A lentil soup is the perfect beginner’s soup. For reasons that seem silly to me now, making soup was initially an intimidating task. There were some pretty simple, basic details that eluded me. Like, that most of a soup is just stock. Hell, I didn’t know what stock was.
Once I realized that soup is essentially stock plus seasoned veggies that you sauté, I felt free to finally shift into soup mode. To get started, I followed my wife’s lead and learned to make a simple lentil soup. Over time, I started making it my own with the addition of smoked paprika and potatoes because, well, I love potatoes. It’s the perfect merging of my Ashkenazi and Irish heritage.
The recipe is below complete with the requisite measurements. But as most home cooks will tell you, I don’t actually measure things when I cook. I listen to my gut and taste test. The key is to make sure you have enough stock for the soup. I make my own vegetable stock that can fill up my dutch oven. Although I say 4-5 cups in the recipe, I generally just pour enough stock into the dutch oven so that it almost fills it up because it’s going to reduce later on. Also, I like my lentil soup spicy so I go a bit heavier with the cayenne pepper. Play around and make it your own!
Lentil Potato Soup
- Dutch Oven
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 onion diced
- 3-5 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper more to taste
- 1 stem fresh basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 10 small potatoes
- 4-5 cups vegetable stock
- Parmesan cheese grated
- Scallions chopped
- Fresh dill
- Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil into a dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add one chopped onion with a pinch of kosher salt and sauté for about 7-10 minutes until translucent.
- When the onion is translucent, add your garlic and sauté for another minute or two before adding the carrots (chopped like coins), celery, and potatoes. Cover with a pinch of kosher salt and sauté for another 7-10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
- Then, add your tomato paste and cup of lentils. Move everything around the pan and then season with your smoked and sweet paprika, cayenne pepper, fresh basil, oregano, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add your tomato sauce and vegetable stock. Use about 4-5 cups or enough so that you've got enough soup after about 1/4 or so reduces.
- Bring your soup to a boil then lower to a simmer and cover for about 30 minutes or until the lentils and potatoes are soft.
- Fill your bowl with the soup, making sure to include a mix of veggies.
- Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, chopped scallions, and fresh dill. Add salt to taste and serve.