Hearty Lentil Soup with Spinach

Published January 1, 2004.

Why this recipe works:

We wanted a lentil soup recipe that would give us a brightly colored and flavored soup that was hearty but not too thick, with a subtle, smoky depth from meat. We sweated the lentils in a covered pan with aromatic vegetables and bacon before adding the liquid, which helped them hold their… read more

We wanted a lentil soup recipe that would give us a brightly colored and flavored soup that was hearty but not too thick, with a subtle, smoky depth from meat. We sweated the lentils in a covered pan with aromatic vegetables and bacon before adding the liquid, which helped them hold their shape. Pureeing some of the soup added body and texture, and finishing our lentil soup recipe with a splash of balsamic vinegar brightened the dish.

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Makes about 2 quarts, serving 4 to 6

Lentils du Puy, sometimes called French green lentils, are our first choice for this recipe, but brown, black, or regular green lentils are fine, too. Note that cooking times will vary depending on the type of lentils used. Lentils lose flavor with age, and because most packaged lentils do not have expiration dates, try to buy them from a store that specializes in natural foods and grains. Before use, rinse and then carefully sort through the lentils to remove small stones and pebbles. The soup can be made in advance. After adding the vinegar in step 2, cool the soup to room temperature and refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 2 days. To serve, heat it over medium-low until hot, then stir in the parsley.

Ingredients

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