FALL/ MAINS/ SEASONS/ WINTER

The Very Best Lentil Soup

Hello, welcome to Djalali Cooks. Happy Valentine’s Day! Lentil Soup might not be the most romantic dinner, but a chilly Monday calls for a warm and hearty soup to start the week. Today’s recipe for Lentil Soup is wonderful on its own; super-flavorful and hearty, but it’s the toppings that really win me over. Lemony green sauce, sour cream, chili crunch and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar take this lentil soup from great to The Very Best Lentil Soup. Are you ready to get started? Let’s do it!

Easy Soup, Lentil Soup, Split Pea Soup, Simple Soup, Soup Toppings, Herby Green Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, Chili Crunch, Winter Soup, Cold Weather Recipe, Hearty Soup

This recipe comes from the Abra Berens book, Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds and Legumes. For today’s recipe, I have chosen to leave the soup chunky, rather than using an immersion blender to emulsify the soup. I prefer to have the potatoes and carrots intact, for a little texture variety. I have used split lentils, rather than split peas. And instead of making a chili oil, I have topped the soup with my favorite Chili Crunch condiment.

Easy Soup, Lentil Soup, Split Pea Soup, Simple Soup, Soup Toppings, Herby Green Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, Chili Crunch, Winter Soup, Cold Weather Recipe, Hearty Soup

Soup Base

For the soup base we have onion and garlic, we also have the flavor boosting, umami-rich power of anchovy filets. A cup of white wine rounds out the base. Get the diced onion, minced garlic and 3-4 anchovy filets sautéing over medium-high heat with a generous glug of olive oil. Season with a good pinch of Kosher Salt. When the onions are soft (about 5-7 minutes) pour in the white wine.

Let the wine vigorously simmer until it’s reduced by about half (7 minutes, or so). Add the carrot, potatoes and split lentils, or split peas. Then add 8 cups of water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes.

The soup will be thick and most of the liquid will be absorbed and cooked off. If you want an emulsified soup, use an immersion blender or blend the soup in batches in a blender to a smooth consistency. I prefer the bite and chew of the lentils, carrots and potatoes, so I left this version chunky.

Easy Soup, Lentil Soup, Split Pea Soup, Simple Soup, Soup Toppings, Herby Green Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, Chili Crunch, Winter Soup, Cold Weather Recipe, Hearty Soup

Taste the soup for seasoning and add Kosher salt as needed. Remove from heat.

To make the lemony parsley sauce, combine about 1/2 cup of chopped parsley with the juice and zest of 1 lemon. Stir and drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of Kosher salt. Mix well to combine.

Ladle portions of the soup into wide bowls.

Now For The Toppings!

I used aged balsamic vinegar, which is thicker and sweeter than regular balsamic. You can use regular balsamic or even a balsamic reduction, if you like. Drizzle on the balsamic vinegar. Then spoon on some chili oil, or chili crunch.

Dollop on the lemony, herby green sauce and follow that with dollops of sour cream, or if you have crema (like I do, here), drizzle that on. As you can imagine, the balsamic adds a rich depth of flavor. The lemony green sauce brightens everything up. Sour cream or crema adds a pop of tang and richness. Chili crunch brings a little heat and nice crunchy texture variation. The carrots and potatoes are tender but not at all mushy; they hold their shape and make for nice bite.

The Very Best Lentil Soup

Easy Soup, Lentil Soup, Split Pea Soup, Simple Soup, Soup Toppings, Herby Green Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, Chili Crunch, Winter Soup, Cold Weather Recipe, Hearty Soup

Well, thank you so much for joining me today, for this amazingly simple yet incredibly good Lentil Soup. As I mentioned at the top, the toppings on this soup really send it over an edge. And just think how many other soups out there become more extraordinary by adding some combination of flavor-punching toppings like herby green sauce, or balsamic vinegar. It’s a fun thing to experiment with! Try it on my Chipotle Pumpkin Soup. Do make this soup and let me know what your thoughts are on the toppings! Take care and be well, xo Kelly.

Easy Soup, Lentil Soup, Split Pea Soup, Simple Soup, Soup Toppings, Herby Green Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, Chili Crunch, Winter Soup, Cold Weather Recipe, Hearty Soup

Kitchen Items For This Recipe

Click on the image to be directed to the product.

