Recipes

Lentil Soup with Herbed Yogurt

Tarragon and tangy yogurt brighten up this rich, thick soup
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Photo: Meghan Uno/Tasting Table
Lentil Soup

Though people have been making lentil soup for centuries, it can often be a heavy, lackluster mess—but not so here.

Starchy lentils are cooked in a broth with vegetables, thickening the broth as they begin to break apart. A dollop of herb-packed yogurt cuts through the rich soup, adding acidity and brightness. Tarragon, an herb common in French cuisine (think béarnaise sauce), adds a subtle floral flavor that will have everyone asking for the recipe.

This recipe uses chicken stock, but you can substitute vegetable stock to make a meat-free version. And remember to remove the bay leaf before blending or else you will end up with little woody bits dispersed in each bowl—not a good look.

Lentil Soup with Herbed Yogurt

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 2 quarts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Ingredients

For the Herbed Yogurt:

½ cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Lentil Soup:

2 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves minced

1 medium yellow onion, minced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, diced

2 cups (1 pound) dried brown lentils, rinsed

8 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Make the herbed yogurt: In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, tarragon, parsley and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

2. Make the soup: In a large pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery, and cook until soft and slightly caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, stock and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.

3. Discard the bay leaf and transfer a third of the soup to a blender. Purée until smooth, then return to the pot. Stir in the lemon juice, tarragon, parsley and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the soup between bowls and spoon yogurt onto each. Garnish with chopped tarragon and parsley, and serve immediately.

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