Lentil Soup


  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 pound Lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 cup Tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 quarts Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tsp Freshly Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Freshly Ground Toasted Cumin
  • 1 tsp Freshly Ground Grains of Paradise
  • Freshly Chopped Parsley to Garnish
  • Juice of half a Lemon

  • Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency (optional). Sprinkle with parsley, serve immediately with lemon wedges and a hearty bread.

7 responses to “Lentil Soup

  1. Hey Fred! Thanks for being the first person to leave us a comment! The author of this recipe is on vacation at the moment but we will make sure we post an answer to your question as soon and she is back.

  2. Thanks! The soup looks great, but I wanna make sure I use the right lentils. My guess is for either brown or green (like the French du Puy ones). I doubt it’s calling for red lentils, because those would be very, very cooked in 40 minutes.

    I had a bad experience assuming lentil types once. 90 minutes and they never did cook….

  3. Hi Fred,

    I used brown lentils- we carry a type at the Deli from ‘La Velletta,’ harvested in Umbria, Italy by a small family operation. They’re growing grains and legumes that are native to the area, and everything I’ve tasted from them is delicious. I like these lentils especially because they hold their shape when cooked (they don’t fall apart) and they’ve got a great flavor. I’ve also done this recipe with the French du Puy lentils, and they work just as well. Your correct in avoiding the red lentils- they’re great for Indian daal’s but will turn to mush in a soup

    Have fun with it. It’s a great soup for this time of year, with the cooler weather (unless you’re fortunate enough to be writing from a more temperate climate than Michigan). The flavor from the grains of paradise is a nice touch.

    Vanessa Sly
    Zingerman’s Delicatessen

  4. Fantastic, thanks. I’ll actually be in Ann Arbor on Sunday to do some research at UofM. I’m looking forward to dinner at the Deli, after the research is done. I’ll add lentils to my list of stuff to get when I’m there. I live about 40 miles or so from Ann Arbor; it’s definitely soup weather.

    I’ve actually made a very good red lentil soup, actually. It’s a very odd texture, unless you puree it. Then, it becomes creamy, yet there’s no cream.

    Sorry for the delayed reply. I’m a grad student, and I had a lot of reading to do this week.

  5. I just made this soup last night! I got it from Alton Brown on the Food Network site – did he get it from you or did you get it from him? LOL

    I made it with the French lentils and reserved some for a little Lentil Loaf – mmmmmm.

    Of course, I did not have the Grains of Paradise – I will have to track down some to test it out.

    Lovin’ the fall soup season!

  6. Hi Rachel,

    I got it from him and adapted it to my own tastes, but thanks for reminding me that I should have attributed it to him. I think I originally came across it when I was searching for recipes that used grains of paradise and wrote it down somewhere on a sheet of paper without jotting down the source.

    Do tell about this lentil loaf- sounds intriguing.

    The grains of paradise are really fun to play around with- they have a warm citrusy-peppery flavor that’s pretty unique. We just got some back in at the Deli- stop by and ask for a taste sometime if you’re able.


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