Lentil Soup

This Lentil Soup is a vegetarian soup that I’ve made for several years now.  On those rainy damp days when I want something warm, light but yet filling, this is my go-to.  It’s a wonderful fresh, hearty soup made with lots of fresh earthy vegetables and any of the colorful lentils you have in your pantry.

Lentils have the second highest ratio of protein per calorie of any legume, after soybeans.  They come in a variety of colors from red to yellows, green, brown and even black.  That makes this vegetarian soup full of protein too!  I buy them dried and they’re quite small and are a unique flat shape.  I love cooking with them because they cook without soaking in about 30 minutes!  That’s what makes this soup such a cinch to make.

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Here’s how I make it.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Let’s do a little prep work with the vegetables.  While there’s no real hard core measurements, I typically use one nice size carrot and parsnip, 2-3 new potatoes, small onion and one leek.

Cut the carrot, parsnip, new potatoes and onion into about 1/2 inch pieces and rinse the lentils.  Set aside.

Lentil Soup

Leeks are a bit unique and add a wonderful depth of mild onion-y flavor.  First cut off the dark green leaves at the top and the roots at the bottom, discard.  What you’ll have left is mostly white to light green.  Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then chop into 1/4 inch slices.

Lentil Soup

Drop the leeks into a large bowl with lots of water and wash the sand out from between the layers.  You’ll notice that the leeks float to the top which allows the sand to fall to the bottom.  How cool is that?  Carefully lift the clean leek out of the water and drain on a paper towel.

Lentil Soup

In a 4 quart pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped carrot, parsnip, potatoes, onion and leek.  Saute’ until the vegetables are just starting to get tender, stirring occasionally.  About 5-8 minutes.

Lentil Soup

Then add the rinsed lentils, crushed tomatoes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, bay leaf and vegetable broth or stock.  I personally think vegetable stock adds more flavor than broth, so I tend to go that route.

Lentil Soup

Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover and reduce the heat to medium low or low, so there’s still a low boil going on.

Lentil Soup

Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.  Remove the bay leaf before serving.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lentil Soup

Dish out a nice helping into a bowl and serve with your favorite bread.  I love a nice crusty Italian bread, focaccia or even good ole’ Southern cornbread!

Lentil Soup

I love to add some fresh chopped parsley on top.  I believe parsley is so underrated.  Contrary to what some folks say, it really does add a nice fresh flavor to any dish!  Yep, it’s in my garden!  Just planted it this week!

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Here’s the printer friendly recipe.

Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Lentil Soup

This Lentil Soup is a vegetarian soup that I've made for several years now. It's a wonderful fresh, hearty soup made with lots of fresh earthy vegetables and any of the colorful lentils you have in your pantry.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 2-3 red or white skin new potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 leek
  • 3/4 cup dry red or green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 - 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon soy or tamari sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine, such as a Burgundy, Red Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvingnon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the carrot, parsnip, new potatoes and onion into about 1/2 inch pieces and rinse the lentils. Set aside.
  2. For the leek, cut off the dark green leaves at the top and the roots at the bottom and discard. What you'll have left is mostly white to light green. Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then chop into 1/4 inch slices. Drop the leeks into a large bowl with lots of water and wash the sand out of the leeks. You'll notice that the leeks float to the top which allows the sand to fall to the bottom. Carefully lift the clean leek out of the water and drain on a paper towel.
  3. In a 4 quart pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped carrot, parsnip, potatoes, onion and leek. Saute' until the vegetables are starting to get tender, stirring occasionally. About 5-8 minutes.
  4. Then add the lentils, crushed tomatoes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, bay leaf and vegetable broth or stock.
  5. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover and reduce the heat to medium low to low so there's still a low boil going on.
  6. Simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
  7. Dish out a nice helping into a bowl and serve with your favorite bread.
  8. Sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley on top.
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