Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell
1 3/4 cups dried brown lentils
2 quarts water
1 cup diced carrot
1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
Dash of dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups torn Swiss chard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons plain whole yogurt
How to Make It
Sort and wash the lentils. Combine lentils, water, and next 6 ingredients (water through bay leaves) in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until tender.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cumin; sauté 10 minutes or until browned. Stir onion mixture into lentil mixture. Discard bay leaves and parsley. Add chard to soup; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until chard is tender. Remove soup from heat. Stir in juice and pepper. Ladle 1 1/3 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt. Yield: 6 servings.
This became a staple in our house years ago and I have shared the recipe with countless friends. I'm not a huge fan of chard, so I use spinach instead (both frozen and fresh work fine), and I triple the garlic. Also have had good success substituting all or part of the water with organic low-sodium vegetable broth.
Totally yummy. Doubled the garlic, added a 1/2 tbsp. of sweet paprika, 1 tbsp. of chicken bouillon, and 1/2 c. of leftover ham for a bit more flavor. Removed the ham with the bay leaves and parsley. This was a delicious meal with crusty bread and cheese.
Really great soup that needs no doctoring. I've made this with all kinds of greens--chard, spinach, and this week--turnip greens, which works best of all with their tartness cutting the mellow flavor of the lentil. Used no water, all Imagine vegetable stock.
If you like soup, especially lentil, then you are going to want to keep this recipe. It's great on a cold day. I enjoy finishing legume soups with fresh lemon juice, but I substituted lime today because that's what I had on hand and it was fine. The other substitution was using beef broth instead of water and eliminating the salt and pepper. I'll definitely make this soup again.
This recipe is, indeed, quite yummy. I swapped two cups of the water for vegetable boullion, and used extra garlic by sauteing it with the onion. The lemon juice, pepper, and yogurt made all the difference; they were a little tart contrast with this otherwise savory dish.
Lentil soup was one of the dishes my mother made growing up that I remembered fondly and thought no recipe could ever top. And of course, my attempts to copy her recipe always failed to live up to expectations. I decided to stop trying to replicate it and just find a solid recipe. This totally exceeded my expectations. Objectively, this is better than my mother's! The lemon juice and bay leaves are critical, so don't leave them out. My boyfriend doesn't prefer strong onion flavor, so I cut it down to 2 cups to be safe and didn't notice anything lacking. I also used some frozen spinach I had on hand instead of Swiss chard and just eyeballed it - 6 cups seemed like a lot in my opinion. Finally, one of the things I always loved about my mother's lentil soup, and it may sound strange, is that she added diced hot dogs. I can't eat lentil soup without them! So as my homage to my mother's recipe, I added Hebrew National reduced-fat beef franks. Spectacular. (Try it, trust me I'm a food snob!)