Marcel's Lentil Soup is a wonderful tomato based lentil soup. This Dutch oven lentil soup is full of flavor and simple to make, this is one recipe you will want to follow again and again!
Dutch Oven Lentil Soup
Marcel was one of the most amazing women I'd ever known. She was so kind and generous with her heart and spirit. I consider myself lucky we crossed paths. May she rest in peace.
She taught me many things in and outside of the kitchen; too many to list here. What I can do is share some of her favorite recipes with you. Many of her favorites were mine too! And this lentil soup was just one of them.
I was never a huge lentil fan before Marcel served me her wonderful lentil soup. Now, thanks to her, I became a lentil soup fanatic! I make it regularly and lots of it, because I can freeze it and it freezes beautifully!
If you enjoy tomato-based soups as much as I do, then Marcel's Lentil Soup is right up your alley. Healthy and delicious, it's a win-win all around.
I can't wait to hear what you think! Please take a moment to let me know. I'm always grateful to hear what you have to say.
What are Lentils?
Lentils are legumes which are basically plants that have pods with seeds in them. A group of legumes is called pulses and they're the edible seeds we eat. This group of legumes includes dried peas, beans, chickpeas and, you guessed it, lentils! And lentils are our focus here.
Lentil is the Latin word for lens and that's kind of what it looks like. The shape of an eye.
Since the dawn of man, lentils have become ingrained in many cultures. Initially from the east and Mediterranean, lentils have become a sustainable source of protein and fiber. And they're embedded in countless wonderful dishes around the world. Lentil soup is just one of many.
In addition to being delicious, they're also an amazing source of protein and fiber, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to fill up on healthy food instead of junky stuff. Lentils will fill you up!
Different kinds of Lentils
Any type of lentil is a good lentil in my books!
When I think of lentils, red automatically comes to mind. But there are also black, brown and green. Some cook quicker than others. Red lentils take a little longer.
The enriched lentil soup recipe I mention below, calls for brown lentils. Use whatever color you like. If using dried, just remember to follow the directions.
Marcel's lentil soup calls for red lentils because they turn to mush easily, which makes them ideal in soups. Plus, I like their color. And when I add carrots and tomatoes, that beautiful color intensifies!
Keep in mind red lentils also make a great thickener for sauces. But that's another story for another time.
Canned Lentils or dried Lentils?
No doubt, using canned lentils is convenient. But take note, that canned contains sodium. Whereas, dried do not. If using canned and don't want the sodium, rinse them in a strainer first.
It may surprise you that dried red lentils cook fairly quickly. Usually 15-20 minutes or so. They should be rinsed first before boiling them. Follow the package directions and you can't go wrong.
I recommend using dried lentils because they don't require soaking and only a modicum of cooking time, making them great for fresh taste without a ton of work.
Marcel's Lentil Soup Recipe
There was a time when my son wouldn't even look at this soup. Before he even tried it, he'd say he didn't like it. I would say, "how do you know until you try it"? He could never answer me, but that didn't stop him from being stubborn! Have you ever had those kinds of conversations with your kids? I'll bet you have!
I caught him once putting his lentil soup in the dog bowl! Before I could pull it away, my dog, Biggie, lapped it so fast, I didn't have a chance. I knew it wasn't good for him. But he had an iron stomach, and it didn't seem to affect him in the least.
Now, I can't keep my son away from this soup! When I'd make a load of it, he'd tell me not to freeze it because he was going to eat it. True to his word, he did! In 2 days, the entire batch would be gone!
I'd see him dab several squirts of hot sauce over it and go to town. His appetite was ferocious. That never sat well with my husband. He didn't stand a chance for seconds. Nor did I.
Soups can be so satisfying and Marcel's lentil soup really delivers! Follow this lentil soup recipe and you'll know what I'm talking about.
This enhanced lentil soup recipe calls for more than what's in the recipe card. A few additional spices and ingredients go a long way and make this soup extra special!
It doesn't take much to make this delicious recipe. You might look at the ingredients below and think, "What's your definition of 'doesn't take much,'" but if you look closer, you'll see that several of these ingredients are simply spices that you already have in your spice rack. In fact, you probably have most of the ingredients you need for this recipe in your kitchen right now. Heck, you might even have all of them! Here's what you'll need.
