Wednesday, August 2, 2017

French Lentil Soup #recipe from author @DarylWoodGerber

Lentil soup is not a "pretty" color soup.  LOL But it is oh so delicious!

In a foodie mystery, authors simply can't supply all the recipes mentioned. That would be incredibly hard. I have had readers "ask" for a specific recipe. I even wrote one up over night (yes, I'd made it before) and shared it with a friend, and it went viral online. It was for five-cheese Mac 'n cheese.

Well, my protagonist in the French Bistro Mysteries, Mimi Rousseau, runs a bistro. She mentions over fifty foods during the course of any story. So I, as the author, must pick and choose which I share in the novel in recipe form.

However, that doesn't mean I can't share one or two before or after publication. This one I'm sharing is WAY before publication!  It's mentioned in the second French Bistro mystery, SOUFFLÉ OF SUSPICION.  Mimi (like me) loves lentil soup, especially because of the splash of champagne--which makes it "French." Ooh-la-la!


I hadn't made lentil soup in years, so I had to become "Mimi" to make it. What fun. I chopped and diced and tasted and, well, YUM! The carrots give it an extra special sweetness. If you don't have champagne on hand, add a splash of white wine. That's what I did for this particular recipe. Enjoy!

French Lentil Soup

3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Splash of champagne or white wine, if desired (2 tablespoons)

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat.

Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes.

Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth, if too thick. (Mine wasn’t.)

Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of champagne or white wine, if desired.
Ladle soup into bowls.

Blender contents are rarely pretty!

The puree turns really golden. I think that's the carrots fault.

The color of lentil soup is not pretty! Almost khaki green.

Savor the mystery!

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  1. I love books that include recipes and have made quite a few, with varying results. I never really wanted to try lentil soup (maybe because it looks so unappealing) until I went to a dinner party once and the Turkish host made his red lentil soup. I likened it to a bean with bacon soup with slightly different seasoning, and it changed my mind forever. Thanks for sharing your French lentil soup recipe!

    1. Amanda, good for you for being daring! :) Red lentil soup would probably be pretty. I do think whatever flavors you add to the soup are what make the soup and lentils simply provide the structure. ~ Daryl

  2. Delicious!
    Have you ever tried black lentils? They are a fun change of pace.
    I made a curry yesterday with pinto beans, black lentils, and kidney beans.

    1. Libby, I haven't, but they sound like fun. Perfect for Halloween. Black lentil soup, black squid spaghetti, etc. Ha! ~ Daryl

  3. Lentil soup is my fave! My recipe is almost identical except that I add potatoes, and sometimes even a little kielbasa - also, I've never tried pureeing....I must do this next time! I love it even better the second day, after it's had time to really season itself. Nicole :-)

    1. Nicole, I bet adding the kielbasa gives it a nice salty kick! ~ Daryl

  4. Definitely not pretty, but delicious! I have lentils. I need a not hot day to enjoy this soup.

    1. Pat, as long as I'm in air conditioning, I can eat soup any time. Couldn't do it in heat, though. I agree! ~ Daryl

  5. I love lentil soup--must be the Italian in me. I remember my aunts making lentil soup with lots of garlic. This recipe sounds terrific, thank you. I plan to make it tonight.

    1. Grace, thanks. The garlic is definitely a nice addition, but for those who can't eat it, can be removed. :) ~ Daryl

  6. I own 11 of your titles in total (both names). I love the recipes and since lentils are big in our community (Sephardi Jews) I've added it to my Pinterest page so I can print it out and make it. I also put in a request to my local library to order Day of Secrets.

    1. Nora, how sweet for you to tell me. I'm so glad you enjoy my books enough to even try the suspense! Yay! ~ Daryl

  7. I used to make lentil soup with some kind of green in it. I'm thinking spinach, but kale would be better these days. It was so good, and healthy, like this recipe.

    Have you tried red lentils? They cook fast, and are the basis for some amazing taste combinations in Indian cooking. I no longer have the recipe, unfortunately, but my favorite had carrots, coconut, and cilantro. So delicious.

    1. Karen, I haven't tried red lentils, but I'm going to after a few of you have mentioned them. I could try it with kale, too. Interesting. thanks! ~ Daryl

  8. Love Lentil soup! I've never made it myself tho.

  9. My favorite is Dutch/European Split Pea Soup. I, also, like lentil. The recipes are quite similar. The greatest difference being the pea soup is made with the bone of a ham for extra flavor. I appreciate recipes in the cozy mystery books.