Lentil Soup: The Ugly Yum

Since the first time my college rommate's mama came to visit us in NYC with some homemade lentil soup, I have absolutely loved this dish. Admittedly, it took some cajoling to get me to try it at first because, well, let's face it: it's not pretty. And I didn't even know what a lentil was. (I'm from Southern California, people.) But it was crazy good and I've been inclined to order this hearty delight whenever I see it on a menu.

As I've become more confident in the kitchen (or at least more willing to make an epic mess and/or less-than-stellar meal), it made sense to explore some of my favorite dishes in hopes of finding my own recipe to enjoy over and over again. It wasn't long before lentil soup crossed my mind and made it onto my must-make list. Now I just needed a basic recipe to get me on the right track. Enter, Angela and OSG.

I have followed Angela over at Oh She Glows for a while now, and her recipes always inspire me. Her ingredients are fresh, organic and vegan, and the breakdowns make me feel like I can tackle her creative fare with authority and a better chance of making something edible my first go 'around. (Side note: she recently announced that she'll be releasing a cookbook in early 2014. I'm so excited to work my way through it.)

I used her Curried Lentil Soup recipe as my foundation, sticking pretty closely to her directions minus the curry. (Yes, I realize that's a fairly crucial omission for Curried Lentil Soup, but I was ascared. I didn't even know in what form you buy curry. Me: "Is it in a jar? What aisle would it be on? What the what?" But, as I learned to correctly prepare lentils, I'm sure cooking with curry isn't far behind. I even know what forms it comes in now.* Growth, peeps.)

The result:

A bowl full o' yum

So good and so easy. I've actually made this several times since first trying it, and I like the texture better when I made it the first time. I didn't so much measure my lentils (oops) so I had to keep adding water to keep them covered, but they still softened up just right and it wasn't too runny (though I did still blend some of the mixture in a blender and stir it back in to thicken it up a bit, which is a great tip). The second time (photo above) I got broth happy because I was using some of M's delicious homemade veggie stock, so it was less dense. But this version was prettier, so that's the pic you get. I, per usual, also added some shredded Parm to top it off.

This is now one of our favorite dishes and I love making a big batch to enjoy for leftovers. I keep lentils stocked in my pantry so that this protein-packed meal is just a few chops and simmer away. (More lentil love here and here.) Next round: curry me!

Have you attempted a new recipe lately? Tell me about it (good, bad or ugly...).

*FYI, it's available as a powder, a paste and a sauce. It's typically found in the Asian or Indian section, usually in a small jar or bottle. Could I have come to this conclusion by following Angela's recipe? Yes. Yes, I could've.


  1. Lentil soup was a staple in my house growing up and I eat the crap out of it still. These days I just buy progresso since I can't get my husband to eat it, but I'll have to try this recipe bc it looks dang delicious. I cooked up a crockpot recipe called cilantro lime chicken. It was awesome. I posed the recipe on my blog too. :)

  2. I've had decent canned lentil soup, for sure, but now that I know how easy it is to make from scratch, I'm all over it. And your recipe sounds delish! I could just roll around in cilantro. Love that stuff.

  3. That looks soooo good! I've never had it. Thanks for linking the recipe. :D See!!! We should all try new things. Cool

  4. YES! I love Lentil Soup! Except you HAVE to make it with Creme Fraiche on top! It makes all the difference!

  5. Ooooo. Things just. got. interesting!