Lentil soup is a filling, healthy, and delicious treat for cold winter evenings. There are many variations of the basic lentil soup recipe. You can alter and add ingredients to this recipe as you choose. If you desire more spices, try adding a little cayenne pepper to give the soup a kick. Cumin, coriander, and cinnamon are also nice additions to your hearty lentil soup.
Scrumptious Lentil Soup
- Ready in: about an hour
- Serves: 6
- Complexity: easy
- 2-3 oz bacon or prosciutto, diced (optional)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 medium celery stocks, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 14.5 oz canned tomatoes (one can), drained
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
- 1.5 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt (more if leaving out meat)
- Ground pepper
- Heat bacon in large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, about 3 minutes. (If you are not using meat, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in your pot instead.)
- Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and tender, but not browned, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and thyme; cook for approximately 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add water and lentils, increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes.
- (Optional) For a smoother soup remove 3 cups of lentils and blend until smooth; return to pot.
- Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste; heat over medium-low heat another 3-5 minutes.
For a vegetarian lentil soup, leave out the bacon or prociutto. Instead heat a bit of olive oil in the soup pot before adding carrots and celery in Step 2.
Serve with crusty bread and a simple green salad.