Meat Free Monday: Lentil Soup with Lemon

by Angela on December 20, 2011

Do you know the word association game…I say a word and you say the first thing that comes to mind?  Well when anyone says “Lentil” my first thought is “Yentl”…strange association, I know.  And I’m not a big Yentl fan, so maybe it’s not surprising that I’ve never cooked with lentils before.  Or maybe it’s just the fact that I don’t know what the heck to do with them! 

Some tidbits about Lentils:

  • Health magazine selected lentils as one of the world’s healthiest foods.
  • Lentils should not be eaten raw and some require soaking overnight before preparation.  Be sure to read the package before cooking.
  • Lentils are a great source of protein, containing almost all essential amino acids.
  • Lentils are high in fiber, with green lentils having higher fiber content than red lentils.
  • Lentils have high iron content, making them good for preventing iron-deficiency.

I’m disappointed in myself for not introducing this healthy food to my family’s diet sooner!

Recently I was at a restaurant (see American Flatbread article) and had the pleasure of sampling their new lentil soup.  It was delicious! So I thought I’d try to make a lentil soup for my family for meat-free Monday.   The recipe I found was not like the restaurants (theirs had more of a tomato flavor) but it was just as good.  My husband really liked it and my 7 year old ate some and said it was good.  I think the texture threw him off a bit as it’s partly chunky and partly pureed.  But I loved it and will definitely make this again and again.  My only complaint was that the original recipe made enough for one family meal with just a little leftover.  I will definitely double the recipe next time!  I hope you enjoy!

Lentil Soup with Lemon


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

1 (32 ounce) carton chicken broth (I used vegetable broth to make it meat-free)

1 cup red lentils (I used green lentils because that’s what I had already purchased)

1 large carrot, diced

2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

1 pinch chili powder


1.Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook until the onion has turned golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon of chili powder. Cook and stir 2 minutes more until the spices are fragrant.

2.Stir in the chicken broth, lentils, and carrot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

3.Pour half of the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot. Do not puree all of the soup, leave it a little chunky.

4.Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro, then season to taste with salt. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of chili powder to serve.

Link to us on Social Media

Comments on this entry are closed.

Kari February 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Looks delicious! I’ll be making this soon!

Nicole Jones February 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

That sounds delish and with the temperature dropping I may not wait until next Monday to try it!

Previous post:

Next post: