Monday, September 27, 2010

Paul's Lentil Soup Recipe

This is a recipe that Paul sent several months ago. The beauty of this recipe is that not only is it a complete one pot vegetarian meal but it lends itself very well to all sorts of substitutions and additions.

It is now May 10, 2011. I've just changed (added to) the ingredients because the following was my best batch. 

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 c. vegetarian stock
  • 1 c. water (or chicken stock if you wish)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups spinach (or kale), torn or chopped
  • 3/4 cup red or brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (or long grain white)
  • parsley & basil or cilantro or a mix of all 3
  • 3 - 4 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1t. salt 
  • pepper

Put the onions, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, and salt (lesser amount depending on the broth you plan to use) in a pot with 4 T. olive oil over medium heat. (If you're using any chicken stock, you could cut the oil to 3 T.) After about 10 minutes, toss in the spinach and/or kale. After a couple more minutes, add the lentils, garlic, tomato paste, and rice. Cook 3 -5 minutes more. Pour in your stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 40 minutes (for white rice) to 50 minutes (for brown). During the last 10 minutes adjust the salt and add pepper, and 1/2 c. or so of herbs. I serve mine (Paul does) with cheese breads with romano and parmigiano.
This soup was very easy, cheap, and low mess factor. Of course the quality of ingredients always matters, but this soup was quite tasty, and even passed the pregnant wife test, a high standard by any means.


  1. The first time around I used 2 c. of chicken stock and 4 c. vegetarian broth. I also added a serrano pepper with the onion mixture. I added 1/2 t. cumin and about a half a bunch of cilantro. Try 1/2 t. salt to begin with and go from there.
    The second time around I used 4 c. vegetarian broth, 1 c. of flat beer, and one of those 5 oz. cans of V-8. I used a whole bunch of fresh spinach instead of the kale. I substituted fresh basil for the cilantro but sill added the cumin.
    It was very flavorful.
    Both times I used brown rice and added along with the lentils to simmer a total of 50 minutes. I also added the garlic in the end. I never like to risk burning that with the onions.
    This is a very satisfying vegetarian dish. I would be curious to see know if anyone comes up with their own version. Thanks again, Paul!

  2. I made this today and I really liked it. It's very light and healthy tasting. I would recommend making your own chicken stock and degreasing it. The only thing I did differently was that I lightly toasted the rice on a hot pan, removing it when it's turns bright white and right before it turns brown. I do this because I prefer my rice to have texture and not be so soggy in the soup. I used jasmine thai long grain rice. I don't know what effects would be if I were to use long grain american rice.