Winter Lentil Soup Over Pasta, Steamed Pumkin, Pears and a Side Salad

10-6-11 Dinner Blog

Winter Lentil Soup Over Pasta, Steamed Pumpkin, Pears, and a Side Salad

Dinner Prep

This was an easy meal to put together. The soup and squash were already prepared and I had made the pasta earlier in the day, as I knew dinnertime was going to be crunch time.

15 minutes before we were ready to sit down, I warmed the soup on the stove, and the pasta and squash, (separately), in the microwave.  While I was warming everything up, I cut 2 pears and made a green salad with carrots, tomatoes, figs and fresh thyme leftover from the soup recipe, topping the salad with no oil balsamic vinaigrette.  Once the soup was warm, I portioned some pasta and topped it with the soup, being careful not to pour too much of the liquid on the plate.  I served the meal, offering grated Manchenga cheese (from sheep’s milk).  You could use cheddar or Parmesan.

3 Servings of Winter Lentil Soup Over Pasta, Steamed Pumpkin, Pears and Side Salad

The Verdict
I never cease to be amazed!  My son rated it an 8, saying it was really good but one serving of that soup a week was good enough for him.  My husband rated it a nine, saying it was delicious and he really enjoyed the novelty of having the soup over noodles.  My daughter LOVED it and gave it a 9.7!  (I did go lightly on the kale for her portion.) She loves pasta and asked if I would add noodles to the soup recipe when we have it as soup.

I really liked the reinvention of putting the soup over the pasta.  The flavors in the soup had time to mellow and it was delicious as a “sauce” over pasta.

I still have some soup left which I will use this weekend for lunches. …My son may be having peanut butter and jelly instead…

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.