7 Ways to Make Lentil Soup


Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 45 minutes

Lentils make soup making easy—they cook quickly and are incredibly tasty. And unlike many lentil soups, which are so thick they put people off completely, this one is nicely balanced with some simple vegetables. The lentils break down a bit during the cooking to give the soup a hearty consistency, but you can purée it if you prefer. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, cut into 1/2 -inch dice

1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2 -inch dice

1 cup lentils, washed and picked over

1 bay leaf

6 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock or water

Freshly ground black pepper


1. Put the oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, just a minute or two. Add the carrot and celery and keep cooking and stirring until brightly colored and hot, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and stock; sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. (At this point, you may cool and refrigerate the soup, covered, for up to 2 days; reheat gently.) Add more stock if the soup is too thick. Just before serving, taste, sprinkle with salt and more pepper if needed, and serve.

Lentil Soup with Lemon and Dill. About a minute before serving, stir in 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, or to taste.

Lentil Soup with Cumin. Add 11/2 teaspoons ground cumin along with the bay leaf. Add a squeeze of lime or orange juice, if you like, and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and chopped fresh cilantro.

Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika. Add 1 teaspoon smoked paprika along with the bay leaf. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives if you like.

Lentil Soup with Sausage or Bacon. Start with about 1/4 pound chopped sausage, bacon, or pancetta and cook it in the soup pot until slightly crisp before adding the other ingredients in Step 1. Drain the fat if you like or use it and omit the olive oil.

Lentil Soup with Roasted Garlic. Omit the onion, carrot, and celery. Prepare and peel 1 or 2 heads of roasted garlic. In Step 1, cook the garlic in the olive oil for a minute or two, mashing and stirring until fragrant.

Lentil Soup with Dried Tomatoes. Omit the onion, carrot, and celery. In Step 1 cook 1/2 cup dried tomatoes (preferably not oil-packed) and a tablespoon of minced garlic in the olive oil for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, until both are softened and fragrant. Proceed with the recipe.


Posted in Produce, Recipes


  1. Cat Dillon said...

    Love your lentil ideas! Too weird. Last week I did oats and you did too! This week lentil and you did too. We must be eating the same things!http://caterpillarfitness.com/blog/2011/03/lentils-how-do-i-love-thee/

  2. Brett Cyril Little said...

    sounds great on a rainy weekend

  3. Mary Reid Barrow said...

    I follow recipe number one and then brown and add little pieces of Field Roast’s vegetarian Italian sausage. It gives the soup a little meatiness and the combination works for me.

  4. Mary Reid Barrow said...

    I follow recipe number one and then brown and add little pieces of Field Roast’s vegetarian Italian sausage. It gives the soup a little meatiness and the combination works for me.

  5. Laura Valetutto said...

    I too love a good lentil soup/eintopf. Here is one I made last week that was outstanding.http://theartfulgardener.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/thyme-goes-by/

  6. Marty Martindale said...

    These are great for lean budgets.

  7. Lauren Foster said...

    Whats up with the dried tomatoes version?

  8. Ellen Bognar said...

    i liked the first one but LOVED the version with lime & cumin!

  9. sassnveracity said...

    Dinner tonight — basic version but with some roasted garlic. Perfect for San Diego’s gloomy June weather.

  10. Catherine said...

    I prefered the basic version bt with roasted garlic..lovely

  11. One Black Coffee said...

    Great base recipe! I tried the roasted garlic version. Added a teaspoon of red chili powder and a teaspoon of coriander powder as well and turned out great.

  12. maria renderos said...

    Thank you for the great idias, I like all them

  13. Lynne Dinner said...

    I make a wonderful lentil soup similar to yours, but w/out the bay leaf and with the carrot and celery chopped more finely. I almost always add chopped tomatoes (not too much) and shredded spinach near the end. Am creating it today as a matter of fact!

    • Trisha Bloomer said...

      Good job… i did alot the same as you ..especially the chopped tomato !!! Kale and Spin…as i serve it I will put a dollop of Sour Cream and or a Powdering of Parmesan !!! Buon Appetit !!!

  14. Jon Hinz said...

    just made the basic version with bacon and am sitting here eating a bowl as I type. Really Delicious soup!

  15. Alfonso Manganelli said...

    Your recipes are great…the roasted garlic and potatoes are a great combination, it’s a must try….

  16. maddi said...

    dont forget beef boullion and water to replace the broth. add little in at a time to taste. wash spoon*.

  17. This sounds so good. Tomato is my favorite soup and with chili sounds perfect. Thanks


  18. Serafina said...

    I love soup anytime of the year. My mom taught me a different version she learned in Sicily, but I tried the first recipe. This lentil soup turned out delizioso! Thank you for sharing.

  19. Sand Williams said...

    I, too, love lentil soup and found your recipe variations interesting. Thanks. I have several similar and a favorite is to use chopped andouille sausage, sort of fried with crisp edges and added near the rend of cooking along with spinach. Matter of fact, that is what I am having for supper tonight. Yum!

  20. Jesna Hudson said...

    I just tried the first version and it was soooo delicious! Thank you 😉

  21. in catalogue said...

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    This piece of writing posted at this web site is genuinely good.

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