Easy Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Bacon


We spiced up plain-Jane lentil soup with the addition of tender sweet potato chunks, fire-roasted tomatoes, and bacon. This rich, comforting, smoky soup is perfect if you are planning a tailgate event or weekend party because it can be prepared up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. It tastes even better when the flavors have had a chance to marry.

Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Bacon
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
6 serves


  • 8 thick-cut bacon slices, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped (1 1⁄2 cups)

  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped (1⁄2 cup)

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (1 1⁄2 Tbsp.)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 3⁄4-inch cubes (3 cups)

  • 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils

  • 8 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Cook bacon pieces in a large Dutch oven over medium-high, stirring often, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and set aside. Remove and discard all but 2 Tbsp. drippings from Dutch oven.

  2. Add onion, celery, and garlic to Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted, about 1 minute. Stir in sweet potato, lentils, broth, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until lentils are tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Spoon soup evenly into 6 bowls. Top with reserved bacon pieces, and sprinkle with parsley.

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