Chef John's Black Lentil Soup Recipe -
Chef John's Black Lentil Soup Recipe
1 Photo
Chef John's Black Lentil Soup
Black lentils, bacon, and aromatic veggies make a deeply delicious soup. See more

Chef John's Black Lentil Soup

Recipe by  

"There's absolutely nothing wrong with green lentil soup, but once you start making it with black ‘beluga' lentils, you'll have a hard time going back. These black beauties cook up melt-in-your-mouth tender, but still retain their structural integrity, which gives the soup both a thick, satisfying body, and a light, non-starchy mouthfeel."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 20 mins


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir bacon in hot oil until bacon is browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onion, carrot, celery, and salt; cook and stir until onion is softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Season with black pepper, cumin, thyme, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Pour lentils into bacon mixture and stir to coat completely in rendered bacon fat. Add chicken broth and bay leaf; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook, adding more chicken broth as needed, until lentils are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Add 3 tablespoons parsley and stir. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle remaining parsley over the top and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

May 16, 2014

Chef John and his educational, inspirational videos, have given me so much pleasure to watch and reason to create delicious everything! I was given two pounds of crappie filets so while looking through stew, soup, and chowder recipes, I saw and watched his black lentil soup video. I wonder what Chef John would say about using this, his lentil soup recipe, as a base. Since he's not here to try my creation, I (as always) am relying on the opinion of my family. I love my version and so do they. I had small whole green lentils and they stood up to simmering for 45 minutes. Also, I did add half of a chopped jalapeño pepper and 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper to the onion, carrot, and celery. Another ingredient that appealed to me from a Bermuda fish chowder, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, I stirred into the chicken broth. The small crappie filets (after sprinkling them with Old Bay seasoning) were added during the final 10 minutes of simmering. What do you think Chef?

Nov 02, 2014

Delicious. The black lentils really do make a difference. I've made this twice now, once with green Puy French lentils and once with black beluga. There is a textural difference between the two. The black belugas have more a round shape than most other types and this seems to give it a pearl look and texture. They do tend to hold their structure while they melt in your mouth. Both were creamy and flavorful. I made mine in a pressure cooker to save time. The first time I augmented the broth to 6 cups just to make sure there was enough liquid and the end result was a bit more thin than in the picture but still creamy and delicious. The second time I used 5 cups of broth, cooked 20 minutes in the pressure cooker and it was exactly as it should be: a thick and creamy soup. The cumin and spices are just perfect. It freezes well too. Thanks for the recipe.


8 Ratings

Jul 29, 2014

I only have one word yum!

May 19, 2014

This was fantastic! My only change was to chop and add one small tomato because it had to be used. This will be a regular.

Mar 20, 2015

This is the most delicious lentil soup I've ever eaten - amazing. We followed the recipe as written. Chef John is talented and creative, and we've used dozens of his recipes without disappointment. Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe.


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 348 kcal
  • 17%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 45.6 g
  • 15%
  • Cholesterol
  • 16 mg
  • 5%
  • Fat
  • 8.8 g
  • 14%
  • Fiber
  • 20.5 g
  • 82%
  • Protein
  • 21.3 g
  • 43%
  • Sodium
  • 1564 mg
  • 63%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More

About the Cook

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Delightful Summer Parties
Delightful Summer Parties

All the little bites, cocktails, casual dishes, and desserts you want for your next get-together.

Banana Bread
Banana Bread

Bake those overripe bananas into a delicious, easy loaf of quick bread.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Chef John's Black Lentil Soup

Black lentils, bacon, and aromatic veggies make a deeply delicious soup.

Chef John's Avgolemono Soup

Mediterranean chicken soup with rice and lemon juice.

Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup

See simple tricks for making super-easy black bean soup.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States