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Vegetarian Lentil Soup with Croutons

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This aromatic soup is brothy rather than thick. Dried lentils cook in about 20 minutes, just right for a homey simmered supper.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Photography: Anna Williams

Source: Everyday Food, December 2007

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 carrots, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 bag (1 pound) brown lentils, picked over
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 4 ounces sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add carrots, lentils, broth, bay leaf, cayenne, and 3 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

  2. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss bread with remaining tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Serve soup topped with croutons.

Cook's Notes

The lentils should be cooked until they're just tender so they stay intact instead of falling apart in the soup. To save time, bake the croutons while the soup cooks.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Hani Golan
    14 AUG, 2013
    disgusting, flavor is not good. very "flat" and why wouldn't it be?I mean, it's only onion, garlic, bay leaf, hot pepper, salt and black pepper. if you are making this soup (I don't reccomend) try adding about a teaspoon up to two teaspoons of cumin
    Reply
  • MS10784076
    2 JAN, 2009
    This soup was a nice change since we don't cook with lentils often. I don't even remember Mom cooking with lentils growing up.True, there's a lot of lentils in this soup. Added bonus, high in fiber
    Reply
  • MS10784076
    2 JAN, 2009
    This soup was a nice change since we don't cook with lentils often. I don't even remember Mom cooking with lentils growing up.True, there's a lot of lentils in this soup. Added bonus, high in fiber
    Reply
  • lois41
    12 DEC, 2008
    Yum! My children loved it!
    Reply
  • heather_eliot
    20 NOV, 2007
    Usually I love Martha's recipes, but I didn't care for this lentil soup recipe. The flavor was good, but it was VERY heavy on the lentils - obviously, it's lentil soup - but I prefer a lentil soup with a higher proportion of other veggies to lentils. This was more like a lentil stew with a few pieces of carrot here and there. It also made far more than 4 servings - we seemed to be eating it for days!
    Reply