Posted by: njbrown | September 19, 2011

Ina Garten’s Lentil Vegetable Soup – Slightly Modified

Lentil Vegetable Soup

I have never been highly motivated to make soup, but with fall in the air, the idea of soup became appealing.  Many soups begin with sautéing bacon, but that immediately eliminates the dish for my vegan daughter, and I was wanting to make a soup that we all could have.  After much searching, I found this recipe from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa.  Among the ingredients are green lentils, leeks, carrots and red wine.  The resulting soup is very hearty, and it got five stars from most of the people who made it.  Often noted by cooks providing feedback is that the recipe makes a great deal of soup – more than the eight to ten servings Ina indicated.  I cut the recipe in half and had six generous servings.  To “veganize” our soup, I used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and omitted the parmesan cheese.  My other modification was to use a Julia-sized “splash” of red wine – probably at least a quarter cup.  Julia didn’t believe in being stingy with alcohol.


  • 1 pound French green lentils
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large onions)
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white part only (2 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • ¼ cup good olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on top
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups medium-diced celery (8 stalks)
  • 3 cups medium-diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large stockpot on medium heat, sauté the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender.  (Twenty minutes seems like a very long time.  I stopped when translucency was achieved.  Nancy)
  3. Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through.
  5. Check the seasonings. Add the red wine and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.


  1. “Julia didn’t believe in being stingy with alcohol” Love it!

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