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Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Total Time: Under 4 Hours
Skill Level: Easy
Cost: Inexpensive
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Red Lentil Soup

Photo by: Joseph DeLeo

We cook red lentils because of their golden, lighter color. French lentils are good too, but while they start out green they eventually turn brown. While French lentils make a good winter soup, perhaps red ones are better for spring. Technically, either type of lentil works

Yield: Makes 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 leek (white part only), halved lengthwise and cut ½ inch thick
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 recipe Basic Vegetable Stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • Bouquet Garni (see Notes)
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Black pepper



1. Drizzle oil in a 3-quart soup pot and swirl it around until the oil coats the entire surface of the bottom of the pan. Heat over high heat for 1 minute. Add cumin and coriander. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the celery, carrot, onion, leek, and garlic. Cook and stir until onion and leek are tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the Basic Vegetable Stock, water, lentils, and Bouquet Garni. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmering and cook for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice, salt, and lemon zest. Remove Bouquet Garni. Season to taste with pepper.


Bouquet Garni: Bundle 8 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon black peppercorns together in several thicknesses of cotton cheesecloth. Tie closed with string.

© 2004 Meredith Corporation

Nutrition Facts per serving: 351 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 1,221 mg sodium, 56 g carbo., 13 g fiber, 23 g pro. Daily Values: 59% vit. A, 15% vit. C, 8% calcium, 23% iron


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