Monday, February 27, 2012

The Lowly, Lovely, Iron-Filled Lentil

In the comments section of my post earlier this morning, Sparkless over at Madness from the Brink of Insanity said she could use a good lentil soup recipe. I'm almost positive I posted this recipe a year or so back, but do you think I can locate it? Nope. (I know . . . here comes another lecture from my dear daughter on the wisdom of labeling my posts. Bad, Mama Pea, bad. Sigh.)

I had never even seen a lentil until I married into my husband's family. His mom cooked them often because a niece of hers who stayed with them frequently when she was growing up had been diagnosed as anemic and told she should eat a lot of lentils for their iron content. Whether lentils are nutritious or not (they are), I found I loved the taste of them and have enjoyed them prepared in many ways over the years.

But back to the soup. This recipe is super-easy to throw together, very flavorful and I make it often. It freezes well so I always make a giant pot of it and store it in quart containers in the freezer. The original recipe was found in "Laurel's Kitchen," the 1978 Edition, and I've adapted it a bit. I've probably gone through about a ton and a half of lentils in the past however-many-years making this soup.


2-1/2 cups lentils
10 cups water or vegetable or chicken or beef broth
(Its' still a yummy soup made with just water.)
1 medium chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 carrot sliced
1 rib of celery sliced
1 medium potato cubed
2 tablespoons oil or butter
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
Good sprinkle of black pepper
2 teaspoons vinegar, apple cider or wine

Put all of the ingredients except the vinegar in a large soup pot, bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, stirring now and then until the lentils are very soft, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove the bay leaves, add the vinegar and serve. Serves 8-10.

This soup is excellent served with homemade croutons.

Being from "Laurel's Kitchen," it was originally a vegetarian recipe, and a darn good one. But if you want to add ham chunks, sliced sausage (as ours had today much to the chagrin of Chicken Mama [the non-meat eater] who popped in for lunch) or some other meat, that's fine, too.

If you have any left to reheat the next day, the flavor is even better.

Sparkless, I hope you give this a try and that your family likes it.


  1. Just curious - who was the neice that stayed with us often?

  2. brother pea - This was probably more when E and R were young, I suppose. Before you came on the scene! The niece was E.H. Her mom died when she was just . . . what, about 10? Your mom used to talk about her staying with her, your dad, Grandma S. and Aunt J. when the family lived in Berwyn.

  3. Thanks so much Mama Pea! I've been trying to add more healthy foods to our diet and since I'm not one of nature's good cooks I need a tried and true recipe.
    I will be attempting this soup tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.

  4. this is new? new site to comment,I will try the soup,surprising ing. [potatoes and vinegar ] we love lentil soup,especially Jerry.I tried to jump start my metabolism;ism with apple cider vinegar over Ive water,it jump started me alright-go ahead ,just try it!

  5. Thanks for the great recipe. I use lentils quite often and am always looking for new recipes. Thanks Mama Pea.

  6. I think seeing your posts about your soups over the past few years is what has gotten me to start using them. I have never made a "lentil soup" but I sure do throw them into almost every other kind of soup LOL!

  7. Did you know you are missing the "subscribe to comments" option too? Seems like most blogs this morning it has disappeared in this new comment box...

  8. Sparkless - You're very welcome. Sure hope it works for you and your Hungry Hermans!

    judy - The "new" comment site threw me also. What will they think of next? Yep, a smidge of apple cider vinegar is supposed to cure all kinds of our ills! I've heard of many people who take some in a glass of water every day.

    Lorie - You're very welcome! I have a good lentil burger recipe I should put on the blog. If you like lentils, I think you'd like it.

    Erin - I'm starting to get the sneaky suspicion we are at the mercy of whatever Blogger decides to do. This new "form" looks streamlined from the old, no? Is this good??

    P.S. Keep tossing those lentils in things . . . they be goooood for you!

  9. Good Morning Mama Pea~guess we've both got beans on our minds as I made ham'n bean soup yesterday but have never tried lentil soup. Most curious to ask as what does the vinegar add to the soup? It sounds delicious and we shall try your recipe. We're trying to eat healthier here too.

  10. Mama Pea,

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I love lentil soup! My grandma made it often. I can't seem to make it as delicious as she did!

    Can't wait to try your recipe!

  11. Poppy - Glad to do it! I hope this recipe tastes something like your grandma's did.

  12. I think that lentils are my favorite 'grain' of all. I have them at least once a week. Does that mean I can leap tall building in a single bound? Probably not - but they sure are yummy!

  13. Susan - I think we all know you are already our Iron Woman. Keep on with those lentils!

  14. I've been wanting to try a good lentil soup, but never had the courage. With your trusted recipe, now I will! As soon as the snow is gone and I can go to the coop to buy lentils... Hope you guys get lots of the white stuff!

  15. Jo - Lentils are fairly cheap and so good for you. I think soups are the greatest "convenience" food for us homesteaders so I sure hope you like this recipe!