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Spiced French Green Lentil Soup

(recipe, Meera S.T. Vargo)

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This lentil soup is mellow yet very flavorful. Extra-virgin olive oil drizzled on just before serving complements the flavor of the soup. This soup will keep for several days, or you can freeze it. Make it a complete meal by serving the soup with some crusty bread and a green salad.


  1. ⅓ cup olive oil
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 carrot, chopped
  4. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  5. 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, chopped
  6. 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  7. 1 tsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  8. 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  9. 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  10. ¼ tsp. turmeric
  11. 1½ cups French green lentils
  12. 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
  13. 1 tsp. fresh or dried thyme
  14. 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  15. ¼ cup chopped parsley
  16. Salt and pepper to taste
  17. Yogurt or sour cream for serving (optional)
  18. Extra-virgin olive oil for serving (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot until hot but not smoking. Add onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger. Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Stir to combine. Cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add lentils, canned tomatoes and their juice, thyme, and stock. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Simmer soup for 45 minutes to an hour, or until lentils are tender. Add more stock if needed. When lentils are tender, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in chopped parsley. Serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.