Winter Lentil Soup

10-4-11 Dinner Blog

Winter Lentil Soup

Another day like Monday!  I did not get home to even start dinner until 5:45! Pre-prep to the rescue!

Dinner Prep

First, I heated the oil in a soup pot and added the leeks and some leftover chopped onions I had in the fridge, for about 3-4 minutes.  Next I added the tomatoes and cooked for another 5 minutes.  Then I added 12 C water and brought to a boil.

There’s a lot of down time in this recipe. While I waited for my soup to boil, I could have done laundry, but I talked to my mom instead – procrastination at its best…

Once the soup was boiling, and feeling really good about how easy and mindless this recipe was, I added the sweet potato, kale, lentils, thyme, salt and pepper, simmering for about 30 minutes.  Uh oh, my menu called for apple-cinnamon muffins.  It is a really easy muffin mix, but I didn’t put that on my shopping list. I had forgotten to purchase the mix!  YIKES!

Time for “Plan B”:  I have a recipe for easy scones and decided that was the next best option.  It is a very easy and quick recipe so I jumped on it and made them.  It took about 25 minutes total.  As I finished the scones, the soup was ready…

Once the kids were home from their activities, about 7:15, (my husband was late and would eat dinner later), I served the soup and scones.

Serving Winter Soup

The Verdict:

The ratings are always interesting.  My son rated the soup a 9, and had a bit more soup.  My daughter, who was not crazy about seeing the kale in the soup, had this to say, “When I eat a spoonful that does not have the green stuff in it, it’s a 9.  When I eat a spoonful that does have the green stuff, it is a 7 ½.  I explained that the “green stuff” is kale, and that it has a lot of great health benefits, but it didn’t change her ratings.  My husband, who came home later and ate dinner separately, rated the soup a 9.

Big surprise:  They rated the scones a 10!

I also really enjoyed the soup.  It is a great opportunity to incorporate kale – the flavor of the soup is very mellow.  While you see the kale – and my daughter is not a fan of this, – it does not have a distinctive flavor.  It will be nice to make this again this winter.

But despite the downtime, my total time, from start to sit down was about 50 minutes due to cook times.  Previously, I may have tried to turn this into a crock pot recipe, but thinking about my mini lesson with chef Melanie, this might be a dish where flavors get cooked out.

Possible solution: For nights when I know my schedule is going to be busy – like Monday or many of the days last week – it would be great to make the soup the night before, leave in the fridge and just warm up the next night.  Something to think about …  If you have the pioneer instinct, try making this soup ahead of time, when you have time,  and let me know how it goes!

The Recipe

Winter Lentil Soup

From Real Simple’s Easy, Delicious Meals

For 2 Adults and 2 Kids for 2 Meals


1 T Olive oil

6 Leeks, washed and cut into 1/4 “ half-moons

2 28 oz cans of tomatoes

2 Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces

1 Bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves cut into ½ “ wide strips

1 C Lentils

2 T Fresh thyme

2 t Kosher salt

¼ t Pepper

½ C Grated cheese (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot.
  2. Add leeks and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Add 12 C water and bring to a boil.
  5. While waiting for soup to boil, call mom, or anyone else who is not afraid to tell you the truth,
  6. Once boiled, add sweet potatoes, kale, lentils, thyme, salt and pepper to the soup.
  7. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.
  8. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated cheese if desired.

4 thoughts on “Winter Lentil Soup

  1. FYI: My comment is I use Mrs. Dash, salt-free seasoning blends, a non msg and its All Natural. They have a website

    I use the ‘Table Blend’ for fish, turkey, chicken, Vegies…
    I use ‘Original Blend’ for chicken, burgers, soups, pork…

    There is salt in most products without adding more to season food.

  2. I did not realize what a healthy seasoning alternative Mrs. Dash is versus salt. I just checked out her website – I like “her”! 🙂 These salt-free seasonings are full of wonderful herbs and other flavors. I am always looking to manage the salt content in food so these products may prove helpful. You may getting to know Mrs. Dash better in my future recipes! Thanks for the great tip, Alicia!

  3. On my own for a couple weeks and now living in walking distance from a Whole Foods. I wandered through WF today and found bulk lentils which triggered my memory of this recipe… which I pulled up on my new smartphone and bought the ingredients for this soup. Can’t wait to try it! I’ll report back…

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