Go-To Lentil Soup

lentil soup

This recipe is easy. It’s healthful. It’s a quick dinner that can be pulled together at the last minute. It makes for great leftover lunches. It uses garlic, onions, peppers and stock that I’ve put up from my summer garden or made from my Thanksgiving turkey bones. Do my kids love it? No. But that’s what grilled cheese is for….


  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 1/2 cups stock (homemade if you’ve got it); can be vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup water (more if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Top with chopped parsley or sour cream (optional)


  1. In a Dutch oven or other large soup pot, heat olive oil, then add diced onion, pepper, carrots and celery.  Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in seasonings and tomato paste, and cook until heated, about 1 minute.
  3. Add stock, lentils and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until lentils are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Check after 20 minutes or so to see if more water is needed. Add up to 2 cups more water if needed to continue cooking the lentils and keep a soup-like consistency.
  4. Stir in vinegar. Serve warm, topped with chopped parsley or a dollop of sour cream, if desired.