Lentil-Potato Soup

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When I have a long, leisurely Saturday morning, there’s nothing I like better than making soup. You can’t rush a good soup. So, pour yourself a nice cup of tea or a glass of wine, put on some music or a weekend radio program, and relax. This creamy lentil-potato is just about the most comforting soup you’ll ever eat. SAM

PS You can use butter, of course, yum!, instead of oil. But do not use red lentils. They’re perfect for some things, but they don’t have the character you need for this soup.

Lentil-Potato Soup

1 cup small dried gray-green French lentils
6 cups cold water, divided
2 large onions thinly sliced, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 pound new potatoes (3 medium)
1/3 cup instant polenta
1 bay leaf
2 (2-inch) sprigs fresh or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/3 cup dry sherry
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Pick through the lentils, rinse them, and place them in a stockpot with 3 cups of cold water and 1 thin slice of onion. Cover, bring them to a low boil, and simmer for 25 minutes or until soft. The onion helps the lentils hold their shape. If the lentils are not soft after 25 minutes, they are old and will never cook properly. Throw them away and start over with a different batch.

Meanwhile, in large chef’s pan over medium heat, sweat the onions in 1 tablespoon of oil until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

While the onions are sweating, place the whole potatoes in a small saucepan with cold water to cover. Cover the pan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Chop roughly and set aside.

Combine the lentils, along with any pot liqueur, the onions, potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, the bay leaf, thyme, sherry, and remaining 1 1/2 cups water. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan over high heat bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the polenta. Return to very low heat and cook until creamy, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil.

Stir the polenta into the soup and continue to simmer until creamy and reduced by 1 cup, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes.
Makes about 2 1/2 quarts.

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4 Responses to Lentil-Potato Soup

  1. Admin says:

    What? No comments yet on a lovely lentil and potato soup recipe? Well, I shall be the first. I was wooed with lentils (one of the few foods we college students could afford to cook with — and my future husband was a lentil magician) (he also taught me how to bake bread to go with the lentils. Which led to one of our first fights… but that is another story entirely, and I wouldn’t want to traumatize Sam at this difficult juncture…)

    You fought over bread and lentils? ‘Sounds Biblical. Do you still make the lentils?

  2. TBC says:

    That sounds delicious!

    Thanks so much. What a cool blog you have. The Curried Eggs sound fabulous. I even have all the ingredients!

  3. Francine says:

    I was looking for inspiration for a lentil and potato soup and I came across your blog… a very close approximation of your recipe is on the stove right now and it smells really good. Can’t wait to have it for dinner on this cold and rainy day.

    • rockyroadoflove says:

      Talk about comfort food! Even the smell of lentils and potatoes can totally transform a cold and rainy day. Thanks for commenting.

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