Lentil Soup with Bacon and Orzo Recipe

(27 ratings)

Photo of lentil soup with bacon
Photo of lentil soup with bacon
(Image credit: Lara Ferroni)
  • Nut-free
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time45 mins
Total Time1 hours

This lentil and pasta soup recipe is full of flavour. The bacon together with garlic and onions gives a great, savoury flavour to the soup. Tomato paste makes the soup rich in taste and wonderfully thick. Just before serving, stir in the scallions, parsley and lemon zest for a fantastic fusion of flavours. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese to complete the dish.

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  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions, garlic and bacon and sauté over medum heat until teh bacon is cooked and the onions well browned, for approximately 6-8 minutes.
  2. Stir in the celery, carrots and parsnips. Cover and cook for around 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Add the lentils, broth, tomato paste, orzo and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, until the lentils and orzo are tender.
  4. Just before serving, stir in the scallions, parsley and zest. Top each serving with grated parmesan.


  • 180ml olive oil
  • 5 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 230g bacon
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5-6 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 336g red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1.9 litre vegetable broth
  • 120ml tomato paste
  • 120g orzo, uncooked
  • 1.9 litre water
  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 120g parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • pinch of parmesan, to garnish
Top Tip for making Lentil Soup with Bacon and Orzo

Orzo, a pasta in the shape of rice, handles long slow cooking beautifully and doesn't turn to mush like rice can.