Lentil Soup (a Crudo)

About this recipe

Bert from Sesame Street loves lentil soup. It may be because dried lentils are easier to prepare than dried beans since they don’t need to soak overnight. Whatever the reason, get on board and try this soup (Bert’s a smart guy, you know).


In a nice big soup pot, boil:

  • 2 cups (1 lb.) dried lentils (green, brown, any colour) until cooked (20-30 minutes), skimming off froth from time to time.

Then drain, rinse, and put back into the same pot covered by 3-4 inches of fresh water.

Turn heat to high and add:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil,
  • 6 canned plum tomatoes (cut up),
  • 1½ cups diced carrots,
  • 1½ cups diced celery (with leaves on),
  • 1 cooking onion (also diced),
  • 1 bouillon cube (chicken, beef, or vegetable),
  • 4-5 bay leaves,
  • 1 tbsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper.

Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for approx. 40 minutes. Add water if necessary (remember, we’re making soup).

Serve with Parmesan cheese and additional black pepper to taste.


  • Discard the bay leaves—you don't eat them.
  • If using canned lentils, add with the vegetables.
  • You can add 1 cup Italian capicollo or regular ham (diced small).
  • I also like to add ½ cup (raw and rinsed) arborio or carnaroli rice for the last 20 minutes.
    The vegetables are added raw. In Italian cooking, this method is known as “a crudo”—it doesn’t mean you’re telling a dirty joke.


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