There is nothing more soul-warming than a big, steaming bowl of soup. It’s the perfect comfort food. And when it comes to soup, lentil soup stands out as one of the most versatile and nourishing dishes that you can make. One of my favorite lentil soups is the Middle Eastern-inspired yellow lentil soup, which has roots in Lebanon and Turkey.
The flavor-packed ingredients used in this recipe come together to create an aromatic and hearty soup that warms you up from the inside-out. As a chef, I believe that simplicity is key, so my yellow lentil soup recipe uses minimal ingredients that blend together to create a magical dish with a great texture that is full of flavor.
In this article, I want to share with you my favorite recipe for yellow lentil soup, and also explain what makes it so wonderful. You don’t have to be an experienced cook to create this delicious dish; all you need are some basic cooking skills and a few easy-to-find ingredients. Try it once, and you’ll see why this is my go-to recipe whenever I need a nourishing meal.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Darlings, let me tell you about a soup recipe that will warm your souls and delight your senses. It’s a Middle Eastern delicacy that sings of flavors and aromas that will transport you to another world. This Yellow Lentil Soup recipe is a classic that has been passed down through generations, infused with rich cultural heritage and a love for nourishing meals.
One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is the healthy goodness it brings to your table. The star of the show is the yellow lentils, which are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and protein. They have a nutty flavor that pairs beautifully with the aromatic spices and herbs such as cumin seeds, dried thyme, and bay leaves. It’s like taking a bite out of wellness, dear ones!
Another reason why you’ll adore this recipe is its versatility. Whether you’re a meat-lover or a vegetarian, you can customize it to your taste buds. Some versions call for bacon or chicken broth, while others stick to vegetable stock for a lighter option. You can even add in some chopped spinach or kale for extra nutrients.
This soup recipe is also incredibly easy to make. There’s no need for fancy techniques or appliances – just a large pot and simple ingredients readily available at your local grocery store. All you need is some onions, garlic cloves, carrot, celery, and olive oil to start. Then sauté them until golden before adding in the lentils and seasoning to bring it all together.
But what truly sets this Yellow Lentil Soup recipe apart from others is its heartwarming quality. The aroma alone will lift your spirits as it simmers away on the stove-top. When you cozy up with a bowl full of steaming hot soup on a chilly day, you’ll feel the warmth spread through your body as if enveloped in an embrace.
Trust me darlings; once you’ve tried this delightfully flavorful Yellow Lentil Soup recipe, it will become one of your go-to recipes in no time!
Here’s what you will need to make this Yellow Lentil Soup Recipe:
This recipe calls for yellow lentils, also known as split yellow peas or moong dal. It is a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, with a nutty flavor that adds depth to the soup.
For added flavor and nutrition, you’ll need to prepare the following vegetables:
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 celery, chopped
If you are not making a vegetarian version of this soup, you can add 4 slices of bacon for some smoky flavor. However, feel free to skip this ingredient if you prefer a meatless option.
The following spices will be used to season the soup:
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Liquid is an essential component of this recipe. You’ll need:
- 5 cups of water or vegetable stock
Olive Oil and Butter
To cook the vegetables and lentils, you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
The Recipe How-To
Now that we’ve gathered all our ingredients, it’s time to get cooking! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious yellow lentil soup.
Prepare the Vegetables:
- Start by chopping one onion, dicing 1 cup of celery and peeling and dicing 2 carrots.
- Take 3 garlic cloves and finely chop them.
Cook the Vegetables:
- In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let it heat up.
- Add the chopped onions, celery,and peeled diced carrots with a pinch of salt and sauté until tender for about 5-6 minutes.
- Add the chopped garlic cloves to the vegetables in the pot and continue to sauté for another minute.
Cook the Yellow Lentils:
- Add 5 cups of vegetable stock or water along with 1 lb of washed yellow lentils into the same pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
- Add 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, and 1 tablespoon butter. Stir everything together.
- Cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender.
