French Lentil Soup: Splendidly Simple and Most Satisfactory

French Lentil Soup: Splendidly Simple and Most Satisfactory

Finally, the perfect lentil soup recipe! As not actually usual for me, I made it as written so I will copy and paste it here with the title linked to the recipe on that I used.

…Well, okay, I made ONE change. The recipe calls for 4 cups of vegetable broth. I had a cup of chicken broth that needed a home so I used that along with three cups of veggie broth. I did use freshly homemade veggie broth, but I don’t think the type of broth is going to make or break this recipe.

Okay, ONE other change: I used a quick squeeze of balsamic cream (Pastene brand that I picked up on a whim a few years ago) instead of a splash of balsamic vinegar. But, I am confident that the recipe is splendid as written.

Note to self: Get that balsamic cream out of the cabinet more often!

I highly recommend accompanying this soup with some good quality crusty bread to go with it!  My husband and enjoyed it with a loaf of Asiago bread that I picked up from Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery that morning. A simple green salad would go nicely, as well.

French Lentil Soup

3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
Balsamic vinegar (optional)


Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes.

Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups soup (mostly solids) to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick.

Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with celery leaves.