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French Lentil Soup with Leeks and Lemon


When the days are still chilly and citrus season is in full swing, this bright yet earthy lentil stew will be a welcome addition to your table. A hunk of crusty bread is the perfect accompaniment.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 pound Rancho Gordo French Green Lentils or Black Caviar Lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 10 cups vegetable or chicken stock and/or water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly grated lemon zest from 1 to 2 lemons

Serves 4 to 6

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, leeks, salt, pepper, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the celery and carrots and cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and lentils to the pot. Increase the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of lemon zesp.



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