Blend and Serve:
- After 30 minutes, remove from heat then take out the bay leaves from the mixture.
- Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend the mixture in batches until it is smooth with no chunks left.
- Return to low heat to warm through again before serving.
That’s it! You now have a delicious bowl of hearty yellow lentil soup that can be enjoyed any time. Remember to add some freshly ground pepper on top for an extra kick.
Substitutions and Variations
When it comes to soup recipes, there is always room for personalization and variation. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try with this Yellow Lentil Soup recipe:
– Vegetarian option: If you want to make this soup vegetarian or vegan, simply omit the bacon and replace the vegetable stock with water or vegetable broth.
– Spice it up: If you love heat, try adding some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the soup. You can also use hot paprika instead of regular paprika for an added kick.
– Different lentils: While this recipe uses yellow lentils (also known as split yellow lentils or moong dal), you can experiment with other types of lentils such as red lentils, green lentils, or brown lentils. Keep in mind that different types of lentils may require different cooking times and liquid ratios.
– More veggies: This soup is also very versatile when it comes to vegetables! You can add any veggies you have on hand such as spinach, kale, zucchini, or sweet potatoes. Just chop them into bite-size pieces and add them in during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
– Middle Eastern twist: To give this soup a Middle Eastern flair, try adding some dried mint or coriander to the soup. You can also serve it with a side of pita bread or couscous.
– Creamy texture: If you prefer a creamier texture, try adding a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream right before serving. You can also blend half of the soup in a blender and then return it to the pot for a thicker consistency.
Remember that cooking is all about experimenting and having fun in the kitchen! Don’t be afraid to get creative with this recipe and make it your own.
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving yellow lentil soup, there are many options for pairing and garnishing. One classic way to serve the soup is alongside warm bread or pita, which pairs well with the nutty flavor and hearty texture of the lentils.
For a Middle Eastern-inspired meal, try serving the soup with a side of hummus or baba ganoush. The creamy dips complement the flavors of cumin seeds, bay leaves and lentil dal soup present in this aromatic yellow lentil soup nicely. A fresh salad with cucumber and tomato tossed in a lemony dressing would complete the meal perfectly.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, try serving the lentil soup over a bed of rice or quinoa. This will add some extra protein and make for a well-rounded meal.
Another great option when it comes to pairing is roasted vegetables; they can provide an added crunch and vibrancy to your dish. Squash, brussels sprouts, and root vegetables all pair nicely with this creamy yet spicy soup.
Finally, let’s not forget about dessert! Something sweet such as baklava, which is a popular Middle Eastern pastry made with flaky phyllo dough layered with honeyed syrup and nuts, would complete your dinner party perfectly. Alternatively, try a light fruit sorbet or zesty citrus fruit salad to refresh your palate after enjoying this flavorful yellow lentil soup meal.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
My yellow lentil soup recipe is not only nutritious but also perfect for batch cooking. You can easily make it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. As the soup cools, it will thicken considerably, so when reheating, you may need to add additional water or stock to thin out the soup’s consistency as per your preference.
To make ahead of time, let the soup cool to room temperature once it’s cooked. Once cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. I recommend using an airtight container to prevent any moisture from getting into your soup, which can cause it to spoil early.
When reheating this soup, simply pour the desired amount into a pot and reheat over medium heat until heated through. You can also zap a serving of this tasty soup in the microwave if you are short on time – just don’t forget to stir occasionally.
If you plan on freezing your yellow lentil soup, prepare it without adding any garnishes or toppings that need to be added directly before serving. Soup can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months when stored correctly in a freezer-safe container.
In general, soups and stews like this yellow lentil soup tend to taste better after sitting for a day or two because their flavors meld together over time. So making ahead of time is definitely recommended!
Tips for Perfect Results
As an Israeli chef, I want to make sure that you get the perfect results for this yellow lentil soup recipe. Here are some tips to help you make it delicious:
1. Use fresh spices: To get the most flavor out of the recipe, use fresh ground pepper, dried thyme, and cumin seeds. The aroma of fresh spices will make the soup more fragrant and add a depth of flavor that is unbeatable.
