This is the recipe I’ve cooked the most times in my life and my comfort food. It is the perfect bean soup, which is the perfect food. I’m amazed how flavorful this dish is despite being virtually unspiced.
Time: 55 minutes. Serves 8.
- Olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery (optional), chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz, including the juice
- 1 lb regular brown lentils
- 8 cups vegetable stock. For me, that’s 2.5 bouillon cubes from Edwards & Sons + 8 cups of water, thrown directly in the pot.
- A dash or two of smoked paprika or smoked salt (optional)
Saute the onions in ~4 tbsp (1/4 cup) olive oil for a few minutes. Add carrots and celery, cook for a few minutes. Add the can of tomatoes, cook for a few minutes. Add the lentils, stir, add the stock, add the smoke if desired. Cook until the lentils are soft, check around ~30 minutes but it may take more like 40-45. Adjust levels of salt, pepper, smoke. The smoke is optional, skip it or keep it very light – it’s just providing a faint background note.
Optional additions that work well at the table are parmesan cheese and lots of black pepper. Freeze the leftovers.
Notes & Tips
This was a standby of my mother’s. She got it from Marcella Hazan and when I first lived on my own she photocopied the recipe for me: