That is not hyperbole. It’s the honest truth; Gist and I love this soup so much that I have made a big pot of it every week for the past month and a half for us to bring to work for lunch. So good!
You begin by soaking your lentils in boiling water. I use three parts French green lentils to one part brown lentils.
Meanwhile, you chop and begin cooking all sorts of deliciousness – onions, garlic, leeks, thyme, cumin…
…Carrots, and celery.
Once the veggies are all soft and aromatic, you add some tomato paste, the soaked lentils, and stock.
Simmer for an hour, until the liquid has reduced a bit and the lentils are tender.
It’s perfect with a homemade loaf of bread!
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
This soup is very flexible and can be adapted for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. I have made it for each of those groups and it’s always a hit!
I also generally halve this recipe when I am making it for Gist and me.
- 1 pound lentils
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
- 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
- 3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
- 3 quarts stock, chicken or veggie
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick – this is totally optional – I’ve used turkey kielbasa, chicken chorizo, vegetarian kielbasa, and omitted the kielbasa completely (but I add a dash of smoked paprika if this is the route I am taking) and the soup is always amazing.
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and sauté for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. If you are using the kielbasa, fry it lightly. Add the kielbasa (or smoked paprika) and vinegar and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.