Lentil Soup with Apple and Bacon

This pleasantly sweet-and-tangy lentil soup from chef Vivian Howard’s cookbook Deep Run Roots gets a little wake-up from the addition of diced Granny Smith apple right before serving. Howard also likes to swirl in fresh buttermilk to brighten up the rich lentils and bacon. Slideshow: More Lentils Recipes 

Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
4 to 6


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped

  • 1 medium leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced

  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4 -inch dice

  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4 -inch dice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 8 cups chicken stock, low-sodium broth or water

  • 1/2 cup apple cider

  • 1 cup green lentils

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

  • Buttermilk, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Add the leek, celery, carrot, garlic and ginger to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the stock, cider and lentils and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in the apple and rosemary and cook until the apple is just softened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Drizzle the soup with buttermilk, garnish with the bacon and serve.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Earthy red: 2015 Fram Shiraz.

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