My mother used to make this lentil soup pretty regularly when I was a kid. And I hated it. Absolutely hated it. Which is why when I called my mother a couple of weeks ago for the recipe, she at first thought I was kidding. I wasn’t. I figured since I’ve enjoyed eating lentils lately I might finally enjoy my mom’s soup.
Granted I did make some changes to the recipe. Sorry Mom. I took out the chicken bouillon cube (because ew) and replaced it with organic chicken broth, added more lentils and a lot more cayenne pepper (a full teaspoon as opposed to “a pinch”).
I’m really happy with the result, especially with the added cayenne pepper. It really gives the soup a few more layers of flavor. But I should warn everyone: this soup is NOT paleo. White potatoes and lentils are on the no-no list for paleo. So this unfortunately isn’t even close to Whole30 approved.
(In case you were wondering, white potatoes aren’t paleo because they can cause an increase in blood sugar, which then can cause you to crash when it goes back down. Most paleo principles are there to keep your blood sugar at a nice stable level. Lentils are similar in that they are more carbohydrate than anything else. But lentils also contain phytic acid, which binds to nutrients in food, preventing you from absorbing them. Meaning if you’re eating lentils (or beans) as a staple in your diet, you might also find yourself low on vitamins and minerals).
But this soup is still gluten, dairy and soy free. So that’s good enough for me.
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 6 small white potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups lentils
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tomatoes (Roma), chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
For this recipe you’ll actually prepare the ingredients in two separate pots and then mix together for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
In a large soup pot, add your chicken broth, water, chopped potatoes, chopped carrots, lentils, basil, cayenne and bay leaf. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil.
When your soup reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Once the soup pot has been simmering for 15-20 minutes, start cooking your chopped tomatoes, minced garlic and shallot in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a separate small pot. Keep the heat around medium and stir. Keep your eyes on it because you want it to become soft but you don’t want it to burn. Cook each pot separately for about 10 minutes.
After your main soup has been simmering for 30 minutes total, add the tomato/garlic mixture. Give it a good stir, then simmer it all together for another 15 minutes.
This soup is probably more for the colder months, but seeing as it was freezing today I thought it was perfect. It’s super filling. And this will make enough soup for at least 5 meals. Make a big batch on Sunday and eat it all week.
What about you? Got any family recipes you love now but weren’t a fan of as a child?