Average: 5 (2 votes)
Active time
15 minutes
Total time
30 minutes
4 Servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 quart vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup red lentils

Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

Salt and pepper

Crumbled feta cheese or hard-boiled egg for garnish (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cumin and cook, stirring, for one minute longer.
  3. Add the tomato paste, stir until smooth, and add the stock and lentils. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft. Add 1 cup of water if the soup seems too thick.
  4. Puree in batches in a food processor or blender, return to the pot, and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve garnished with feta cheese or diced hard-boiled egg.

Variations: You can make this soup with green or brown lentils, but they will require longer cooking to soften.

An Oldways recipe, photo courtesy of Sarahdoow-Fotolia.com


Calories: 210; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Sodium: 270mg; Carbohydrates: 21g; Fiber: 5g; Protein: 9g.

Yield: 4 Servings

How'd it Taste?

This is a five-star base recipe for someone who's never cooked a lentil soup before! I made some minor changes, and it still came out delicious. I am not the biggest fan of straight cumin, but added it anyway since I've never eaten it in a recipe like this. Then I did some googling while it simmered, and decided I really wanted more of a curry flavor, so I added a little in addition to the cumin - being careful not to overwhelm (I think in the future I might do 50/50). I didn't have any celery on hand, so I sliced up a few baby carrots and then added some celery seed (1/4 tsp). My soup was nowhere near too thick to need more water to blend; I may have lost some lentils in the rinsing process (the most tedious part for me - I need to learn a better trick for that or get a larger mesh strainer). I actually thickened it up a little with a slurry, and made a hard boiled egg on the side, and topped it with shredded coconut. Would love to test next time making it with a coconut milk or coconut flour slurry to thicken if needed to add that flavor right into the soup. Delicious!
I made this recipe exactly as it was described. It was delicious, quick, easy and I’m definitely making this recipe again.
Question I am hoping you can answer - is it a full head of celery or one stick?!?! Earlier in the book a sandwich serving 1 uses 1 stalk and its one stick!
Hi Courtney, One stalk is the correct measurement. But if you'd like, feel free to add more!

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