- 1 cup of diced onions
- 1 cup of carrots, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup of pasta sauce
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 cups of lentils, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
Making Tomato Based Lentil Soup
Making this soup is super simple. You only need to do a little sauteeing, and the rest is simply a matter of pouring in ingredients and simmering for about 20 minutes. It's a super simple recipe that comes together so quickly and makes an absolutely delicious, hearty meal that everyone loves. Take a look!
- Add olive oil to a large sauce pan or Dutch oven pot. Heat oil on medium heat. Then add onion and carrots. Sauté until soft; about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, oregano, cumin, curry, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook until fragrant; about 1 minute. Add pasta sauce, vegetable broth and lentils. Stir and scrape any bits from bottom. Bring to boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lentils have softened.
- Puree 1 cup of soup with an immersion blender or use a traditional blender until smooth. Add mixture back into soup, along with lemon juice, and stir until well-combined.
- Serve with an additional squeeze of lemon and a dash of hot sauce, if desired. That's what my son does. He can't live without it.
*Pasta sauce is more flavorful than plain tomato sauce. But feel free to use what you like.
*In this particular recipe, I use brown lentils. As I mentioned earlier, different colored lentils cook differently. Other colors generally take longer to cook and might not produce the same consistency as this recipe.
*Will freeze up to 3 months and still have great flavor.
Ingredients for Lentil Soup
A more simplified version of this soup uses fewer ingredients. It still comes together quickly and tastes delicious. It's just not quite the same flavor. It's an excellent variation to use to switch things up.
- red lentils
- canned tomatoes
- bay leaves
Other Optional Ingredients
Add chopped celery. Consider other spices like basil, thyme and turmeric. Although I've never tried it, coconut milk gives lentil soup a different flavor.
How do you make Lentil Soup?
If using canned lentils, skip this step. Lentils can be soaked in water for 24 hours, but it's not necessary. Before cooking them, give them a quick rinse and drain.
Place all of the ingredients into a large pot.
Cover and bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for two to two half hours.
Be sure lentils are well cooked.
Do not hesitate to add more water until you reach your desired consistency.
What do I serve with Lentil Soup?
Squeeze some fresh lemon in the soup or sprinkle some cheese over top.
Lentil soup goes well with any of these sides:
- Rice (Jasmine or Basmati for example)
- Crusty bread or rolls
- Salad (garden or Caesar)
I'm sure there are others. I just can't think of any right now.
Other Soups to Try
My lovable neighbor and amateur taste-tester, Renate, said from the get-go she wasn't a fan of lentils. So Marcel's lentil soup wasn't for her. That's okay. You can't like everything, right?
She's tried a number of these other soups and swears by them! She's still working her way down the list. Stay tuned for her reviews.
Whether you're a fan of Marcel's lentil soup or not, there are other soups to try! Give them a shot and don't forget to tell me about your experiences.
Give Marcel's Lentil Soup a Try
This tomato based lentil soup is absolutely delicious, and it's so incredibly easy to make. Filled with veggies, lentils, and spices, this Dutch oven lentil soup is a hearty dish that everyone loves. It's perfect for fall and winter days when you need to warm up with something hot and hearty in your belly. Give this lentil soup a try, and I know you'll love it as much as my family does!
Marcel's Lentil soup
- Large pot or Dutch oven
- 2 cups red lentils, canned and drained. Or use dried. Follow directions.
- 2 tblsp dill, fresh, chopped, or dillseed or less to taste
- 1 tblsp garlic, minced
- ½ cup butter
- 2 oz. cans (28 oz) tomatoes, diced
- 1 tblsp salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped (optional)
- 2 cups vegetable broth or cold water
- 2 bay leaves
- Pull out and measure all of your ingredients.
- If using canned lentils, skip this step. Soak lentils in water for 24 hours. Or rinse under runing water. Drain.
- Place all of the ingredients into a large pot.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for two to two half hours.
- Do not hesitate to add more water until you reach desired consistency. Enjoy!