Growing up my dad always used to make us lentil soup in the wintertime. His was very influenced by the flavors of Greece, and it involved a lot of oregano, lemon juice, and vinegar. We always had it with a bunch of warm crusty bread; I remember sticking the slices in the soup and watching them soak up the broth just until the point where the bread was about to disintegrate into the bowl, and then quickly pulling it out and taking as big a bite as my little mouth could muster. It was absolutely delicious.
As an adult, my lentil soup habits haven’t changed much. I did tweak my dad’s recipe a little bit, I used just a touch of lemon juice and some dry white wine, and I cut out the vinegar to make it a bit less tart. I also added in my lentil soup secret weapon, which is a combination of caramelized onions and sautéed shiitake mushrooms. These guys make up the flavor base of the soup broth, and they create the heartiest, most savory, and umami-laden lentil soup of all time. As much as I love lentils, the addition of mushrooms really brings their taste to a whole new level. As the lentils cook in the broth, they absorb the flavors of the mushrooms, caramelized onions, carrots, oregano, and all the wintery veggie goodness that’s in there, turning each little lentil into an umami flavor bomb.
I hope you guys enjoy this really great recipe (not to toot my own horn or anything, but it’s prettttttty delicious stuff), and that it helps you stay nice and warm this winter! Spring is only a few months away (at least that’s what I keep telling myself every time I look out to window to the garden and just see a bunch of brown mud instead of a veggie patch), but if you need some more cold-weather recipes to help keep you toasty, you can peek at my mushroom soup, boeuf bourguignon, and my one-pot-meal Moroccan chicken for a good start. Stay cozy, friends!
Lentil Soup with Mushrooms
This delicious lentil soup recipe can use brown lentils, green lentils, or red lentils. It has savory shiitake mushrooms in it for a boost of earthy umami flavor, and delicious caramelized onions, too! Perfect for a hearty and healthy winter meal.
- tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 pound carrots peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 pound dry lentils rinsed
- 10 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Kosher sea salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Crusty bread for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened and transparent and lightly golden around the edges, about 15 minutes to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add the mushrooms, garlic, ginger and remaining teaspoon of olive oil and saute until the mushrooms have released their moisture and have darkened in color, about 10 minutes, stirring every 3 to 5 minutes. Add the carrots and bay leaves, reduce heat to low, and saute for 5 more minutes.
Add the lentils, broth, white wine, aleppo pepper, oregano, garlic powder, curry powder, black pepper, tomato paste and stir to combine. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Continue cooking, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, at least 1 hour. Stir in the lemon juice and salt to taste. Sprinkle the fresh parsley on top and serve alongside crusty bread for dipping.
Omgsh Eva, you don’t know how my mouth is watering right now…..lentil soup is literally one of like, the top 6 dishes that have left a HUGE mark and pleasant memory on my palate since I was 5 years old in Argentina. I don’t know how they made it, nor why it became such a favorite of mine but ever since I’ve been longing for that kind of lentil soup. This looks and sounds to die for, and I’m currently wanting it more than cake which speaks volumes ;P I think I”ll be making this soon and will update you if I do.
Hi Ellie!! What amazing memories surrounding food! I think that lentils have such an interesting texture and can be prepared so many different ways! They are amazing! And so comforting. I hope you end up making this soup and loving it! It is one of my all time favorites. Definitely let me know how it goes! Oh my…more than cake?! That does speak volumes haha!
Thank you for sharing the recipe.I have never tried this before.It is new.And it sounds interesting.I want to try this at home.I love cooking.It is one thing I am crazy about.I always want to cook new recipes.So I read a lot of blogs about it.You share good recipes here.I liked it.People who are crazy about cooking will surely like this site.Keep it up your fantastic work.And keep sharing more recipe post.Thanks for sharing this one.
Thank you Mark! So many kind sentiments! I hope you try out this soup, it is very simple and so flavorful! I LOVE it!!! I love cooking as well and finding new recipes that are inspiring is the best! I am so glad you enjoy Adventures In Cooking!
thanks for sharing such a great recipe with mushroom. I WILL Definitely try this one. keep it up
I made this today but probably added only about 7 cups of vegetable broth. It was delicious! Will definitely be making again!
This was absolutely ambrosial! If you like intensely spiced lentils with Aleppo pepper and curry notes and delicate but cozy broth of your fall dreams. Make this!
Aleppo pepper – definitely a must.
Awwww thanks Tzarina!! I am SO glad you liked it, it’s one of my favorites this time of year 🙂
New to lentils here…can I use red lentils for this recipe? Thank you!
Wondering if black lentils would work, as well!
Delicious recipe and the best one I’ve found with true depth of flavor. I prefer my lentil soup on the spicy side and this is not super hot but has enough heat from the red, black pepper and curry powder to make it perfect!! Thank you!
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