Lentil Soup With Salt Pork

Lentils on a Plate

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 1 pot (8 servings)

Salt pork flavors this great tasting lentil soup. The soup is seasoned with vegetable juice, a little thyme, and bay leaf.



  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot
  • 1 medium clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 pound dried lentils (about 2 cups)
  • 2 to 3 ounces salt pork (diced)
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cans (12 fluid ounces each) V-8 cocktail vegetable juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Steps to Make It

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic; cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent.

  2. Wash and sort lentils under cold running water.

  3. Add the lentils to onion mixture along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to  a boil and then cover the pan. Reduce the heat and cook over low heat for 1 hour or longer or until the lentils are tender.

  4. Stir occasionally.

  5. Serve lentil soup with crusty bread or rolls or freshly baked cornbread.


Recipe Variations

  • Feel free to substitute about 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce for the V8 juice.
  • For a smoky flavor, use diced bacon in the recipe or add leftover diced ham. 
  • Replace the salt pork with 3 to 4 thick slices of bacon, diced. Add it to the pan along with the onion and vegetable mixture.
  • Instead of salt pork, add diced leftover ham to the soup.
  • Replace the water with vegetable or chicken stock (preferably unsalted).

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