Hearty and Nourishing German Lentil Soup

by Sarah Gluten Free, Grain Free, Main Course, Recipes, Stocks and SoupsComments: 9

German Lentil SoupGerman lentil soup is a regular feature on the menu in our home.  The reason?  All 3 kids like it, along with Mom and Dad!

With many of my other soups, only one or two of the children like it but the third does not.  It’s so nice to have a go to soup made with nourishing, homemade broth that no one is going to complain about and everyone will eat up with smiles on their faces! As a bonus, lentils are also perhaps the most nutritious of all legumes. Lentils were a favorite legume of Dr. Weston A. Price, author of the nutritional primer Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, because of their very high phosphorous content. Dr. Price loved phosphorus; it is the second most plentiful mineral in the body. Phosphorus plays a role in maintaining the body’s acid/alkaline balance, something many folks struggle with today given the high levels of inflammatory diseases which trace their roots to over-acidity in the body.

Our Family’s New Favorite Recipe: German Lentil Soup

lentilsI recently reviewed the newest book of Kimi Harris, who writes at The Nourishing Gourmet blog.

Her beautiful new cookbook Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons has a spectacular recipe for German lentil soup.

There are 298 soup recipes to enjoy in Ladled – even the table of contents is fun to peruse as it is uniquely and beautifully done with pictures instead of words! This hearty and yet simple soup has far and away become our family’s favorite way to eat lentils of late!

German Lentil Soup


4 slices thick bacon, nitrate-free

2 small/1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

6 medium carrots, peeled and diced or thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced by hand or in a garlic press

6 medium potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and diced (you can leave the skin on)

2 bay leaves

2 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated is best)

1 1/2 tsp dried (not ground) thyme

2 cups/450 grams of green or brown lentils, soaked for 12-24 hours, drained, and rinsed (you can also used sprouted lentils to skip the soaking step)

6 cups/1.4 liters chicken or beef stock or a combination of water and stock (use 8 cups/1.9 liters if you did not soak the lentils or used sprouted lentils)


In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, flipping as needed to cook evenly. Remove the bacon, place on towel lined plates and then crumble when cooled. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the extra bacon grease from the pan. Over medium to medium-high heat, saute the onions, carrots, and garlic in the bacon grease for about 5 minutes or until softened.

Stir as needed to prevent burning. Add the potatoes, bay leaves, cumin, nutmeg, thyme, soaked (or sprouted) lentils, crumbled bacon, and broth/water.  Bring the soup to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover.

Cook for 45-60 minutes or until the lentils are soft.  Add up to 2 cups more water or broth if using unsoaked or sprouted lentils. Add more water as needed if the soup becomes too thick. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Serving Suggestions for German Lentil Soup

Kimi suggests adding a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the soup if you desire a little more tang after tasting it.  You can sprinkle a bit of Parmesan or a similar cheese in each individual bowl or provide the cheese at the table for family or guests that would enjoy it.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons by Kimberly Harris

Picture Credits:  Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons, German Lentil Soup, p. 109 Lentils

The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.

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