Lemony Lentil Soup


Lemony Lentil Soup

Sophie Dahl

Serves 6

* 2 cups/500 g red lentils
* 4 cups/1 liter vegetable or chicken stock, plus
* 1 cup/250 ml stock or water
* 3 bay leaves
* 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
* 1/2 onion, peeled and finely chopped
* 2 green onions, white part only, finely chopped
* 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon ground cumin
* Juice of 3 lemons, plus extra for serving
* Salt and pepper
* 2 cups/100 g spinach, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 cup/20 g finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, cover the lentils with 4 cups/1 liter of the stock and add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, and then simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lentils are very soft.

2. While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Gently sweat the onion and green onions over low heat for around 10 minutes, and then add the celery. Sprinkle on the cumin and stir, cooking for another 5 minutes or so and adding a little more olive oil if necessary. Add this mix to the lentils along with the lemon juice. Remove the bay leaves and season to taste.

3. Let everything cool for a bit, then transfer to the blender and purée, adding the extra stock or water to adjust the consistency. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to do this in two batches.

4. Pour the soup back into the washed pot and reheat on low, adding the spinach and half of the cilantro. Season to taste again.

5. Serve at room temperature with some more lemon juice and olive oil, the remaining cilantro and, if you have some, a swirl of Greek yogurt.

Photography by Jan Baldwin

Sophie Dahl

Sophie Dahl began her career as a fashion model. In 2003 she wrote 'The Man With The Dancing Eyes', followed by a novel in 2007, 'Playing With The Grownups'. She has written for US Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, The Observer, The Guardian and The Times and served as a Orange Prize For Fiction judge. A devoted home cook, she wrote 'Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights', in 2009 before writing/presenting 'The Delicious Miss Dahl' for BBC2. In 2011 she wrote and presented a BBC2 documentary about Isabella Beeton, shortly after 'From Season To Season' was published. In 2013 Dahl designed and modelled a capsule collection for Brora. Dahl lives in the English countryside with her husband and two daughters.

1 Comment

  • Reply December 15, 2014


    Fantastic recipe! I added a few cloves of garlic and doubled the cilantro, simply because I love cilantro and you really can’t go wrong with garlic. I also added 56oz of chickpeas before blending it to up the protein count. The soup freezes quite well. I made it on a Sunday and had it for dinner four times that week, paired with a nice beet salad. It could also easily be a soup course for a five or six person dinner party.

    Thank you for sharing, really enjoyed it.

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