Make Ahead

Frances Moore Lappé's Lentils, Monastery Style

April 14, 2015
10 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

Make a richly flavored lentil soup from nothing (and then tip in sherry, for kicks). Adapted slightly from Diet For a Small Planet (Ballantine Books, 1991). —Genius Recipes

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 3 cups stock
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1 pinch Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 16 ounce can tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese
In This Recipe
  1. Heat oil in a large pot and sauté the onions and carrot for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened and onion is translucent. Add dried herbs and sauté 1 minute. Add stock, lentils, salt, parsley, and tomatoes and cook, covered, until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Add sherry.
  2. To serve, put 2 tablespoons cheese in each bowl and fill with soup.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Leisureguy
  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Cheryl McKinley
    Cheryl McKinley
  • krikri
  • Jennifer St Clair
    Jennifer St Clair
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

    37 Reviews

    Leisureguy December 26, 2018
    I just made this again. It's a regular here. I use 1 Tbsp marjoram and 1 Tbsp thyme rather than 1/2 teaspoon. When I sauté the vegetables I include 3-4 anchovies for additional umami, and for the same reason I add a parmesan rind with the tomatoes and stock, along with a dash of Worcestershire sauce or Maggi. I include about 3/4 c chopped celery as well. For tonight's batch, the stock I used was bone broth from a local butcher. Wonderful dinner.
    Poniesss403 November 30, 2018
    I have a string of Emmenthaler between my chin and bowl as I write this. I make lots of lentil soups, usually without recipes, but this one will stay on the rotation for sure. I added some red pepper flakes and bay leaves and used red wine instead. 10/10 recipe. Doesn't ask much of you but delivers in comfort and taste. FYI it's low on broth if you prefer it to come out brothier I'd add extra.
    Taylor S. October 5, 2018
    Wow, so sweet and delicious and satisfying! Served it over spaghetti squash with goat cheese and fontina.
    Cheryl M. April 18, 2018
    Best lentil soup I've ever made or had. The sherry really adds depth to it. Yum!
    Cheryl M. April 18, 2018
    Best lentil soup I've ever made or had. The sherry really adds depth to it. Yum!
    Sabra313 April 16, 2018
    What would you think of substituting vermouth for the sherry?
    krikri January 23, 2018
    This was great! Really easy to put together too! I added some unpeeled cloves of garlic into the mix, and squeezed the contents onto warm crusty bread while sipping. Yum! Thank you!
    Jennifer S. January 17, 2018
    I made this yesterday after shoveling snow and had enough left for lunches the rest of the week. It is delicious! Definitely going on the winter rotation.
    juicyrebound1 September 21, 2017
    I lived on this in college and often added a diced sweet potato to the vegetable sauté. It adds a nice sweet note to the earthy lentils. You won't miss meat for a moment.
    donna J. September 21, 2017
    sounds delicious
    JenH June 3, 2017
    This is the best lentil soup I have ever made, it's phenomenal. I made it in the pressure cooker with french lentils - 10 minutes on high pressure, natural release. It smelled phenomenal as soon as I opened the pot. My only changes were to cook up some sausage in the pot first thing and red wine instead of sherry. I have been taking it to work for my lunches and the smell never fails to draw a coworker or two to my desk wanting the recipe. This one is becoming a staple at my house.
    Katie H. February 21, 2017
    I rendered a sausage before putting in the onion and carrot. I left the browned bits in there as the dish cooked; this lends a lovely depth!
    Read January 27, 2017
    I've been making this since the book first came out (which was 1971, not 1991), when green/brown lentils were the only thing findable, and it was very good. It's even better with black/french lentils (maybe cook slightly longer).
    Judy S. May 11, 2016
    This is unbelievably good. So good, and so easy. It seems like it should be a lot of work, but it really isn't. I cannot recommend it enough.
    Abigail K. May 7, 2016
    I was surprised at how good this was! I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned and cumin and paprika for the spices and it's wonderful and flavorful.
    donna J. March 5, 2016
    Lately I have been on a lentil soup kick but I haven't tried adding sherry yet or Swiss cheese. Sounds lovely. I will be trying this soon.
    donna J. September 21, 2017
    I have made this several times since I posted this. Thank you for the contribution
    Catherine February 11, 2016
    Wow! I was so impressed with this soup, I mean, we're talking lentil soup so I wasn't too excited initially but it turned out to be fantastic. I used chicken stock and an entire 1 pound 12 ounce can of whole tomatoes (cut them in half before adding). Don't skimp on the sherry or swiss cheese here, they really give the soup a nice deep, well rounded flavor.
    Tracey February 3, 2016
    Usually I am not a huge fan of lentils, but after reading the reviews I tried it this morning. It's the best tasting lentil soup I have ever had! It was so simple to make (and inexpensive). I didn't have any sherry, so replaced it with a dry red wine and it was great. My husband also said that this recipe is a keeper.
    Carrie January 24, 2016
    Wow! I made this during the blizzard this weekend and it was great. Tastes like you've simmered for hours to get that deep flavor. It is quick to throw together, but the flavor is sooo good. I made this exactly as written except I skipped the cheese at the end since I didn't have any on hand. Perfectly simple and healthy, who could ask for more?
    C.S. January 9, 2016
    I made this last night and thought it was so easy to make and delicious. I didn't have marjoram, so I used 1/4 tsp oregano and 1/4 tsp basil to substitute. I used boxed vegetable stock, green lentils, canned dice tomatoes, dried parsley, and cheddar cheese. It was very flavorful!
    dani868 November 2, 2015
    What kind of stock did everyone use?