Humble lemony lentil soup

Let me just put this out there before I go on any further: this lentil soup definitely wouldn’t win a beauty pageant. Ahem. I’ll leave it at that.

I made a huge batch of this stuff last week and ate it at least once every single day, without fail. I’d just come back from my time in Toronto and was having a hard time fighting off my jet lag – not to mention my return to ‘real life’ responsibilities – and I just did not feel like putting any thought or effort into my food. Nor did I feel like leaving the house to buy groceries. So once the ingredients I needed to make my noodle bowls ran out, I found myself in a bit of a pickle. I knew that if had too many meals that consisted exclusively of buttered toast, I wouldn’t be doing myself any favours. And so, in an attempt to get my life together, I turned to an old favourite from back in my student days: the humble lentil soup.

lemony lentil soup

There’s always this strange period of what I like to think of as ’emotional jet lag’ when I come back from visiting my friends & family in Toronto. It’s so easy to fall back into old, comfortable ways.
Although I’ve got a routine that I love here in Holland, I guess it’s fresher so it doesn’t seem to come back as naturally. It can’t compete with 20+ years of Toronto-learned muscle memory!

And of course, jet lag doesn’t help. I’ve got a few freelance projects that need my attention and that I’ve been so incredibly slow to get through! Fortunately I seem to be back in the swing of things now… Because seriously, very few things are as discouraging in life as realizing that it took you an hour to do what would usually take you 15 minutes!

Basically, this soup was my anchor last week as I slowly found my ‘normal’ again. And it also stopped me from consuming my weight in butter – which I’ve regretfully learned my body can’t handle the way it used to! But it would also be delicious if you totally had your life together and simply wanted a big batch of something warm, hearty and comforting to get you through your day.

Humble lemony lentil soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 5-6 bowls

Humble lemony lentil soup

This lemony lentil soup is easy and cheap to make in big batches, and is packed with hearty flavour, bright zesty lemon, and protein to boot!


1.5 L (6 cups) vegetable stock
1.5 cups (approx. 250 g) dry Puy lentils (or other small brown lentils), rinsed well
2 cups (3 large) potatoes, diced about 2 cm thick
1 tsbp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tbsp dry ground coriander
1/2 tbsp paprika (smoked paprika would also be delicious here!)
salt & pepper, to taste
pinch of chili flakes, optional
roughly-chopped flat-leaf parsley for serving, optional


1. Over a medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until translucent - about 5 minutes.
2. Add in the ground coriander and the paprika, the chili pepper if using, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook through for another 30 seconds or so.
3. Add in the lentils, the diced potato, the lemon juice, and the stock, and let come to a simmer.
4. Cover the pan with a lid and let everything cook for about 35-45 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and you can easily stick a knife into the potato.
5. Once cooked, remove from the heat and blend. I use a hand-blender and do it directly in the pan, but if you are going to use a 'real' blender, make sure to let cool slightly and then blend in small batches.
6. Serve with extra chili and parsley, if using, and enjoy!


I dice the potatoes a bit more thickly than I usually would so that they take about as long to cook as the lentils, but I'm not too picky about precise cooking time. If the potatoes are soft and the lentils aren't, I let everything cook longer - ultimately, you won't notice overcooked potatoes once everything is blended, and the same holds for overcooked lentils.


  1. says

    You are too funny Sophie with the buttered toast! lol!! Can’t believe how easy this soup is to put together. It’s starting to turn cold where I live so I’m making soups more and yours will be a perfect meal with a big ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwich. I just finished dinner and am not the least bit hungry but I would totally eat a bowl of your soup right now :)

    • sophie says

      Oh my goodness this + a grilled cheese??!!! I like the way your mind works Karrie!!

  2. says

    I made this the other night when I was looking for something nice and simple to put together and I really like it! It was a nice change to my usual lentil soup with carrots, Rosemary and vinegar. I didn’t puree it because I love the texture of lentils the way they are but it was just lovely :)

    • sophie says

      I’m so glad Irene!! I love the sound of your usual with carrots, rosemary and vinegar – I’ve never thought to add rosemary to lentils, but I definitely will now. Thank you for the tip!!


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