This healthy Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions comes together in just thirty minutes and is topped with not too sweet caramelized onions. Be sure to make a big pot and enjoy the soup now and to save more for later-this is a totally freezer friendly soup!
Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions
I have friends that are moving up north this summer, and everyone pretty much thinks they’re crazy to leave the warmth of Florida winters to go right to the depths of winter madness: dealing with snow, digging out snow, snow tires, learning how to drive on icy roads, layers of winter clothing. For comfort in every bite you have to try our French Onion Soup. Another easy and flavorful soup to try is our Summer Minestrone.
And let me tell you this, it is 4 in the morning really if you calculate the time before the time changed yesterday and I can’t sleep! So that is why I am up finishing up this post with this really great and so easy to make soup before it is sunny and hot in the rest of the world.
Usually that is how it works with my blog. I make something that is appropriate for the season and by the time I get around to editing the photos and putting the post together, it is not quite what you would be dreaming of eating. So before it is popsicle and ice-cream season again, I give you this lovely and simple soup.
We almost always have cotechino as a main coarse and lentils on New Year’s Eve. There will also be polenta (my husband grew up in the Lombardy region of Italy). No matter what the main coarse is, there will be a side dish of lentils. My Sicilian dad always made a big pot of his lentil soup for the new year. If you are from an Italian family, you know you have to eat your lentils on New Year’s Eve to bring health and good luck in the coming year!!
It’s truly not that simple of a soup as the caramelized onions add a fantastic addition of sweetness and the overall extra addition of awesomeness that it gives otherwise boring soup (yes, my kids will be mortified: I used the word awesomeness!). You could also add full fat coconut milk to make this soup extra rich and creamy like this chickpea stew with kale and sweet potatoes.
Is this soup vegan and gluten-free?
Yes, this soup is totally vegan and gluten-free. The only additional thing to add on vegan sour cream or vegan unflavored yogurt at the end and use your favorite soy version (or whatever other vegan unflavored yogurt you prefer).
If you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, you could use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth! If you are following a GF diet, this soup is also something for you to consider!
Can I use canned lentils in this soup instead of dry?
Yes. It’s fine to use canned lentils. No need to rinse them. It’s so easy to make with fresh, so I highly recommend you buying them fresh. If you use canned, the soup will be ready in less than 30 minutes.
How easy is it to make lentil soup with fresh lentils?
SOOO easy! Yes, people, there is no excuse not to make your own lentil soup and ditch the canned ones. I like to rinse my lentils before adding them. Everyone has a preference on their lentil soup consistency. Do you like yours a little more liquidy? If so, add more water. Want yours more thick? Very easy! Just add less water. If the situation is that you are more of thick lentil soup kinda of a person, start off with 3 parts of liquid, as opposed to 4. You could always add more as it cooks along.
Do you soak the lentils before cooking?
No. There is no need to soak them as the soup cooks up in just 30 minutes.
How long does this soup stay fresh?
Keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and frozen for up to 3 months (I’ve even frozen it longer, but 3 months is most I would recommend).
slightly updated from March 2015
Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion sliced
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups of water
- 2 cups dried lentils rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- pinch cayenne more if you like it spicy
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt for serving (use soy if vegan)
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs I used parsley
- To caramelize the onion, heat the olive oil in a pan over moderate heat. Throw in the onion and cook until beginning to brown. Continue to cook until onions are brown, sweet, and sticky.
- While the onions are caramelizing, in a medium saucepan, combine lentils with water, broth, cayenne, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are soft and beginning to break down. You could smash some of the lentils against the side of the pan with a spoon to thicken the soup. Add the caramelized onions to the soup. If lentils look too dry, you could add more water or broth.
- Turn off heat, and stir in chopped parsley and lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with the low-fat yogurt (use soy for vegan) and the chopped fresh herbs.