Lentil Vegetable Soup (a recipe)

Now this strikes me as very odd indeed. Exactly a year ago, I posted a recipe for Pea Soup (that posting is here). Tonight I had the sudden irrational impulse to post my recipe for lentil vegetable soup (& am just about to do so). You tell me why exactly a year after posting the one recipe, I suddenly felt the need to post this other? Life is just too darn weird sometimes (I mean, what’s the deal with November 6th??)

Anyway. I seem to be having a very challenging Fall. I know I am not alone. Today was a very challenging day – so I decided to make a batch of what is now my very favourite soup: lentil vegetable.

Like that pea soup recipe I posted a year ago, this is another that sat in my recipe box for an eon before I finally actually made it. This one was printed in the Toronto Star on December 30, 1992 – to be very precise. (I used to be very precise myself – am much less so now; slight understatement). Anyway, it’s a hoot to think it sat in the recipe box for close to 20 years before becoming the star of the show. Maybe there’s a metaphor in there…who knows??

I do know this: this soup is fast & easy to make, & it’s comfort food, not just to me, but to the folks I’m living with now, too. It’s just really really good!! And it really hit the spot today – very grateful to have made the acquaintance of red lentils, I gotta say!!

Here’s the recipe:

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Note: I always double this recipe. It doubles well, & I’m always glad I did!!  

** also, I use organic ingredients. Don’t panic, it’s organic!

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp. curry powder or cumin (I prefer cumin)

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1 rib celery, diced (if you don’t have any, just leave it out; tastes good with or without it!)

  • 1 potato, diced

  • 1 cup red lentils, picked over & rinsed

  • 4 cups water or chicken or vegetable stock (I use organic vegetable bouillon)

  • salt & pepper to taste; complete seasoning after soup has cooked

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice – or to taste (I never have this around, & the soup tastes great without it)


  1. Heat oil in large pot.

  2. Add onions & garlic & cook ‘till tender; about 5 minutes.

  3. Add curry or cumin & cook 30 seconds more.

  4. Add carrots, celery & potatoes & combine.

  5. Stir in lentils & liquid.

  6. Bring to a boil. Add a little salt & pepper (I never even do this.)

  7. Cook gently for 30 minutes.

  8. You can purée it – or purée half of it, or do as I do, & don’t purée it at all!

  9. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper & lemon juice (if you don’t have any, don’t worry about it. Tastes fine either way.)

Recipe says it serves 4-5.

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

A few more gems: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” – Helen Keller

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” – James D. Miles

“Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.” – James B. Conant