The food of winter – lentil soup

It’s hard to believe that it’s actually March.  It’s actually March!  I made it!  Every winter it feels hard to make it through, even though I’ve lived in the northeast my entire life.  Once I start talking to people again, I find out that everybody was staying home depressed in January and February.  So we were all alone, but not alone in our all-alone-ness.

But I must say, I did pretty well this winter, food-wise.  I was well nourished and I didn’t get disgustingly bored with everything I was making.  The big players in this effort were FRENCH LENTILS.  You know, those beautiful little speckled green lentils?


I can’t believe it took me 25 years to start cooking them all.  They cook fast, and they are tender, flavorful, cheap, and full of protein.  I made lentil soup over and over again, with some delightful variations, throughout the winter, and I’m still not sick of it!



olive oil


french lentils

bay leaf

vegetables of your choice

splash of balsamic vinegar or wine

black pepper

ADDITIONS: onions, rosemary, thyme, celery, carrots, potatoes, kale, mushrooms, sausage, grated parmesan,


Saute chopped garlic and (optional) onions in a dash of olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot.  (You can also add some sliced sausage at this stage).

Add a bay leaf, rosemary and thyme, a pinch of salt, and lots of black pepper.

Rinse and drain 1-2 cups of lentils.  I estimate since it’s good to have a bunch of soup.

Pour in the lentils and add at least 3 cups of water.  If things look un-soupy later, add more.

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so.

In the meantime, chop up your other veg to add.  It’s really up to you, but here are the combos I like:

-carrots, celery, potato

– kale, mushroom, sliced sausage (yes!)

Add in whatever you want, and then keep simmering until the lentils are tender, but before they are mushy, probably another 10-15 minutes.  Add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, cooking wine, or old wine that’s sitting around (aka cooking wine).  If you add too much, just keep cooking and it will mellow out.

Serve with more pepper, and grated parmesan on top.  I like to have mine with a cabbage salad and some Red Hen bread on the side.  Then I like to have it again for lunch the next day.



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One Response to “The food of winter – lentil soup”

  1. Mona Says:

    I TOLD you. But you made fun of me! And now you see!

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