Lentil Soup {recipe}

The Basics

Lentils are part of the legume family, and one of the characteristics of a legume is it’s ability to absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it into protein within the plant own seeds. They grow in pods, are flat, are about the size of a pencil eraser, and can be sold whole or split in half.

Nutrition

For such a small ‘seed’, these lentils are packed with great nutrition! They are high in fiber which can help manage and prevent blood sugar spikes after a meal. And of course the lack of your blood sugar spiking is fabulous for keeping your hormones in check! They also boast excellent amounts of folate (otherwise known as folic acid), with just one cup of lentils bringing you over half your daily needs. Lentils are also high in manganese (which plays a role in reproductive health), protein, and iron.

(an in depth nutritional profile)

How to Prepare

Like other legumes, lentils contain something called phytates as well as other enzyme inhibitors, that prevent our bodies from absorbing nutrients and can actually take nutrients from us. In order to render these harmless, it’s as easy as soaking for a few hours before cooking. Pour lentils into a clean jar or bowl, cover with warm water, and add 2 Tbsp whey (or other acidic medium like vinegar or lemon juice) per 2 cups of lentils. Soak for about 8 hours, then drain and rinse. Place your rinsed lentils in a pot and cover with water. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until bite tender.

Lentil Soup Recipe

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 diced carrots
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 medium sized cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes – or 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 – 3 cups of soaked lentils
  • 8 cups liquid (a mix of water and broth – I used half and half)
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • pepper to taste

In a large pot, add oil, onions, carrots, and celery and cook until onion is tender and translucent. Stir in garlic, oregano, and basil, cooking  for an additional 2 minutes.
Stir in lentils, bay leaf, water/broth, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at about 1 hour (testing at 30 minutes and again at 45 minutes to make sure the lentils don’t over cook)(also, don’t add the salt in until the lentils have finished cooking as it will prevent them from softening). Just before you’re ready to serve, stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Finally stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

The Verdict:

Level of difficulty – Easy

Cost – Approximately $.40 per 2 cup serving (a very cheap meal indeed!)

Time

  • 2 minutes prep to soak, 8 hours soaking
  • 15 minutes prep
  • 50 minutes cooking

Taste – I was very surprised at how much I liked this! I’d never tried lentils before and was a bit hesitant. While they do have some of the same texture that beans do, it didn’t bother me near as much, maybe because of their size. And this recipe (adapted from one I found at allrecipes.com) is extremely tasty! My husband really liked it as well and I think this soup will become part of our regular meal rotation!

So what have you tried recently? Have a new recipe or food to share? Blog about it and link up below!

Try It Tuesday: Lentils
Author: 
Recipe type: Soups and Stews
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 diced carrots
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 medium sized cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes – or 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 – 3 cups of soaked lentils
  • 8 cups liquid (a mix of water and broth – I used half and half)
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • pepper to taste
Method of Preparation
  1. In a large pot, add oil, onions, carrots, and celery and cook until onion is tender and translucent.
  2. Stir in garlic, oregano, and basil, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in lentils, bay leaf, water/broth, and tomatoes.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat, and simmer for at about 1 hour (testing at 30 minutes and again at 45 minutes to make sure the lentils don’t over cook)(also, don’t add the salt in until the lentils have finished cooking as it will prevent them from softening).
  6. Just before you’re ready to serve, stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts.
  7. Finally stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.

Comments

  1. How funny, we’re trying lentils today too! Except my husband doesn’t like soup, so we’re having “sloppy lentils”. They’re in the crockpot right now, and they smell absolutely delish! I will let ya know how it goes!

    donielle Reply:

    @Audrey, Oooo, send me the recipe if it’s any good! With how nutritious they are, I’d like to fit them into our meals more! :-)

  2. I am making lentil soup today too! However, it isn’t a new recipe, I probably make it at least a month year round. I love all legumes…lentils, beans…mmm! The soup I make doesn’t have tomatoes or spinach, although I might add some spinach today since I have some. I have often thought of adding kale. I have never soaked my lentils, but next time (obviously not today since I need to start it shortly!) I definitely will. Instead of onions, I use leeks and since my husband is convinced I am trying to starve him if I make a meal that doesn’t include meat, I add smoked sausage. Obviously it isn’t quite as cheap a meal, but a little sausage goes a long way and a lot of sausage stretches the meal into more leftovers. I am excited because instead of the standard store bought broth, I am using homemade turkey broth from my freezer that I made after Thanksgiving. I used it in a posole the other day, and man! I will never use store bought broth again if I have homemade broth/stock on hand!
    I hope you develop a taste for legumes because they are soooo versitile! They are probably one of my favorite things to cook. I think part of your problem may be that you have had overcooked, over-processed beans in the past. But then again, I just love them, so….

