One-Pot Wonders

Warm and Comforting Vegetarian Lentil Soup

December 21, 2009
Author Notes

When you're snowed in, what's better than a steamy hot bowl of lentil soup? I love Ina Garten's salmon with lentils from her Barefoot in Paris cookbook. I used that recipe as the basis for this soup. All the proportions here are rough--you can add or subtract according to your taste. Lentils absorb a lot of liquid so you may need to add more. If you like your soup more like stew, you can use less liquid, and if you like really thick soup, you can puree some if it with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. I like extra tartness, so I usually finish with a little extra vinegar--you can do that to your taste. —drbabs

  • Serves a large pot of soup
  • 1 cup small green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped fine
  • 2 leeks, chopped, white and light green parts only
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 carrots, chopped fine
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 14 ounce can tomatoes, broken up with your fingers, and including liquid
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 3-4 sprigs of thyme that you can remove later)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • up to a cup of water as needed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup spinach, chard or collards, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar plus more for finishing
  • more salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add onions, leeks, celery, carrots, and kosher salt, and saute till onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.
  2. Stir in tomatoes and cook for another minute. Add lentils, potatoes, wine, vegetable stock and water, bay leaves, cayenne and thyme. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
  3. Cook, covered, till lentils are soft and potatoes are cooked through. (You may need to add more water, wine or stock.) Stir in spinach and let it simmer till wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Remove the bay leaves.
  4. If you like, puree some of the soup (about 2 cups) in a blender or with an immersion blender to get a thick creamy consistency. Stir in vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Serve with extra vinegar, salt and pepper to use as desired.

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