This soup takes me back to my childhood. It’s not pretty to look at, but its a bowl of comfort. Like a hug warming you from the inside out.
My great aunt used to make this is soup when she would babysit my sisters and I when we were little. I have no memories of being sad when my mom dropped us off when we could smell this soup cooking on the stove. Our only question was “how long until its done?”. This lentil soup is probably one of my favorite things to eat.
I have distinct memories of walking into her home with this bubbling on the stove, the smell wafting to greet me at the door. It took forever for my dad to get the recipe for this soup, which is more like a stew, so I call it stoup. My great aunt came from the cooking method of “add a little bit of this, and a little bit of that until it tastes right” so getting measurements required some effort on my dad’s part.
He made the stoup three times with her to get the measurements exactly right, but now, we have this recipe that has memories for everyone on my mom’s side of the family.
My aunt used to slice the carrots and celery thinly long wise, which is what I did as well, but I’ve decided to break from tradition and cut them into rounds. I like chunks of carrots, its true. I also added potatoes because we had them and they needed to be used. My great aunt adds Worcestershire sauce to her stoup, which I think is the secret ingredient. It adds a completely unique flavor to the stoup that only Worcestershire sauce can.
My great aunt also claimed this recipe only served 8, now you have to understand my great aunt was a bit out there. She was in to numerology and always said her life would be different if she’d gone by her complete name instead of a nickname because the number would have been different. I think, in this instance, she’s crazy not just out there. I’d say we easily got 12 servings.
So the next time that you’re hankering for a thicker sort of soup that’s lighter than a stew, try this. I promise you’ll enjoy it. What if I don’t like it, you ask? Well then, send it my way, I’ll enjoy it for you!
We’ve always used carrots and celery, because well that’s just how its done, but you can substitute any good stewing vegetable. If you make changes, do let me know! I’d love to see what combinations people come up with :).
Aunty C’s Lentil Soup
Serves 8 (if my great aunt is be believed) to 12 (I think is more realistic)
2 tbs butter
1 pound lentils, washed
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tbs Mrs. Dash seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups water
3 bay leaves
3 can beef broth
1 8 oz can tomato soup (I added a 10 3/4 oz can of condensed tomato soup instead
2 small carrots, sliced (by small I don’t mean baby carrots, you can always add more if you’d like)
2 stalks celery, sliced (ditto above about adding more)
4 large potatoes cut into bite sized pieces.
In a large pot, like a 6 qt dutch oven, add the butter, lentils, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onions, Mrs. Dash seasoning and salt. Saute for about three minutes.
Add water, bay leaves, beef broth, and tomato soup. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes half covered.
Add in carrots, celery, and potatoes and bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover half way and simmer for 55 minutes. If the soup is too thick for your liking add another can of beef broth.
Ready to serve. Yields 8 servings.