This simple recipe for lentil soup is is packed with iron and nutirents to strengthen you and warm you from the inside out. It’s based on my mom’s recipe. She was not only one of the most love-filled humans but she also shared with me her reverence for lentils passed down from generations before her. With so much going on in the world that can make the most zen of persons feel unsettled, this recipe is one to add to your mix. And if you are following a Mediterranean diet or a plant-based diet, this recipe is for you.
2 T. olive oil
One small onion, small diced
2 carrots, small diced
1 celery stalk, small diced
1 parsnip, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1/4 C. red wine (optional)
1 C. green lentils, sorted for any random particles
4-6 C. chicken or vegetable stock. (My mom actually used 2 cubes of beef bullion and 4-6 C. of water so you can also do that.)
2 sprigs of thyme
One bay leaf
Salt and pepper
2 T. chopped parsley
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
How to Make It:
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and then add oil and let it get hot. Place the onion, carrots, celery, and parsnip in the pot and let them cook for about 3-4 minutes until translucent and slightly tender. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds. Then, add the tomato paste and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds, stirring to incorporate the tomate paste with the aromatics. If you are using the red wine, add it now and let cook down for about 1 minute until it is mostly evaporated. Add the lentils and stock (or water with bullion). I start with about 4 C. of liquid and then add more as the lentils absorb, if needed. The lentils should be fully submerged and there should be about 1-2″ of liquid above them. Add the thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Then, reduce it to a simmer and let cook for another 15-20 minutes.
After about 15 minutes of simmering, taste and season with salt and pepper. The lentils should be tender but not mushy. They will have expanded and absorbed a lot of the liquid. Add more liquid, if necessary.
Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf from pot and take the pot off the heat. Add parsley.
Serve and top each bowl with about 1 T. parmesean cheese.
You can make this soup with Le Puy, black or brown lentils instead of green lentils. Le Puy and black lentils will need a little extra time to cook so give them an extra five minutes or so to simmer. Brown lentils cook about the same as green lentils. This can be done with red lentils although it’s less traditional. If you use red lentils because that’s what you have on hand, note that they cook faster than green lentils and will need less time to simmer.
I love this easy lentil soup recipe. It makes me feel strong when I eat it and it fills me with the warmth of nostalgia. The soup lasts for a week or so in the fridge so don’t be afraid to make a pot, even if it’s just for you. And it’s a great inexpensive recipe to make and share with friends or neighbors. I like combining the soup with cooked pasta (orzo or small shells are a great choice) or toasted bread. My favorite pairing is with leftover mac n’cheese. I cannot tell you how good that combination is! You need to try it for yourself!
Looking for more plant-based lentil reipes? We got you on this one! Check out these easy recipes with Pro-Chi, our crunchy lentils that you can add to just about anything to boost nutrition and texture.
Be well and nourish your body. May this easy lentil soup recipe bring you comfort and warmth.