Lentil Vegetable Soup


It has been an unusually mild winter. I can probably count on one hand the number of days we had snow this season. Trust me I'm not complaining. The moderate temperatures have made for lighter moods, lighter jackets, and a long season of lighter soups, which in turn has kept me lighter on my feet. In addition to the clear broth soups, one of my favorites this season has been a vegetarian lentil soup that has been satisfying on all fronts, packed full of savory and herby flavors. It is so delicious that one could potentially overlook how healthy this soup is for you, and so good that I think I will be making it well past the winter season.

Our little family will be on vacation over the next week so I won't be able to respond until we return. I hope everyone has a relaxing and delicious weekend.


The Barefoot Contessa’s Lentil Vegetable Soup
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten
This recipe yields a lot of soup, but I make a full batch and freeze half of it in individual freezer bags and defrost it as needed. Halve the recipe if you don’t want to make quite so much. If you’ve got a Parmesan rind hanging around (I always store them in the freezer for soups and pasta sauces), add it to the soup along with the stock for deeper flavors.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb (450 g) French green lentils
  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white part only, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (roughly 3 cloves)
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 celery stalked, chopped
  • 4 to 6 carrots, chopped
  • 2 1/2 quarts (2 1/2 liters) vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or red wine vinegar
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method
  1. In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large stockpot (one that holds at least 6 quarts) on medium heat, saute the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes. Add the stock, tomato paste, and lentils. If you have a Parmesan rind hanging around, add that in too. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the red wine and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.
Serves 8-10

31 comments:

Kay @ The Church Cook said...

Azaleas and dogwoods are in full bloom already here in Savannah and we had just a handful of chilly days here to really enjoy any good soup like this. Have a wonderful trip. A big hug to Alex for me?

Belinda @zomppa said...

It has been - but like today, grey and rainy calls for comfort soup. Hope you have a wonderful time!

bellini said...

You can never go wrong with Ina!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Lentil soup is a classic! You can never go wrong - so satisfying and delicious.

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I love lentil soup! I usually make one with lots of veggies and chicken sausage.

tasteofbeirut said...

This lentil soup looks fabulous! Here the winter has been very cold, snow at 300m, and having a bowl of this would be such a treat!

Megan said...

This soup sounds wonderful. I absolutely love lentil soup and am surprised I haven't made one this winter (maybe because it has been so mild).

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I haven't made nearly as many soups this winter as in the past years. Likely due to the milder winter. I love lentil soup and this 'lighter' version which would be great even in spring. I usually made mine with a ham shank or smoked pork hock which definitely makes it heavier.

Penny said...

Great soup. Enjoy your vacation.

Lori said...

When the warmer temps we definitely haven't indulged in as many comfort foods this winter. Or so it seems. I haven't made a lentil soup in a while. This one looks great! Enjoy your vacation!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

We have had a mild winter but just had 14 inches of snow. I would love a bowl of lentil vegetable soup any day no matter the weather.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

There's nothing better than a good lentil soup and so good for you too.

Enjoy your family vacation.
Sam

OysterCulture said...

Sounds delicious and I hope you are having a lovely vacation.

Chiara said...

Sounds dedicious and tasty, enjoy your vacation, a hug from Italy...

Barbara said...

Have a fun vacation!
You can't beat lentil soup. My mother used to make it all the time. I've never tried Ina's recipe, but it sure looks wonderful.

City Share said...

We enjoy making lot of different lentil soups. They are always so satisfying. This seems like a great recipe to make just from pantry/fridge staples. Have a great vacation.

Emily said...

i'm loving the mild winter, too! i've been eating a ton of lentils; great source of protein. :)

Garry @ Fence said...

eating soup in mild cold winter is nice that's the best part of it hehe.
since you said its delicious and healthy, maybe ill try it.

Amy said...

Mmmmm... this soup looks perfect for the mild winter we've been experiencing. Light, yet still hearty and filling.

El said...

This looks like a great classic recipe. We love lentil soup so this is something we'll definitely want to try.

Lynda said...

Lentil soup is perfect for a cool day. We've had a very mild winter here also, but I still have managed to make soup almost every week. I'll make this one before the weather turns too warm. Thanks for posting.

Magic of Spice said...

What a delightful soup...love lentils! Have a lovely vacation :)

Vianney Rodriguez said...

Hvae fun enjoy your time off!! Lentils are one of my go to lunch treats! yummy soup!

lostpastremembered said...

Perfect soup for this weather. Have a lovely time traveling!

Gloria said...

we love lentils look delicious!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Yhis is one of my favorite soups, Christine. You have finished it off so nicely with the drizzle of olive oil and grated parmesan. We are still very much in soup weather where I live. This looks delicious.

Chiara said...

Hi Christine, please sign up again to my new blog with GOOGLEFRIENDCONNECT, I've lost all my contacts from the old blog...Thank you !have a good day,a hug...

kale @ tastes good to me! said...

Ooh, I love leeks. And cumin! This looks delish. Enjoy your break!

Claudia said...

This will be on my table tomorrow - perfect for our transitional weather. Happy vacationing! I think this is the perfect month to do so - when you come home - you will be that much closer to spring!

nancy at good food matters said...

spring is already becoming full blown in Nashville--one of our earliest I can remember. Nonetheless, your vegetarian-based lentil soup would be welcome at our dinner table anytime.

sally said...

Nothing like a good lentil soup! I hope you are enjoying your vacation.