Top | Vegetable Soups From Deborah Madison's Kitchen

Cream of Lentil-Sorrel Soup

(recipe, Deborah Madison)


  1. 1 cup brown lentils or pardinos, soaked for at least 1 hour if possible
  2. 2 to 4 Tbsp. fruity olive oil
  3. 1 onion, sliced
  4. 2 celery ribs, trimmed and sliced
  5. 1 carrot, sliced
  6. 2 bay leaves
  7. 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  8. 1 handful parsley, chopped, about ½ cup
  9. 6 to 8 cups water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock
  10. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  11. ½ cup cream or 1 cup half-and-half
  12. 2 packed cups ribbed sorrel leaves, about 3½ ounces, a few leaves set aside
To finish
  1. Buttered toast for each person
  2. Several tablespoons cream or crème fraîche
  3. Reserved sorrel leaves, finely slivered


  1. If you haven’t soaked them, rinse the lentils, cover them with hot water, and set them aside while you prepare everything else. When you’re ready to start cooking, drain them.
  2. Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the vegetables, bay leaves, parsley, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring now and then, for 5 minutes. Add the lentils, 6 cups liquid, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until the lentils are squishy-soft, as long as an hour if needed. Add more liquid if too thick.
  3. Remove the bay leaves. Add the sorrel and let it melt into the soup, then purée. Or, pass everything through the finest holes of a food mill. Stir in the cream and taste for salt and season with pepper.
  4. Make the toast and break it into pieces. Or, crisp tiny croutons in butter or in the oven. Drizzle a teaspoon of crème fraîche, beaten first with a fork until smooth, into each bowl of soup. Snip the remaining sorrel leaves over the top, add the croutons, and serve.