Oh So Simple Lentil Soup

  • Author: Dana
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
Oh So Simple Lentil Soup

 Simple ingredients like French green lentils, vegetables, broth, tomato paste and spices make a hearty, satisfying soup you’ll make again and again.


  • 1 lb French green lentils (16 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 cups celery, chopped (10 stalks/360 gm)
  • 3 cups carrots, chopped (810 medium/360 gm))
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste (60 gm)
  • 2 + quarts vegetable broth (may sub chicken broth)
  • 2 bay leaves
      • Optional: 2 tablespoons red wine or lemon juice
      • freshly grated parmesan cheese
      • sour cream or dairy free sour cream


  1. In a large bowl, pour boiling water over lentils. Let sit 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  2. In a large non-reactive pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions 20 minutes, until very soft and beginning to brown. Add a little broth, as needed, to keep onion from sticking to pot.
  3. Add in garlic and brown one minute.
  4. Stir in celery, carrots, salt, pepper and cook ten minutes more, until vegetables begin to soften.
  5. Add thyme, cumin, tomato paste, lentils and stir to combine.
  6. Pour in broth plus bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Taste; adjust seasonings and add in a splash of wine or lemon juice. 
  7. Serve with optional cheese and a swirl of sour cream, if desired.


Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and The Olive and The Caper by Susanna Hoffman.