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Traditional German lentil and bacon soup


If you’re in the mood for a hearty, comforting soup, this German lentil and bacon soup is the perfect recipe. This old-fashioned dish is made with simple ingredients, but takes a bit of time and patience to make.

The result is a delicious, traditional soup that’s perfect for a cold winter day. Serve this soup with some fresh bread or a salad for a complete meal.

If you want to make Grandma’s German lentil soup with bacon, it’s best to prepare double the amount. Because you will see: it disappears magically!

If you give the soup time to rest over night, you will be rewarded with an even heartier taste.


If you want to try your hand at the oldfashioned lentil and bacon soup, it’s best to make a double batch. You’ll see why – it will go quickly!

If you let the soup sit overnight, you’ll be rewarded with an even heartier taste. So go ahead and give it some time.

The right lentils for your German lentil soup

If you’re looking for the perfect lentils to use in Grandma’s soup recipe, brown lentils are a great option. They’re medium in size and have a nice, firm texture. You can also use larger lentils, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Brown lentils are readily available at most supermarkets. Our recipe is for dried, uncooked lentils for the full flavour. However, if you are in a hurry, you can also use precooked brown lentils in tins. You can just add these to your stock without cooking first.

Dried, uncooked brown lentils

Tips on cooking lentils

  • Choose a large pot. This is because lentils will foam up while cooking, and you don’t want them to boil over.
  • As a rule of thumb, cook lentils with twice the amount of water, and fill the pot no more than two-thirds full. This will help prevent your lentils from boiling over and making a mess of your cooker.
  • Salt or no salt?
    With salt, the lentils stay a bit harder and are ideal if you’re planning on using them in salads.
    Without salt, the lentils will become very soft – perfect for soups.
  • Cooking the lentils in their own soaking water helps to retain all of the nutrients. However, people with digestion problems should cook them in fresh water to make them easily digestable.

What else to add?

If you’re looking to add a little something extra to your lentil soup, try adding one of the following:

  • Vienna sausages in pieces
  • smoked pork
  • cooked prunes
  • kohlrabi strips
  • celery sticks

Also try our Gorgeous & creamy carrot soup.


Traditional German lentil and bacon soup (stew)

5 from 4 votes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine German
Servings 4 servings
Calories 677 kcal


  • 1.1 lb brown lentils 250 g dried or cooked
  • cups stock beef or vegetable stock
  • 7 oz smoked bacon
  • 1 piece onion
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ lb soup vegetables carrots, leek, celery, parsley, parsnip or others
  • ½ lb potatoes
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 0.1 cups flour
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar


  • Soak the brown lentils in cold water overnight.
    Be sure, to have a meat stock ready the next day. You can use a ready-made one or home cook it.
  • On the next day, place lentils in a pot with enough water to cover. Add half an onion, cloves, bay leaf and half of the soup vegetables (carrots, celery, leeks or whatever you have). They don't have to be cut, as they will be removed after cooking.
    Cook the lentils for about 20 minutes, they should be half-cooked. If you have not soaked them overnight, it will take around 35 minutes. Just now add a little salt before the end of the cooking time.
  • While the lentils are cooking, peel the potatos and cut them in small pieces. Bring water with a bit of salt to a boil and cook the potato pieces until soft.
  • Now chop the other soup vegetables into small cubes, if you use leeks, cut only the dark green upper pat, not the white lower part.
  • Now it is time to drain the water from the cooked lentils. Also remove the soup vegetables, they have released all their flavour to the lentils. Refill the pot with either meat stock or vegetable stock. Now add the prepared chopped soup vegetable cubes, add thyme and cook for about 20 minutes more or until the veggies become soft.
    Now add the potatoe pieces and warm everything up for a little while.
  • In the meantime, dice the smoked bacon and fry in a frying pan until cripsy. Then add to the soup or sprinkle over it when serving your German lentil soup. If you have beef soup meat with your home made beef stock, add some little pieces to the soup also.
  • To thicken the brown lentil soup. we will do a roux. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Now stir in the flour carefully, stirring all the time with a whisk and let it brown a bit. Always use a little more butter than flour.
    Stir over medium heat for about 1 minute and allow to swell. The mixture should now be a thick and nicely brown. Now pour it into the hot soup, carefully, while stirring. Let cook for 1 minute more to thicken up the soup.
  • For the perfect hearty taste, the brown lentil soup now has to stand for at least 2 hours to develop its full flavour. It will thicken up a bit more during this time, so add a little water if desired and reheat before serving.
  • Now it is time to season the soup with a pinch of sugar, vinegar and salt to taste. It is supposed to taste a little sour and salty. But this is fully up to you and your likings. Add more or less vinegar.
  • Serve the German lentil soup in bowls or cups and eat as is.
Keyword beef, lentil
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Copyright © by Susanne Queck und Wunderlander Verlag LLC. Original on Unauthorized republication of all or part of the text is prohibited.Image credit: Unless otherwise noted: ©Pro Stock Media via or ©

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