Lentil Soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

Sometimes I just open the fridge and, having completely forgotten that I had bought some or other vegetable, I put together a soup like this. This makes a nice big pot, so you’ll have leftovers for the next day. I like to serve this with toasted bread and a faint drizzle of balsamic vinegar with the olive oil on top — vinegar over lentil soup is quite Greek. Or I cook up some small pasta in a separate pan and add a little to each serving.


  • 250 g(9 oz/1⅓ cups) brown or green lentils
  • 1 leafy celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ red pepper (capsicum), seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 125 ml(4 fl oz/½ cup) tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
  • 100 g( oz) peas
  • 100 g( oz) english spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 100 g( oz) cabbage, chopped
  • olive oil, to serve


Rinse the lentils, getting rid of any hard stony bits. Put them in a large pan and add the celery, carrots, red pepper, onion and passata and season with salt.

Cover with about 1.25 litres(44 fl oz/5 cups) of cold water and bring to the boil. Put the lid on the pan, lower the heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Add the peas, spinach and cabbage and cook for another 15–20 minutes. Taste for salt. Serve with a good drizzling of olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper for adults.

Sometimes, if you didn’t make it to the bathroom on time, they would give you a long aprony dress to wear while your clothes dried. That way everyone knew that you’d wet yourself. So the next couple of hours were horrid — and you still had to go to the enormous ancient dining room that smelled of wood and old cherries.