Lentil soup sometimes gets a bad wrap. Bad lentil soup can be really bad. And it’s very hard to find a good one. I have made good batches in the past.
This recipe was adapted from my trusty The Joy of Cooking. I’ve been making this recipe for months now and it’s the best I’ve found. The balsamic vinegar really adds an extra boost in flavor.
adapted from The Joy of Cooking
1 lb. lentils, picked over and rinsed well
8-10 cups water, chicken, or vegetable broth (more or less depending on your preferred thickness)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ pieces
3-4 stalks of celery, rinsed well and cut into 1/4 ” pieces
1 large or 2 small onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
1, 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes plus juice, chopped
1/2-1 tsp. dried thyme
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot. Add the vegetables and cook on medium heat until tender, but not browned. Add the lentils, water, tomatoes, and dried thyme. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes, stirring often to prevent the bottom from burning.
Before serving, add balsamic vinegar. Taste and add more salt if needed, and pepper, to taste.
Makes enough for 8-10 people. Serve with warm bread (or biscuits) and salad.