One Pot Stop: Mama Lise’s Lentil Soup

Before I left for college, my mom sat me down, instructed me to open up a word document on my computer, and informed me that she was going to finally school me on how to properly sustain myself while living in my own apartment. She began this endeavor with her favorite, “healthy, wholesome, easy and delicious” recipe for lentil soup. While there were points in my life when the idea of eating lentil soup for dinner was acknowledged with mild revolt, after eating cafeteria food for three years, I have developed a new appreciation for my Mama Lise’s recipe for lentil soup – which I now acknowledge is quite tasty.

Zoë McKinnell is a senior at Brown University. She loves cooking seasonally and is currently apple–obsessed.


Lentil soup
Serves 8

1 bag green lentils
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cooking onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
½ green pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups all-natural chicken or vegetable broth
½ tin of tomato paste
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon of pepper
¼ teaspoon of cumin
¼ teaspoon of oregano
2 tablespoons honey

Pour lentils into a large pot and add cold water until lentils are just covered. Bring to boil and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain lentils well and rinse with cold water. Set pot aside.

In another big pot, add the olive oil, cooking onion, celery, green pepper and carrots. Sauté the vegetables for approximately 8 minutes.

Add the washed lentils to the pot with the sautéed vegetables. Add the chicken or vegetable broth. Fill the pot with water so that the top of the lentils are covered by 1 inch of liquid. Add tomato paste, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and honey. Mix and stir all the contents of the pot well.

Bring pot to boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and watch the beans expand. The lentils should remain slightly covered in liquid, but there should not be too much liquid. Brew up until the beans are soft and tender for approximately 30 minutes.

When cooked, add fresh cut parsley to garnish.

Serve with a toasted country, grainy bread and a salad.

Once cooled, freeze extra in separate containers and thaw as desired.

Recipe Index Keywords:

Categories: Blog, Campus Cooking, Eating, Healthy Recipes, and Recipes.
Cooking Method: Make Ahead and On the Stove.
Mealtime: Dinner and Lunch.
I Don't Have Any: Cooking Skill.
I'm Cooking For...: Detox, Easy Dinner, and Myself.
Type of Food: Vegetarian and Vegetarian Main.
I Don't Eat: Any Animal Products, Carbs, Dairy, Fat, Gluten, and Meat.

Originally posted on Monday, October 3rd, 2011

17 Responses to “One Pot Stop: Mama Lise’s Lentil Soup”

  1. Jennifer

    October 3rd, 2011

    Sounds GREAT but I have one question on the process. You say to bring to a boil and let stand for five minutes. Do you mean to boil for five minutes, or bring to a boil, remove from heat and let stand for five minutes? Or some variation of the two?

  2. Lisa Lucas

    October 3rd, 2011

    Geez. I wish someone had sat me down and told me how to properly sustain myself when I moved out on my own. I ate so much junk, I get a little itchy thinking about it. Back then, I would have considered lentil soup poison. Bravo to granola mothers who teach their darlings how to eat properly.

  3. Mitchell Hunt

    October 5th, 2011

    The recipe looks great! I’m wondering about the honey. It seems like a lot. Do you use it to cut the acidity of the tomato paste?

  4. Paige Ruggles

    October 5th, 2011

    Just made the soup and it was fantastic! I love the hint of cumin! Gives it a subtle kick.

  5. Cathy Gallo

    October 5th, 2011

    This receipe sounds delicious!! I cant wait to try it!!

  6. Cathy Gallo

    October 5th, 2011

    This receipe sounds delicious!! I cant wait to try it!! Lentils are so healthy and economical.

  7. Kim McCarthy

    October 5th, 2011

    Love lentils and can’t wait to try this. Looks nice and easy!!!

  8. Anneta Kotsaftis

    October 5th, 2011

    this soup was so easy to prepare. Fast and nutritious meal!

  9. Christina Burk

    October 5th, 2011

    I tried this soup and it was fantastic.

  10. Alistair

    October 5th, 2011

    Excellent! Good to have something that can be frozen and quickly thawed for lunches or a quick meal.

  11. Jessica

    October 5th, 2011

    Excellent soup. Very rich in flavour and spices. Just the way I love it.

  12. Loreen

    October 5th, 2011

    Great recipe, especailly for vegetarians, good protein fix on a winter or fall day.

  13. Laurie

    October 5th, 2011

    Wish I had a recipe like this when I lived on my own at college. I ate right out of a can of beans. This soup sounds delicious and can’t wait to try it.

  14. Sara

    October 6th, 2011

    Mmmm, I love a good lentil soup! Shout out to Mama Lise for this awesome recipe!

  15. duckycooking

    October 9th, 2011

    Hi! This looks like a GREAT recipe, but could you please specify the amounts – how much is “1 bag green lentils” in grams, ounces or volume? And how much is 1/2 tin of tomato paste? Thanks! :)

  16. Mama Lise

    October 9th, 2011

    Hi Ducky,
    I practically make this soup with my eyes closed so sorry for the confusion.
    You want 450 grams of lentils and approximately 2.5 – 3.0 oz. of tomato paste.
    Hope that helps.

    I made lamb with lentils tonight with wine, fresh rosemary from the garden, cumin and lots of garlic. Everyone loved them. Lentils are so great…versatile and full of iron. We eat them a lot!

    I have been in the kitchen all day…I made the okra with fresh tomatoes and dill, baked sweet potato puree with freshly grated nutmeg and sharp cheddar, pumpkin muffins and I’m just waiting for my nuts and bolts to bake. I added Masala Garam and cinnamon to them. I wonder if I over spiced them.

  17. Anetta-Kotsaftis

    March 28th, 2012

    Made me fart alot.

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