Mom’s lentil soup or split pea soup

December 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm (Beans, Mom’s recipes, Quick weeknight recipe, soup, unrated)

I think I have about five different lentil soup recipes on this blog, yet I’ve somehow never gotten around to posting my mom’s recipe.  It’s a pretty simple, basic lentil soup recipe, but I think the particular combination of spices is quite nice.  Sometimes I add a little tomato paste or chipotle powder, or some frozen spinach before serving.


  • 2 cups dry lentils or split peas
  • 10 cups water
  • 1.5 – 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1.5 cups diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. In a 4-5.5 quart stockpot, bring the lentils and water to a boil.  Once the lentils have come to a boil add the salt, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for one hour.
  2. Meanwhile, saute the carrots, celery, and onion in the olive oil until soft.  When the vegetables start to brown, add the dry spices, saute for 30 seconds, and off the heat.
  3. When the lentils are done, add the vegetables and simmer for another 10 minutes.  If you are adding any fresh herbs, like thyme, add them right before offing the heat.
  4. You can eat the soup immediately, but my mom says that it’s best the next day.

Derek ate two bowls of this soup for lunch, and said it was good.  He gave it a B.  Then we had a friend over for dinner and he suggested adding vinegar to the soup.  With the vinegar and extra salt Derek rated it an A-.

Mom’s lentil soup ~ 11 cups
Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153
Total Fat 2.5g
Saturated Fat 0.3g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 440mg
Carbohydrate 23.1g
Dietary Fiber 5.2g
Sugars 3.7g
Protein 9.8g
Vitamin A 43% Vitamin C 5%
Calcium    4% Iron 19%

In comparison, Progresso’s vegetable classics lentil soup, which is very tasty,  has the following ingredients:  water, lentils, tomato paste, modified food starch, spinach, salt, soybean oil, natural flavor.

Looking at the stats, the main difference seems to be that Progresso has twice as much salt, and a few more carbs.

Soup ~ Vegetable Classics ~ Lentil
Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
Total Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 0.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 810mg
Carbohydrate 30g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 2g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium    2% Iron 15%

1 Comment

  1. Simple Italian lentil soup « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] recipes for lentil soup on my blog already.  I have three recipes that call for brown lentils (my mom’s recipe, a simple version with only five ingredients, and a version with quinoa), plus three recipes for […]

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