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Red Lentil Soup for Christmas

When I was growing up, I idolized the Adams family. Lynne was a successful lawyer. Her husband, Bob, was an artist and the primary caretaker of their daughter. They were the only Mormons I knew growing up who didn’t follow the traditional gender roles. I thought they were totally cool. One Christmas, they gave us this recipe for Bob’s soup. I make it throughout the year, but it’s great at Christmas—the cinnamon, allspice and cloves make the whole house smell like the holiday season.

Bob’s Red Lentil Soup
Bob Adams

3 C red lentils
1 C chopped celery
1 red pepper, diced
1 C chopped ripe tomatoes
9 C chicken broth
1 onion chopped
1 c sliced carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1 t thyme
½ t allspice
dash cinnamon
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves
dash flaked red pepper

2-3 t vinegar
1 lemon juiced

Simmer lentils in broth with spices and garlic until lentils are soft. Add vegetables and simmer 10-15 minutes. Blend/puree soup in blender. Add vinegar and lemon juice. Serve with plain yogurt or sour cream on top.


EmilyCC works for a national non-profit and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

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No Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love red lentil soup with yogurt. In fact, we were already having it for dinner tonight. And it’s so easy (especially since I don’t blend mine).

  2. Katie says:

    Mmmm, this sounds delicious. And cheap which I love!

    One question though….I have never made lentils-how long do they take to get soft? Or in other words, how far ahead do I have to start the recipe?

  3. Deborah says:

    Oh oh oh! It’s celiac-friendly. You’re the best 🙂

  4. EmilyCC says:

    Hi Katie, I think it usually takes only about 20-30 minutes (maybe less, I’m afraid I just periodically check them and haven’t noticed the time) for the lentils to soften. Any lentil experts out there?

  5. jana says:

    I’d say 30-45 min, from my lentil experience. (note: not a professional opinion!) 🙂

  6. Seraphine says:

    Ooh, I love lentil soup. This one is slightly different from the recipes I have, so I will have to try it. Thanks!

  7. Mel says:

    Okay, this is making me feel really old. I knew Lynn and Bob in college, before they got married. I’m so glad you got to know them while you were growing up. They are very cool!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Red lentils take less time to cook than brown lentils, so 30 minutes is a good estimate. But it’s fine to let them cook longer. (And in my opinion red lentils have a much milder flavor, so I like them a lot better than brown).

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