My sister in-law, Susan, brought this wonderful lentil soup to a family gathering last month. I have always made a hearty lentil soup with ham as the leading flavor, but Susan’s soup was flavored by the vegetables and lentils in beautiful broth and was so delicious. The recipe can be found at All Recipes and was submitted by a woman named Marie. I don’t know Marie, but she came up with a winner on this one.
Balsamic vinegar gives the soup a rich tasting broth with subtly sweet undertones and is a perfect accompaniment to the quiet pepperiness of the lentils. I found that I could not stop eating this soup and my son in-law ate it until he was sick…it’s hard to fill Tim up, but this soup did the trick. I think that it is perfect for a simple dinner with a crusty bread and a salad; yet it is elegant enough to serve as the soup course in a fancier dinner.
The Christmas season is so busy–heck, I’m still trying to get the tree decorated–and this easy-to-make soup takes away some of the -what-am-I-going-to-do-for-dinner stress. Plus, it is filling. Plus it is good for you and can counter act that amazing goody plate that you just got from your neighbor. PLUS it is delicious. And lets not forget that you just may have some for leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
I did make some changes to the original recipe, which I think enhanced the flavor of the soup:
- I used chicken broth instead of water for the liquid. If you wish to keep this soup vegetarian, then use water or vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
- I doubled the herbs.
- I used balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider or white vinegar.
- I lowered the amount of olive oil.
- I doubled the amount of fresh spinach.
Wonderfully Flavorful Lentil Soup
A powerhouse of nutrition and great flavor, this lentil soup will fill you up and warm you to the bone.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups dry lentils
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup fresh spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced (I didn’t actually measure the spinach; I used two big handsful of baby spinach)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender.
- Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in lentils, chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour.
- When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. This only takes a minute or two.
- Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more vinegar if desired.
Vegetarian or Vegan–change chicken broth to vegetable broth.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes