“Empty pantry” lentil soup

Sara Magid details a classic recipe for a ‘we have nothing in the fridge and I’m starving’ kind of dish


1 large white onion

1 large carrot

2 garlic cloves

3 small tomatoes

1 cup of red lentils

3 cups of water

1 teaspoon cumin

1.5 teaspoons of salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon dried coriander (optional)


1. Wash the lentils between your hands and drain, then set aside.

2. Dice the onion and carrot into tiny cubes.

3. Finely dice the garlic cloves.

4. Cut the tomatoes into 4 pieces.

5. In a large pot, heat the olive oil for a minute on high heat.

6. Add your onions, carrots and garlic into the pot and stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes, until the onions look soft and a little translucent.

7. Add the lentils into the pot, and mix around until combined, just for 5 or 10 seconds.

8. Add the 3 cups of water. You can always add more as the soup cooks if you feel like it’s too thick.

9. Add the chopped tomatoes.

10. Cover the pot and let it boil (this will take about 10 minutes, but don’t leave the kitchen and keep an eye on it). Once boiling, lower the heat and set a timer for 30 minutes.

11. Come back and stir it every 5 minutes and make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom. If after 15-20 minutes you feel like it’s getting too thick, add a couple of splashes of water. It could take more or less time to cook, depending on the brand of lentils you’re using, so keep an eye on it.

12. Once you feel like its cooked through, add the cumin, salt and dried coriander (if using.)

13. Use the immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s smooth.

14. Squeeze a lemon and add a sprinkled of parsley on top for the best flavour. Serve alone or with bread for dipping.

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes.

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes.

Makes enough for 6-7 bowls.

The author recommends the use of an immersion or hand held blender as opposed to a regular blender.