Best Black Lentil Soup



2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 ounces bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/4 cups black beluga lentils
5 cups chicken broth, or as needed
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed



  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

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