Bavarian Lentil Soup: Smoky bacon, sharp leeks, and a splash of vinegar add bold flavor to this traditional German recipe.
Any fellow Portlanders out there? Are you snowed in? Because I am. And when it snows, I want soup. And since we’re already talking about Portland, let’s talk about the Bavarian Lentil Soup served at The Rheinlander German Restaurant.
It’s basically perfection in a bowl. Bacon + Lentils + Leeks + Angel Tears. Okay, there are no angel tears in this recipe, but only because I couldn’t find a good source during a snow storm.
Please just ignore me, I’m having a weird morning.
I adapted this recipe from the one they serve at The Rheinlander, and I love, love, love it.
It’s amazing and savory and delicious and you should definitely bake up a loaf of Savory Irish Soda Bread to go with it because it will change your life.
Random change of subject: Have I told you about the amazing and adorable kitchen scale the husband got me for Christmas? Seriously, you guys, it’s so cute. I snapped a picture of it while I was weighing the bacon for this recipe. Just look:
It is so darn handy! Wanna know a weird secret? Before I had this thing, I would weigh food using this method: Weigh myself. Weigh myself holding the food. Subtract the difference. Urgh. I’m a weirdo.
I’m just not great at eyeing a chicken breast and thinking, hmm, yep, that looks to be about a pound and half. Plus, I just love kitchen gadgets. I wrapped the little top thing with foil so I didn’t get it dirty from the bacon because I’m a bad person and I’d rather waste foil than wash something.
So other than the fun of weighing bacon, here’s a few reasons you should make this:
- You get to weigh bacon. Oops, already said that.
- Lentils are so cheap they are practically free.
- This soup is a nutritional powerhouse!
- It’s really, really easy.
- You get to use your beautiful enameled cast iron dutch oven.
- It’s snowing.
Okay, that last one may not apply to you, but just go ahead and make this soup anyway.
Oh! And the bread. Gotta make the bread. Start to finish, you could have delicious lentil soup and Irish soda bread in an hour and fifteen minutes. Put the bread in first, then make the soup while it’s baking. Dig in, and enjoy these last few weeks of winter!
Here’s Your Recipe!
The Wanderlust Kitchen, adapted from The Rheinlander Restaurant
10 minPrep Time
55 minCook Time
1 hr, 5 Total Time
- 4 oz. sliced bacon, roughly chopped
- 1/2 c. diced onion
- 1/2 c. diced leeks (white parts only)
- 1/2 c. diced celery
- 1/2 c. diced carrots, unpeeled
- 1 qt. chicken broth
- 1 1/2 c. brown lentils
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 c. diced raw yellow potatoes, unpeeled
- 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Salt to taste
- Heat a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook the bacon until the fat has rendered into the pot and the bacon is crispy.
- Add the onions, leeks, celery, and carrots to the pot. Saute five minutes, or until golden.
- Pour in the broth and scrape any of the brown bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the lentils, thyme, bay leaves, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook for 30 minutes on medium, covered.
- Add the potatoes and cook an additional 15 until lentils and vegetables are tender. Stir in vinegar and sugar, then add salt to taste. Serve with warm bread and butter.