The Very Best Lentil Soup

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...
Dinner, Main Course American
By Adapted from Abra Berens Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cooking Time: ~40 Total Time: ~50 Minutes

Chunky lentil soup with balsamic, lemon herb sauce, chili crunch and sour cream. It's hearty, bright and rich. The Very Best Lentil Soup.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 4 Anchovy Filets
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup White Wine or Hard Cider
  • 2 cups Red or Green Lentils – or Split Peas (green or yellow)
  • 1-2 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (yielding about 1 cup)
  • 2 Carrots, cut into chunks (yielding about 1/2 cup)
  • Toppings for Each Portion
  • 1 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Chili Crunch
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Parsley Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Sour Cream
  • Herby Green Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Parsley
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt

Instructions

1

In a dutch oven or large heavy bottom pot, combine the diced onion, minced garlic and 3-4 anchovy filets with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Season with a pinch of Kosher salt. Sauté while stirring occasionally until the onions are soft.

2

When the onions are soft (about 5-7 minutes) pour in the white wine.

3

Let the wine vigorously simmer until it's reduced by about half (7 minutes, or so). Add the carrot, potatoes and lentils. Then add 8 cups of water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes.

4

The soup will be thick and most of the liquid will be absorbed and cooked off. If you want an emulsified soup, use an immersion blender or blend the soup in batches in a blender to a smooth consistency.

5

Taste the soup for seasoning and add Kosher salt as needed. Remove from heat.

6

Ladle portions of the soup into wide bowls.

7

Drizzle on the balsamic vinegar. Then spoon on some chili oil, or chili crunch.

8

Dollop on the lemony, herby green sauce and follow that with dollops of sour cream.

Herby Green Sauce

9

To make the lemony parsley sauce, combine about 1/2 cup of chopped parsley with the juice and zest of 1 lemon. Stir and drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of Kosher salt. Mix well to combine.

You Might Also Like

  • Barbara
    February 14, 2022 at 8:24 am

    Those look like lentils, rather than split peas.

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 14, 2022 at 8:45 am

      Lol, Barbara! You’re right! The original recipe for this soup calls for split peas. I used Split Lentils. I have updated the post to reflect this and I also mention that you can use split lentils or split peas. Thank you for noticing that…I had split peas on the brain! Happy Monday! xo Kelly

  • Mari
    February 14, 2022 at 9:14 am

    What a lovely recipe to wake up to on a cold morning. Winter has really arrived, and has held us in a tight grip since December. I have everything but the lentils which do not last long at my house. If it weren’t for you, I don’t think I would know what Chili Crunch is. Since discovering it, I am a fan. I am looking forward to a big batch of this yummy soup, and a few days of leftovers. Happy Monday and lots of sunshine to Kelly, Alex, Terry and the three Musketeers: Dante, Sophie and Penny, and of course, the blog sisters.

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 14, 2022 at 9:35 am

      Good morning, Mari! A hot bowl of soup is a comforting thing to look forward to on a cold winter day. It’s around this time of year that I am so over the cold temperatures. I can see my neighbor’s Japanese Magnolia buds about to burst into bloom and it just doesn’t seem right that it’s still so cold out! But I have it relatively easy, no snow. I am happy you’re a fan of chili crunch! We sure do love it here. Have a great Monday, do let me know how you like the soup. xo Kelly

  • Carroll
    February 14, 2022 at 9:19 am

    I am going to use green split peas. I have recently discovered chile crunch and it is good on anything!

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 14, 2022 at 9:36 am

      Hi Carroll, green split peas will make a great version of this soup. And you are 100% right about the chili crunch, it is good on anything and everything! Let me know how it all comes out for you, have a great Monday! xo Kelly

  • Terry
    February 14, 2022 at 10:42 am

    Good morning, this looks amazing our weather is changing here from summer like warmth to finally back to the 50’s and lower. Rain is finally in our forecast for the weekend we will be having g this then. I love this take on an old tradition I’ll keep you posted. Mari and Kelly have a great Monday ?❤️ Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 14, 2022 at 12:57 pm

      Glad you’ll be getting some rain, Mom. I think you and grandma will really enjoy this soup! xo Kelly