Serves a Crowd

Vermouth-Laced French Lentil Soup with Two Celeries

December 27, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is a pantry soup that I created one rainy day, not wanting to go out and get wet,from ingredients on hand. It's as sophisticated and satisfying as lentil soup can be. I first made this in the pressure cooker, so I give those directions first. You can, of course, make this in a stock pot, it will just take a little longer. - Abra Bennett —Abra Bennett

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a wonderful, hearty soup for winter -- the kind of non-fancy, satisfying meal you want to curl up with. It's interesting to have the celery and celeriac together, and it certainly doesn't hurt to have a ton of lentils and bits of pancetta to round it out. —suchachef

What You'll Need
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 ounces peeled celeriac, cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 celery heart including leaves, diced
  • 1 cup green French lentils
  • 6 cups chicken broth, homemade if you have it
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth (white)
  • salt and pepper - smoked pepper is good here
  1. In pressure cooker, saute pancetta in olive oil until it begins to brown. Add onion and celery heart and saute until nicely browned. Without removing what's in the pan, deglaze the pan thoroughly with vermouth, then add all remaining ingredients. Bring to high pressure and cook for 15 minutes. You can use either a natural or quick release. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  2. If you're not using a pressure cooker, follow all the directions using a small stockpot. Cook until the lentils and celeriac are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Abra Bennett
    Abra Bennett
  • lapadia
  • birdfeeder
  • Sam579
I love to cook and create recipes!

4 Reviews

birdfeeder January 9, 2021
I've made dozens of lentil soups in my life, hunting for the perfect one. I even made one up that I like quite well (riffed off Claudia Roden's mujaddra). But this is the best ever. The. Best. It's suave and elegant, and closer to French onion soup than to any other legume soup I've ever encountered. I used Bob's Red Mill heritage brown lentils because that's what I had, these quarantine days, and they were fine -- just took a little longer to cook. Only thing I'd do differently next time is to be a little more generous with the chicken stock (mine was a fairly austere one made from leftover bones), because the finished broth is so delicious. Oh, and I'll probably try it with some toasted cheese on bread, because this really is a soul-mate of FOS. But I'll do it on the side because I'm afraid of the broiler :( Thanks, Abra. One lifelong quest has now been achieved, thanks to you.

Sam579 November 25, 2013
Made this last night - really yummy! I decided to double the recipe and, I'm not sure what possessed me, added more lentils. The soup last night was great...the leftovers more like stew. I'll add more stock to make it more like soup. A winner...will definitely make it again!
Abra B. December 28, 2010
I usually have Noilly, but since I make the best martinis with Dolin, I might use that for an extra herbaceous soup.
lapadia December 27, 2010
This sounds great, Abra. Do you have a favorite dry vermouth for this?