Fever, chills and lentil soup

I knew I was in trouble Sunday night. I had every blanket in the house heaped on me, I'd jacked the thermostat up to 75 degrees, I was wearing flannel pajamas, and still I was shivering, freezing cold despite my best efforts. I've recovered after two days at home with multiple mugs of TheraFlu, lots of sleep, and a little light reading.

What to do the night before returning to work? Make a big pot-o-lentil soup, of course.

This is the soup I wish I'd had in the freezer, ready to be reheated and enjoyed when I caught this nasty cold + fever + chills thing. Hearty and flavorful, I find this earthy soup very comforting. It smacks of all that is right with rustic peasant fare.  A few basic ingredients combine to create a dish that warms the body and soul on a cold afternoon. The best part — it tastes even better the next day, when the ingredients have a chance to meld.

As always, use only high quality ingredients; old veggies make for a lackluster soup. I used both homemade vegetable stock and water in this batch, but chicken stock works well. A sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley and a good crusty bread are the only garnishes required. Don't forget to drizzle a few teaspoons of red wine vinegar in at the end to brighten the flavor.

Lentil Soup
Makes 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 1/2 cups French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 28 oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and diced
2 quarts vegetable broth, chicken stock, or water
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
a few teaspoons red wine vinegar
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over a medium-low flame. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly, until softened but not browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add a pinch of Kosher salt, stir, and add carrots and celery. Cook another 3-4 minutes. Add the green lentils, diced tomatoes and broth, stock or water. Cook until the lentils are cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.

Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a few teaspoons of red wine vinegar. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.


  1. This sounds like ideal winter soup! I'm sorry you were sick. Glad you're feeling better.

  2. So sorry to hear you have not been feeling well, but if anything was going to cure the ails it should be a good bowl of this soup.