After success with the red lentil soup, I wanted to see what the French green lentils would taste like. The result is a tasty, hardy soup.
Compared to red lentils, green lentils are a sturdier bunch, with a bit of a bite to them. They go great with hardy greens, tomatoes, and lots of seasoning. This soup does take a bit longer to make than the red lentil – about another 15 minutes.
Most of the time I open a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, but you can use any kind of stewed or roasted tomato recipe for this soup. Roasting tomatoes takes time, but the rewards are worth it. To roast tomatoes for sauce, I add chopped tomatoes to a baking dish, cover with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and salt. Place some water on the bottom of the dish and cover lightly with foil. Roast for about 30 minutes or so. You may also want to remove the tomato skins before you add them to the soup.
Rustic French Green Lentil Soup
- 2 cups chopped kale (I cut the leaves from the center vein and then chop the Kale in a food processor; spinach, chard work as well)
- 28 ounces roasted tomatoes about 3 1/2 cups
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- pinch cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 2 cups French green lentils
- 6 cups water for lentils
- 2 cups water for the soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Bring 6 cups of water to a steady low boil. Add 2 cups of lentils to the water and continue to boil for about 25 minutes.
- While the lentils are boiling, get another saucepan for the soup (it will need to hold about 6 cups of liquid), and add olive oil and onions and cook for a few minutes on medium heat.
- Drain the lentils from the water and then add them to the onions, along with the tomatoes, and Kale.
- Season with salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, paprika, and anything else you would like.
- Add 2 cups of water to the soup mixture, and bring it all to a medium simmer. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. You may want more water depending on how much water the roasted tomatoes contributed to the mix.
- Top with some crème frâiche and enjoy!
This came out delicious! I used chicken broth in place of water, didn’t change anything else. The roasted tomatoes gave it a smoky flavor, almost as if it had some ham in it. Very tasty! Next time I will use an 4-quart pot, my 3-quart pot was full to the top!
I make a southwest-style lentil stew using green chiles, onions, tomato, chopped carrots, chopped kale, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, garlic, etc. I add slices of hearty preservative-free, junk-free sausages, or organic mini-weenies cut in half, or ground beef. It comes out tasting like a lentil “chili”. My family loves it. It freezes well. We freeze leftovers in pint jars, giving 1.5″ of head space to allow expansion. Pints make it easy to grab for meals on the go. Biggest complaint? I need a larger freezer!
Sounds delish. Thanks for sharing. You must have been reading my mind – I was just thinking about lentils.
I use a similar recipe from Lucy’s SCD cookbook but also add a couple of large carrots, grated, for sweetness and color. Thanks for a great site and recipes.
I just found your blog and I am in love! The recipes look so good.
Great idea adding chicken stock! I’ll have to try that.
Thanks! I drained the lentil water, then added chicken stock (I’m not vegetarian) – soup turned out awesome – am eating some now for lunch today. Great recipe!
Lisa, sorry for the confusion. Forget about that lentil water. Drain the lentils and get rid of the water (down the drain). Then use new water for the soup. Feel free to add more water because I like the soup very thick. So add at least another cup of water. The canned roasted tomatoes also have a lot of water, so it will depend on how much water comes from them as well.
Hi there – I’m confused about one thing. When draining the lentils – do you reserve that cooking water and then add back to the soup mixture or discard that water? Two cups of water doesn’t seem like enough for the rest of the soup… Thanks!