If you are looking for a fantastic pot luck soup or delicious dinner, this lentil soup is out of this world. My mom started making it 20 years ago and it is now my son’s favorite soup. It is from Jane Brody’s Good Food Book which has many nutritious and delicious recipes.
My Favorite Lentil Soup
- 2 T olive or vegetable oil
- 2 c chopped onions
- 3 carrots, coarsely grated
- 3/4 t marjoram, crumbled
- 3/4 t thyme leaves, crumbled
- 1 28-oz can tomatoes with their juice, coarsely chopped
- 7 c broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)*
- 1 1/2 c dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1/2 t salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 oz dry white wine
- 1/3 c chopped fresh parsley or 2 T dried parsley flakes
- 4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and saute the onions, carrots, marjoram, and thyme, stirring the vegetables for about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the soup for about 1 hour or until the lentils are tender.
- Add the salt, pepper, wine, and parsley, and simmer the soup for a few minutes. Serve with cheese sprinkled on each portion.
Here are some ways my family has altered the recipe:
1. Eliminate the white wine when serving it to young children.
2. Add Parmesan cheese instead of cheddar at the table. Kids love to shake it and determine the amount that they use.
3. Add 1/2 to 3/4 of a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup to make it creamier. You will want to add a cup of water if you do this, so that the soup isn’t too concentrated.
4. Use Better than Bullion or bullion cubes instead of broth. If you use Better than Bullion, use only 1/2 the amount that it suggests. I only add 1 tablespoon for the entire pot. The onions and spices give it plenty of flavor.
5. Use red lentils instead of green or brown ones. They cook much faster and have a mild taste.
6. To make the dish go farther, I boil some whole wheat or brown rice pasta. Depending upon how much you make, the soup can easily be transformed as more of a sauce for a pasta dish. Another option is to add potatoes to the soup.
With so many of my friends seeking the health benefits and cost savings of a plant based diet, this recipe is one I recommend when considering adapting one’s eating habits. In fact, a good friend of mine who has three teenage boys “eating her out of house and home” was looking for ideas for inexpensive dinner options. In addition she is facing health problems including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This soup is ideal for both issues.
Permission for printing this recipe on my blog was granted by THE wonderful Jane Brody.