Culinary Institute of America Recipe
Print Recipe

Classic Lentil Soup

The earthy flavor of lentils is brightened by Riesling and sherry wine vinegar in this refined lentil soup. It is a brothy soup, but if you’d like it to be thicker, you can purée half of the soup, then recombine with the unpuréed half. If you store this soup in the refrigerator, it may become thicker. Adjust the consistency as necessary by adding more broth, and be sure to recheck the seasoning. A garnish of fresh croutons will add a dimension of texture and flavor to the finished soup.

This and other great recipes are from the CIA's The New Book of Soups.

Classic lentil soup recipe by the CIA - F



Makes 8 Servings

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups minced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2/3 cup minced carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups minced leek (white and light green parts)
  • 1/2 cup minced celery stalk
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cups French (green) lentils
  • 1/4 cup Riesling or other slightly sweet white wine
  • 2 tbsp sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Sachet: 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried, 1 bay leaf, and 1/4 tsp caraway seeds enclosed in a large tea ball or tied in a cheesecloth pouch
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or as needed
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper, or as needed


  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, leek, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, stir well, and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove and discard the sachet and lemon half. Purée the soup if desired (the lentils may have already turned into a purée by this time).
  5. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls.

Want new recipes delivered to your inbox each quarter?
Sign-up for our newsletter. Or sharpen your skills and learn to prepare similar recipes in our Boot Camps and Saturday classes. Subscribe Now >
Close Menu