  3. I love lentils! After soaking, I usually make a big batch of lentils and rice cooked in some water and/or broth and onions. The rice makes it pretty thick which allows me to use that as a base for other meals (it stores pretty well in the freezer). I add more broth and vegetables to make a soup, very similar to yours or even add some bread crumbs and herbs then fry the patties in coconut oil and serve like little meatloafs with ketchup. Another favorites of my husband is to make lentil gyros, I use rachel rays gryos recipe from foodnetwork.com but use the lentils and rice instead of ground meat. I think the trick to lentils is to use a lot of seasoning. They can have an earthy flavor that takes getting used to but it is hidden well with lots of herbs, spices and vegetables.

  4. Hmmm, my mom loves lentils and I’ve never been all that big on them. But then again I’ve only tried them in those semi-instant soup cups. This sounds delish and I think I may need to try it out! Better go separate out my yogurt for some whey…

  5. Well the sloppy lentils were definitely different. I mean, it was pretty decent, but my husband didn’t like it. He’s not really open to new things though, so his opinion doesn’t count! haha.
    I actually used Lindsay’s recipe.
    http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2009/10/sloppy-lentils-in-the-crockpot.html
    I definitely recommend trying it!

  6. hmm, I had no idea that I should be soaking my lentils. We love lentils here. We had them curried 2 nights ago

    donielle Reply:

    @fidget, I’va had a couple people tell me they have them curried. Guess I should try that next!

  7. How funny that so many of us did lentils yesterday! My soup is very silmilar to yours but with a Mexican flavor(cumin, chili powder, cilantro, red pepper, etc.). I’ve got the recipe on my blog(current post). The texture was kinda much, probably because I used a whole pound of lentils so today I blended up what was left to make a cream soup . I froze it in quart bags and had 3 full ones! I’ll add some milk when I reheat it.

    Molly, off to explore your site more!

    donielle Reply:

    @Molly, Mmmm, a mexican twist with lentils – sounds yummy! I’ll have to try that some time!

    *off to check the recipe!

  8. mmm… curried lentils, mexican lentils… mmm…. it all makes me soooo hungry!

  9. I absolutely love lentils. I was too chicken to try a soup, so my first flirtation with lentils involved a lebanese staple dish called mujaddara (moo-jah-dra). First you cut up an onion and start cooking it on medium heat. Don’t let it burn, but you want to cook it until it starts to turn brown, then keep cooking it until it gets darker and darker until it’s very carmelized.

    While you’re doing that put some lentils in a pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Then put in some rice, add enough water to cover again, and simmer for another 20 minutes. When all the water’s gone try it to see if the rice and lentils are still hard, if they’re not soft enough add more water and cook until it’s gone.

    When the rice and lentils are cooked add in the onions and serve with a dollop of yogurt. It looks like cat yak, but tastes awesome. I like to make it with sprouted and dried lentils (keep lentils damp in a bowl until they grow little tails, then spread on a baking sheet until crispy (takes a day or two) then store in a jar) and brown rice. If you’re feeling adventurous add in come cumin and JUST A TOUCH of allspice. It’s a very mild, rich, and warming dish and I love it.

    donielle Reply:

    @Alexis, “Looks like cat yak” Ha! I’ve heard of frying a rice and lentil mix into patties. Maybe I should try and mix rice and lentils next time!

  10. Made this today … haven’t tried it yet but it smells wonderful!! Very easy to put together – a couple things I did differently were:

    Used green onions versus the medium onion (had some I needed to use)
    Not sure if it matters but I used red lentils … if nothing else it’s makes for a very beautiful soup.

    And I don’t have spinach so I’m tossing in some swiss chard and kale and I have on hand. I’ll check back let you know how it ended up – but I’m going to be making this again and again!

Trackbacks

  1. […] blame them. So I tried it again – only the next time I tried it … I added it to soup (substituted the spinach in the recipe for swiss chard and kale). Much better flavoring for me. […]