me longing for more after my last sip. Now THAT’S how you celebrate fall!
Apple Bacon Lentil Soup
Helpful Tips and Information:
How to make lentil soup:
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot, and cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Reduce heat to medium low and stir in the chicken stock and lentils. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Stir in the salt, black pepper and rosemary and cook for 3 minutes. Serve.
Apple Bacon Lentil Soup Ingredient Substitutions:
Dried rosemary – 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary can be substituted for the dried rosemary.
Apple cider – To give this soup a rich flavor, use “real deal” apple cider (you know, the cloudy stuff) that is available at most apple orchards, farmer’s markets or in the produce section at most grocery stores this time of year. If you can’t find fresh apple cider, you could use “fresh pressed” apple juice (like Simply Apple Juice) which will have a stronger flavor than traditional apple juice.
Green lentils – Green, brown or red lentils will work fine in this recipe.
Granny Smith apples – Granny Smith apples are best for cooking with since they hold up well during cooking and their natural tart flavor lends well to savory dishes. Because of this I wouldn’t recommend using another type of apple in this recipe.
And if you love this unique fall twist on a classic recipe, then you will have to try this Chicken Mulligatawny Soup, which also uses tart Granny Smith Apples to add a layer of flavor and texture to this creamy chicken curry!
Can you freeze Lentil Bean Soup?
Yes, Lentil Bean Soup freezes incredibly well! Simply place cooled soup in a sturdy, freezer safe food storage container, leaving about one inch of space at the top to allow the soup to expand when frozen.
When ready to eat, thaw soup in the refrigerator and then heat thawed soup in a sauce pan over medium-low heat.
How to make this lentil soup recipe vegan and vegetarian:
To make this Apple Bacon Lentil Soup vegan, simply omit the bacon and use vegetable broth.
What to serve with Apple Bacon Lentil Soup:
If you like this lentil soup, then you’ll love these other soup recipes:
French Onion Soup – This is a classic French Onion Soup recipe with sweet caramelized onions, a rich red wine broth and topped with toasted baguettes and gruyere cheese.
Lentil Bean Soup – This vegetarian Lentil Bean Soup, packed with fresh vegetables, lentils and pasta, is a go to classic!
Loaded Baked Potato Soup – This lightened up Loaded Baked Potato Soup is creamy, cheesy and simply comfort in a bowl.
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 6 slices reduced sodium bacon, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon each Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3 ribs celery, sliced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 5-8 cups reduced sodium chicken broth*
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- Buttermilk, optional for serving
- Fresh parsley, chopped, optional for garnish
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Pour off some of the bacon grease until only about 1 tablespoon remains in the pot. Reduce heat to medium low and add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions caramelize about 18-20 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add celery and carrot to the saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger, cumin and dried rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 – 60 seconds.
- Stir in the chicken stock, apple cider and lentils and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes.
- Stir in the apples and cook until the apple is just softened, about 3 minutes.
- Season soup with remaining salt and black pepper and ladle into bowls. Drizzle the soup with buttermilk and garnish with parsley and the cooked bacon. Serve.
Please see the "Helpful Tips and Information" section above for additional recipe notes.
*Start with 5 cups of chicken broth and add more if needed as lentils cook. Since lentils absorb a lot of liquid, you may need to add additional broth to reheat leftovers.
Recipe adapted from Deep Run Roots