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French Lentil Soup

October 5, 2010

 “Never blow your soup if it is too hot, but wait until it cools.  Never raise your plate to your lips, but eat it with your spoon.”

                       —————C.B. Hartley, “The Gentleman’s Book of Etiquette”

A beautiful soup in any of its many variations.  Since it was mentioned in the Bible one can only imagine how many ways you might make it in your lifetime.  This week for #Soupweek Chef Robin White ( was making “Lentil Rustica” for day 3, but since I just received a new soup cookbook and found there were six lentil soup recipes in that one book alone I decided to make one from my new book.  All six sound wonderful and I plan on making all 6 and Chef White’s recipe as well.  I doubled the amount of spinach (spinach freak here) and added it in thirds (noted in recipe) and be sure to make the garlic and oil croutons. (By mistake I pulled cut up bread that I have ready for stuffing and it was too late to worry about it as it was “Dinner Time”, and they were just as good, just had to heat them a couple minutes more).  Enjoy and “Bon Appetit”!


French Lentil Soup


  • 6 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 1/2 C. Lentils
  • 3 Quarts Water (more if needed)
  • 1 Celery Stalk (finely chopped)
  • 1 Turnip (diced)
  • 4 C. Spinach Leaves (I used 8 C. and added in thirds, adding the last 1/3 “just prior to serving”
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Large Carrot (finely chopped) (I put the carrot, turnip and potato in the food processor together)
  • 1 Large Potato (diced)
  • 1 C. Tomato Sauce
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Optional – 1/2 C. Cooked White Rice (I did not use)
  • *Croutons (sautéed in the garlic and oil for garnish)*

* Definitely saute your homemade croutons in garlic and oil, you will love the added flavor to this soup



  • Pour the oil into a soup pot and saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes, while stirring continuously
  • Add the lentils, water, vegetable and the rest of the ingredients, except the salt, pepper and (rice-optional)
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let soup simmer for 1  hour
  • Add the salt and pepper and the second third of spinach and let the soup simmer an additional 15-20 minutes
  • * In a pan pour some olive oil and saute the chopped garlic for a minute, stirring constantly, garlic will get golden
  • * Add the croutons to the garlic mixture and toss while heating, keep warm til ready to serve (pour the extra garlic and oil into the soup)
  • Remove the bay leaf, add the last third of spinach
  • Ladle into warmed bowls, garnish with the garlic croutons and serve immediately


(Serves 6-8)

Adapted from the book “Twelve Months of Monastery Soups” by Broher Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette

A contribution to Chef Robin White’s #Soupweek (October 2-9, 2010).  If you would like to participate or just enjoy all the soup recipes visit her site at and find all the details.

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