2. Add bacon: Bacon is not a traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern or Turkish lentil soups, but it adds a smoky flavor that complements the nutty flavor of yellow lentils. Fry bacon until crispy and render fat in a pan then add onions, celery, garlic and carrots.
3. Soak lentils: Before you cook the lentils, soak them for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This helps break down complex sugars and makes them easier to digest while also reducing cooking time.
4. Vegetables should be diced uniformly: When you’re chopping onion, garlic, celery, carrots or other veggies for the soup recipe, try to dice them as uniformly as possible. This will help them cook evenly and prevent any pieces from being overcooked or undercooked.
5. Adjust liquid level if necessary: Depending on how thick or thin you prefer your soup to be, adjust the amount of water accordingly. If it appears too thick for your taste add more water.
6. Let it simmer: Simmering on low heat is the key to developing rich flavors in this soup recipe. You’ll need to let it simmer gently for around 30 minutes before serving.
By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your yellow lentil soup turns out perfectly every time. Add fresh lemon juice in each serving bowl of soup for a tangy finish that adds brightness and acidity to balance out the earthiness of this delicious dish!
As a chef, I know that there can be several doubts and questions when preparing a recipe. That’s why I am here to clear things up for you. In this section, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions about the yellow lentil soup recipe. So, whether you’re a beginner cook or an experienced one, read on to get the answers you need before getting started.
What color lentils are best for soup?
When it comes to making lentil soup, the type of lentils you choose to use can greatly impact the texture and overall taste of your dish. Red lentils, for example, cook much quicker than their green and brown counterparts, and as they dissolve while cooking, lend themselves well to creating a smooth and creamy soup. On the other hand, green and brown lentils retain their shape when cooked, providing a heartier, more textured soup experience.
What are yellow lentils used for?
Yellow lentils are a type of pulse that is known for its light hue, fast cooking time and high protein and fiber content. They are often used to thicken soups, stews and purees, adding a bright color and a sweet, nutty taste to dishes. Their popularity is particularly high in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Are yellow lentils healthy?
Lentils are a versatile legume available in a range of colors, including brown, green, yellow, red, and black. These nutrient-dense legumes are packed with protein, iron, and folate, plus health-boosting polyphenols that may help lower the risk of heart disease. Additionally, lentils are a low-calorie food that could be a beneficial addition to a healthy diet.
What Flavour are yellow lentils?
Yellow lentils have a distinct, robust flavor that sets them apart from the sweeter, milder taste of red lentils. This makes them an excellent choice to add depth to dishes like soups, salads and spreads, bringing with them a delicious, nutty taste that is sure to enhance any meal.
In conclusion, my Yellow Lentil Soup recipe is a must-try for any soup lover or anyone looking for a warm and comforting meal that is easy to make. This recipe incorporates the perfect blend of Middle Eastern flavors with a nutty and lemony twist. The soup is packed with essential nutrients from the yellow lentils and vegetables, making it a healthy option for any meal.
Whether you are looking to enjoy a bowl of soup alone, or pair it with your favorite side dish, this recipe will not disappoint. You can also customize the recipe by following the substitutions and variations section and try exploring different types of lentils, meats or spices.
Lastly, I encourage you to experiment with the recipe and make it your own. With some tweaks, you can turn it into an Indian lentil curry soup or even an Arabic lentil stew. So go ahead and give this Yellow Lentil Soup recipe a try today, and let’s fire up those taste buds!
Yellow Lentil Soup Recipe
- 6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 lb carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 small red pepper, chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups yellow lentils
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
- fresh ground pepper
- In a 4 quart dutch oven sauté bacon until crisp, remove to drain on paper towels with a slotted spoon.
- Add onions to drippings, cook 5 minutes until softened.
- Add carrots, celery, peppers, garlic, and sauté 5-10 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Discard bay leaves, sprinkle with bacon, serve.