Makes 6 quarts; about 12 servings

Notes: If making soup a day ahead, thin with a little water if necessary and reheat before serving.

How to Make It

Step 1

In an 8-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir bacon until browned around edges, about 2 minutes. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to pan and stir frequently until vegetables are very limp, about 10 minutes (lower heat to medium if necessary to prevent scorching).

Step 2

Add lentils, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and 9 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very tender to bite, about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes, including juices, and 1 cup water; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes longer.

Step 3

Ladle soup into bowls and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over individual servings.

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