Lentil Soup

Sopa de Lentejas


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 8 to 10


Appears in

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

Muy Bueno

By Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

Published 2013

  • About

Mi mamá made lentil soup often, especially during Lent. Once I left home I started making this delicious soup for my children. Over the years I reworked the recipe to make it heartier with the addition of carrots, celery, tomatoes, and spinach. When I make this soup during the late winter or early spring, I always remember mi mamá; it was one of her favorite caldos (soups). Nowadays I see so many lentil soup recipes that sound delicious with exotic ingredients and additions, but I will always like this one, with simple ingredients that bring out the earthy flavor of the lentils.


  • 2 cups raw lentils
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 vine-ripened or roma tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped spinach


Sort the lentils by removing any stray beans or foreign pebbles that are sometimes present. Rinse lentils in a colander with cool water.

Over medium heat, in a large stockpot, bring the water to a boil and add the salt. After the water begins to boil, add the rinsed lentils and lower the heat. Cover and simmer until the lentils are almost tender, about 15 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add carrots, celery, and tomatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Reserve.

Using a potato masher, mash the lentils coarsely to desired consistency. Add sautéed vegetables and simmer for 15 minutes. Add spinach and mix. Salt to taste.

Ladle into a big bowl and serve with your favorite bread.