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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- 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
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.
Stir in the celery, carrots and parsnips. Cover and cook for around 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
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.
Just before serving, stir in the scallions, parsley and zest. Top each serving with grated parmesan.
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.