Red Lentil Soup

My sincere thanks to a dear friend and learning-partner, who surprised me with a wonderful gift this week: “CELEBRATE: Food, Family, Shabbos” – a new cookbook by Elizabeth Kurtz. 

For those of you who follow these posts, you know that I love Torah and I also enjoy cooking and sharing fun, easy, and wholesome recipes with you.  In honor of Parshas Toldos, this year I once again present you with a Lentil Soup recipe.  Last year’s recipe, aka “Birthright Soup,” is a scrumptious fleishik soup.  And while I still highly recommend that you try it if you haven’t yet, this year’s soup is parve.  I always love a parve soup because of its versatility. 

Do not be scared off by the ingredient list below.  I admit that the dried apricots made me nervous – I have never used dried fruits in my soups!  But I stuck with it and I am very glad that I did.  If the soup wasn’t delicious, I wouldn’t be sharing the recipe with you.

Perfect for the parsha (and as Eisav exclaimed, “Pour into me some of that red, red stuff,” this soup has a reddish hue!), or anytime, here is Red Lentil Soup with Dried Apricots, courtesy of CELEBRATE (with some minor additions and changes of my own):

Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in an 8-quart stockpot.  Add 1 yellow onion, chopped; 1/3. c. dried apricots, chopped; 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2 frozen garlic cubes for ease of preparation); and 2 carrots, peeled and diced (the carrots were my addition to the original recipe).  Sauté the ingredients until softened, but not browned, about 5 – 7 minutes.

Add 4 c. vegetable broth (I like to use the MSG-free 32 oz. box you can get in the grocery); 2 c. cold water; and 1 1/2 c. red lentils, rinsed.  Add 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used 2 plum tomatoes and 1 beef tomato); 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. rosemary (the recipe called for thyme but as I did not have any on hand, I used rosemary instead), 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper; and 3 Tbsp. red wine (optional) (I did not use the wine). 

Cover the pot, bring the soup to a boil and then lower the flame to a low-medium heat.  Allow the soup to simmer about one hour, stirring occasionally.  When the soup is cooked, turn off the flame and puree half of the soup with an immersion blender (I did this directly in the pot and estimated what I thought was about half the soup pureed.)  Stir in 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (note – I did not use the lemon juice, as the soup tasted perfect without it, and I did not want to add anything else).  Serve hot and enjoy! 

P.S. While I was typing up this post, my 9 year old son walked in from school and asked, “What’s for dinner?”  I said, “Soup!” (I did not mention the lentils or apricots to my 9 year old…)  He promptly sat down to a bowl of soup and finished it to the very last drop.  And I am sure you and yours will too.

As always, feel free to share this post (and all previous ones) with others who may enjoy. 

בברכת חודש טוב ושבת שלום,


  • Devorah
    Posted at 23:55h, 12 November

    Soo excited I came in the weekend you made this. Can’t wait to try some….yum!!!

  • Michal Horowitz
    Posted at 22:45h, 17 November

    For those of you who are contemplating making this soup: I received the following feedback from an out of town friend who made it after I posted the recipe. So go ahead and give it a try 🙂

    Made that soup today for this week’s supper. I really thought I wouldn’t like it cuz I don’t like the texture of lentils. But yummmmmm!! Pureeing it changes the whole thing and the flavor is fantastic! I didn’t have vegetable broth, so I put in a little consomme and extra salt and pepper. And maybe I will add lemon juice to some and see how I like that. Thanks!!