Small French green lentils (also called Puy lentils) are great for soups because they hold their shape well. A portion of this soup is pureed to lend body, but you can omit that step if you prefer.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped Rio or other sweet onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups dried petite green lentils
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite-cut diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
How to Make It
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaf) to pan; sauté 12 minutes. Add lentils; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, 1 cup water, and tomatoes; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until lentils are very tender. Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
Place 3 cups lentil mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan; stir in juice, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
I made this exactly as written but didn't like it. It tasted way too sweet with no depth of flavor. I'm going to try to salvage the leftovers by adding some turkey sausage or bacon and maybe a couple of small potatoes. I hate to add calories/fat/carbs but this soup needs something!
This soup is really delicious. It's easy to make although it requires some time. The first time I made the recipe I made it with brown lentils. The soup was a little thick and mushy but still delicious. The second time I made it with French green lentils. They held their shape better, and the soup made a prettier presentation. Very yummy.
I don't think this is particularly good. I used my homemade chicken stock and followed the directions pretty much to the letter. I increased the thyme, garlic and salt because it tasted bland to me. My husband added vinegar to it at the table. I don't understand 5 star reviews for this and I definitely wouldn't serve it to company. We also had freshly-baked cracked wheat bread and a salad of Russian red kale with a lemon dressing.
This soup was amazing! I was a little leary of the time and effort needed to make homemade lentil soup, but this was well worth it. My husband,father-in-law ( a man with extremely high culinary standards!) and my mom all raved about the soup. My mom, queen of making microwave food, has even requested the recipe and attempted to make it at home! Truely a first. Please give this recipe a shot. Just keep in mind that you might have to add a little extra chicken broth to thin out the soup. I had to cook my lentils for longer then the suggessted time and therefore turned the soup into porrige. But luckily an extra box of broth was on hand and saved the day!
The lemon juice really jazzes this up. I did not have canned tomatoes, so I used some tomato juice instead - worked out great. I also added some diced winter squash in addition to the other veggies. Hearty and yummy.