Monday, April 19, 2010

Lentil Soup

Lentil soup often appeared on mom's kitchen table. Hearty and of course healthy, it is almost a meal in itself; all you have to do is serve it with a slice of fresh bread, dipped in olive oil and delicious balsamic vinegar reduction. However, today I think I am going to stick to the original tried and true recipe. Maybe next time, I will tweak it with different ingredients... a touch of cumin for a more middle eastern flavor sounds good; or pieces of pancetta and chopped potatoes or perhaps small cut pasta. For the vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken broth and substitute it with vegetable broth. I would also like to pass on a little tip handed down from my mom; when cooking any legumes add your salt at the end of the cooking process as salt tends to toughen lentils and dried beans.

Lentil Soup

1 1/2 cups green lentils
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 cup canned tomatoes chopped
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove (whole peeled)
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper

Begin by checking the lentils carefully for any small stones. Wash the lentils and drain. Set aside in a bowl.
In a saucepan, add the oil, and heat on medium high until hot. Add the chopped onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, the carrots, celery, bay leaf and continue cooking another 4 minutes on medium heat. Add the tomatoes and peeled garlic clove and continue to cook for 5 more minutes to infuse all the flavors together. Add the lentils, the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until tender. Near the end of the cooking process, season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and for extra flavour; drizzle with some olive oil for extra flavour.


  1. I made this for dinner tonight! Delish! I assume you use dried lentils. I used canned :s ...

  2. Also I just threw in the whole can of tomatoes (though diced) including the juice. Next time I'll try it your way.

  3. I do usually use dried lentils. They take about thirty minutes to cook. Canned one are great when you are in a rush. Whatever works for you, given your busy schedule with your 'little munchkin'.
    You can also add bacon to the recipe for extra rich flavour. Simply cook some bacon pieces before adding the onions,carrots and celery.

  4. whoa. bacon? ouch. Sounds amazing. Steve would be SOOOOO happy! Me also, but I don't need the extra calories...

  5. Sky Seasoning

    A piece of sky
    Broke off and fell
    Through the crack in the ceiling
    Right into my soup,
    I really must state
    That I usually hate
    Lentil soup, but I ate
    Every drop!
    Delicious delicious!
    (A bit like a plaster)
    But so delicious, goodness sake
    I could have eaten a lentil soup lake.
    It's amazing the difference
    A bit of sky can make.

    by Shel Silverstein (from Where the Sidewalk Ends)

  6. Oh my gosh,how cute and thoughtful! Brings back fond memories, as my kid grew up reading Shel Silverstein.