Jan Smith Photo by: Jan Smith

Lentil Soup with Balsamic-Roasted Winter Vegetables

The flavor of this dish improves on the second day, so it's ideal to make in advance. Add the chard just before serving to preserve its color. Stir in a little water when you reheat the soup if it's too thick.

Cooking Light JANUARY 2006

  • Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)


  • 1 2/3 cups cubed peeled sweet potato, (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 2/3 cups cubed peeled parsnip (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 2/3 cups cubed peeled carrot (about 8 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) chopped pancetta
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 6 large)
  • 1 cup chopped red onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups dried lentils
  • 6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 8 cups Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped (about 9 ounces)


Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, 2 tablespoons vinegar, oil, and salt in a large bowl; toss well. Arrange vegetable mixture in a single layer on a large foil-lined jelly-roll pan; bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Cook pancetta in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add shallots and onion to drippings in pan; cook 15 minutes or until golden brown. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, thyme, garlic, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add pancetta, lentils, and 4 cups broth to pan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups broth and roasted vegetables to pan, and simmer 15 minutes, uncovered. Add chard, and cook 2 minutes or until wilted.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 373
  • Calories from fat: 28%
  • Fat: 11.7g
  • Saturated fat: 3.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g
  • Protein: 18.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 51g
  • Fiber: 15.3g
  • Cholesterol: 14mg
  • Iron: 6.4mg
  • Sodium: 875mg
  • Calcium: 118mg