Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday Was Soup Day – Lentil Soup

This week’s soup is one of my favorites – Lentil. While we have several good recipes to choose from, I decided to try a new one from Cook’s Illustrated as I can’t remember being disappointed with those I’ve tried in the past. It is as follows:

12 slices Bacon, cut into ¼” pieces
1 ½ qt Onion, finely chopped
1 qt Carrots, medium chop
4 tbsp Garlic, minced (about 3 medium cloves)
58 oz Diced tomatoes, drained
4 ea Bay leaf
4 tsp Fresh Thyme leaves, minced (1/3 tsp dried)
1 qt Lentils, rinsed and picked over (Lentils du Puy-French green preferred)
4 tsp Salt
To taste Fresh ground black pepper
2 cup Dry white wine
4 ½ qt Low sodium chicken broth (homemade is best)
1 ½ qt Water
4 tsp Balsamic vinegar
12 tbsp Fresh parsley, minced (1 tbsp dried)

· Fry bacon in a large stockpot over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp – about 4 minutes.
· Add onion and carrots, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften – about 2 minutes.
· Add garlic and cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds.
· Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme, and cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds.
· Stir in lentils, salt, and pepper.
· Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook until vegetables have softened and lentils have darkened – 8 to 10 minutes.
· Uncover, raise heat to high, add wine and bring to simmer.
· Add chicken broth and water; bring to a boil.
· Partially cover, reduce heat to low.
· Simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape-30 to 45 minutes.
· Discard bay leaf.
· Optional for hearty soup – Puree 3 cups of soup in blender until smooth and return to pot. (I didn’t do this and liked to consistency)
· Increase heat to medium high, stir in vinegar and heat about 5 minutes.
· Stir in 2 tbsp parsley and serve.
· Garnish each bowl with remaining parsley – if using fresh.

I chopped the carrots by hand as I wanted definite diced pieces, but the onions were done in the food processor. Here are shots of the step-by-step - simple and basic follow-the-recipe soup making.

After I got everything added, I decided it didn’t have enough lentils (2 bags in so far), so I added the other two bags I had – too many. One additional bag would have been perfect. It was thick but still very tasty. Here’s my first bowl.

Have a great day.


  1. That's a nice hearty soup. A splash of hot sauce in the middle and I'm a happy man.

  2. Oh yeah! I gotta try this!! I've never made lentil soup, but the cafeteria at work has it about once a week and I love it! But I guarantee you Larry, your recipe is gonna rock!!! This will be made soon!!! It looks awesome!

  3. Just tried the soup. Yum. I don't think it has too many lentils, but then I do like a nice, thick soup. I am going to have to make that other lentil soup we made before to do a taste comparison, but this is definitely a keeper in my book.


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