Monday, 14 January 2013

Hearty, Warming Lentil Soup

Lentil soup, a good winter warmer

Brr... It's cold in Britain.  Good weather for making soups. On the day we arrived back from France I had to be 'creative' about lunch.  I found a 2" piece of chorizo in the freezer and proceeded to make this soup.  Thankfully, everything else I needed was in the fridge or the store cupboard.
I have had this recipe since the 70s, written on a file card, so I have no idea where it came from. and I hadn't made it for years, but  I remembered it after making split pea soup.
Because the lentils do not need soaking, this soup is relatively quick and easy. You just need to be sure to cook them long enough  (45 minutes after they have come to the boil). The recipe calls for bacon, but you could use lardons, pancetta, or try chorizo. The chorizo gave the soup a little zing, but it was not overpowering and I would definitely use it again. For a vegetarian option, you could  use a vegetarian stock cube and a little celery for added flavour, then top the soup with cheesy, toasted bread or croutons. Obviously, if you have home made stock, use that instead of the stock cube.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
A few pieces of bacon, lardons, pancetta or a small amount of chorizo
1 small onion
6 oz dried red lentils (Check the package to ensure that they don't need soaking.)

2 pints of water
1 beef stock cube
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, scraped and chopped
A dollop of creme fraiche for each serving.

Heat a saucepan and add the olive oil.
Cook the meat gently for a few minutes.
Add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft.
Add the water, stock cube and lentils.
Bring to boil and simmer for 45 minutes. (Do not undercook the lentils.)
Add the potatoes and carrot  and cook another 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Blend the mixture or use a potato masher to break up the large chunks.
Serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche.


  1. This sounds great and I think would be very tasty. I will have to try this

  2. I love lentils - particularly the black ones available in France.
    (I have been stopped twice at customs as the 'block' of vacuum packed ones look suspicious). Lentil stew is one of my favourite dishes - will try it as soup.