Top | Soups

Lentil Soup

(recipe, Caroline Cummins)

primary-image, l


Not unlike Lentil Soup with Greens, this soup is even simpler, calling for fewer ingredients. A good soup to make in winter with the barest of fridge and pantry essentials, it's adapted from a 2002 Gourmet recipe.


  1. 2 cups small lentils (I like du Puy lentils, but any kind will do)
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. 2 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
  6. 1 cup diced celery (a few ribs)
  7. ½ cup diced carrot (1 large carrot)
  8. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  9. ¼ cup olive oil
  10. 1 tsp. fresh or dried thyme leaves (optional)
  11. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  12. ½ to 1 cup diced jarred roasted red bell peppers (optional)
  13. 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  14. 1 tsp. kosher salt
  15. Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
  16. Soft goat cheese for garnish (optional)


  1. Put the lentils, water, broth, and bay leaves in a large saucepan. Bring to a low boil and cook, uncovered and simmering, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Put them in a Dutch oven or large soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat for about five to 10 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the thyme, if using, and the cumin. Sauté for another few minutes.
  3. If the lentils are ready, remove the bay leaves and add the lentils to the sautéed aromatics. (If not, remove the aromatics from the heat until the lentils are ready.) Once the lentils are stirred into the aromatics, add the bell peppers (if using) and simmer together for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are fully cooked.
  4. If you wish, use an immersion blender to lightly purée about a fourth to a third of the soup. (No immersion blender? Scoop a couple of cups of soup into a regular blender, pulverize, then return to the soup pot.)
  5. Add pepper and salt to taste. Serve hot, with parsley leaves on top and soft goat cheese swirled in to melt, if you like.