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Tomato Lentil Soup

Tomato Lentil SoupLentils are a large part of the vegetarian diet due to their high protein content. So I hear. They are commonly combined with a grain such as rice to form a complete protein (a protein containing all essential amino acids). Apart from protein, lentils are beneficial due to their dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and minerals such as folate and magnesium. High soluble fiber serves as a blood sugar stabilizer.

Although lentils come in all colors: brown, black, red, green and white, their shape remains the same. Here in Peru, we have one color which comes in two sizes, Lentejon (large lentil) and Lentejita (tiny lentil). I used to go on long outrageous searches for the tiny sized lentils, claiming that they tasted oh-so-much-better. Now, they are sold packaged at the supermarket!

Intriguingly, lentils are named after the word lens, whose shape they also resemble.

Tomato Lentil Soup

Yield: Serves 4

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light


  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of dried lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 dried red chile pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; cook 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add water, dried lentils, bay leaves, and chile. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce, vinegar, salt, and black pepper; discard bay leaves and chile.

Tomato Lentil Soup is my submission for No Croutons Required – Simply Vegetarian Soups. NCR was inspired by Holler from Tinned Tomatoes and this month is hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen.


11 Responses to “Tomato Lentil Soup”

  1. Great photos! You lentil soup looks so comforting and good.

    Posted by Karen | February 17, 2008, 11:34 pm
  2. This soup looks fantastic! I plan on making it tomorrow. I just know it will be a huge hit at my house, thanks!

    Posted by ~Madeline~ | February 18, 2008, 3:49 am
  3. Hi Gretchen, your soup looks hearty and delicious. Iy would be perfect for a chilly winter’s day with some crusty bread.

    Posted by Cakelaw | February 18, 2008, 6:38 am
  4. I always used brown lentils, then I hooked on black lentils which retain their shape better when cooked. Now I can’t find them anymore. It would be better if I had only large or small to choose from! Your soup looks like it would warm the belly and the heart. Lentil soup is ultimate comfort food for me.

    Posted by Susan from Food Blogga | February 18, 2008, 8:04 am
  5. I don’t use lentils nearly enough. This sounds so tasty!

    Posted by Deborah | February 18, 2008, 1:28 pm
  6. Yum! This looks great-I just made lentil soup last night, but can’t wait to try yours!

    Posted by rebecca | February 18, 2008, 9:06 pm
  7. Karen – The soup was indeed comforting and tasty! Thanks!Madeline – Hope you enjoy it!Cakelaw – I was thinking that crusty bread would go fabulously with this!Susan – I too loved black lentils. But I cannot fill my suitcases with them! I love the baby sized ones they have here now. Deborah – I never used a lot of lentils before moving to Peru, now I really do enjoy them. A lot!Rebecca – Hope you enjoy this recipe as well!

    Posted by Gretchen Noelle | February 19, 2008, 9:16 am
  8. That sounds yummy – I love soup! And I have some lentils in my pantry.

    Posted by Suzana | February 19, 2008, 3:29 pm
  9. Lentil soup is for sure my favorite soup of all and as a matter of fact my mom and I are making it tomorrow. We are using the small petit pois lentils (sp??) but everything else looks very similar to the ingredients you are using here. Delicious!

    Posted by Aran Goyoaga | February 19, 2008, 8:00 pm
  10. Mmmmmm….looks so yummy! Too bad my boyfriend won’t touch anything resembling tomato soup…maybe I can trick him (green food dye?) into this delicious lentil soup.

    Posted by Sarah | February 19, 2008, 9:01 pm
  11. Thank you for posting this recipe, it is very delicious, filling, and simple to make.I have made it twice now, and modified it. The second time I made it was the day my Grandpa died (some people grief clean, I cook). I took the pot over to my Grandma’s house and we (the whole family, about 10 people) had it for lunch the next day.My modifications are as follows; added 2 tbsp butter (adds to the flavor), used dried chili flakes instead of a whole pepper (makes it spicier), added a can of diced tomatoes, didn’t have sauce so I used tomato paste + 1 extra cup of water. Next pot I’ll be adding zucchini and red potatoes diced/chopped. Just 1 cup is very filling. The rest freezes well and is an easy grab from the freezer for lunches. It is also nice served over rice.Again thank you for posting this recipe, I am really enjoying it.Peace, M – from California

    Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2008, 5:26 pm

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