I fancied a hearty soup for lunch today which usually involves lentils in our home, so I asked Paul – brown or red lentils in your soup? Brown lentils won the vote, and so I decided to make this french lentil soup with chunky vegetables.
It is so easy to make and full of goodness. I used onion, celery, potatoes and carrots but you can use any vegetables you like. The classic french lentil and vegetable soup uses celeriac which is also nice – but I don’t have any in so I improvised.
You heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a stockpot and add all the vegetables and some bay leaves, a cinnamon stick and some cloves and cook stirring for a few minutes over a medium heat.
For the health benefits, I soak the dried lentils for an hour with a little cider vinegar, but this is not necessary – it is up to you. Rinse the lentils thoroughly before adding to the pan with some garlic, cumin, parsley, oregano and thyme and cook for a further two minutes.
Add a splash of red wine vinegar and some chopped tomatoes, then top up with vegetable stock.
Let it simmer for an hour and the enjoy the wonderful smells , the lentils should become soft but still have a slight bite to them.
Stir in some kale and fresh parsley towards the end of cooking and add salt to taste.
French Lentil and Vegetable Soup
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 2 medium carrots roughly chopped
- 3 medium potatoes roughly chopped
- 1 stick celery roughly chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- 500 grams brown lentils rinsed thoroughly
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp dried thyme (or fresh if you have this)
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- handful kale
- fresh parsley
- salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a stockpot and add the vegetables, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils, garlic, red wine vinegar, dried herbs and cumin and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer on a low heat for 1 hour (check lentils are cooked).
- Stir in the kale and fresh parsley and add salt to taste.