• Alton Brown Lentil Soup

    10 votes
    Alton Brown Lentil Soup
    Prep: 20 min Cook: 45 min Servings: 6
    by John Spottiswood
    300 recipes
    I adapted this recipe from one by Alton Brown. I added spinach, potatoes, and scallions and removed grains of paradise. Our whole family really enjoyed this recipe. I made it alongside an Indian curried lentil soup recipe, and while both were good, this was the hands down winner. If you're looking for a tasty, hearty, and healthy soup to serve this winter, look no further!


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
    • 2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    • 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
    • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
    • 10 oz package frozen spinach
    • 2 scallions, finely chopped


    1. Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart soup pot or Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. (If you are concerned about salt intake, use just 1 teaspoon and serve additional salt on the table for those who want more.)
    2. Add the lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer for about 25 minutes. Add the frozen spinach and continue to cook until the lentils are tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
    3. Optional: Using a stick blender, puree approximately a quarter of the soup or more to your preferred consistency. Top with chopped scallions as desired and serve immediately.
    4. Suggestion: This is a very flavorful soup, but since the recipe did not call for any black pepper or other hot spice, I served a red pepper sauce (Sriracha) on the side for people to add as desired.

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    • purpleone
      I will make it soon. Looks good!
      • Don Callas
        Don Callas
        Made a double batch of this tonight for the family tonight, and it was great! I've always liked lentil soup but other family members did not share my enthusiasm; had I but known, it was my PREVIOUS recipe that was at the heart of their lack of excitement for the small brown bean, I'd have switched years ago!
        The only change I made was to add ham, and the broth was from the hock the bit of ham came off of. The other part of the recipe, "How much to puree in the blender?" I answered with ⅓. Thank you so much for this delicious soup!!
        • John Spottiswood
          John Spottiswood
          Hi glad you enjoyed this and thanks for sharing this detailed and helpful review!
        • Nancy Miyasaki
          Nancy Miyasaki
          Our kids absolutely loved this recipe, and so did I. It was full of flavor and just the right level of thickness. Next time you are thinking of having split pea or bean soup, try this out instead!


          • Kimberly
            yum! my fave. i look forward to trying this one.
            • John Jenkins
              John Jenkins
              I made the soup last night using turkey/chicken stock. Added 1 tsp salt and no pepper. Tossed in a couple chopped pieces of cooked bacon at the end . It tasted great!
              • John Spottiswood
                John Spottiswood
                Thanks for the helpful comment, John! I'm glad you enjoyed it. If you come back to this comment...please click on the hearts icon below the comment so that your rating will be added.
              • pam kneebone
                pam kneebone
                I think I'd try this- only leaving out the scallions because hubby cannot onions or scallions but we both love spinach. how do I print this recipe?
                • John Spottiswood
                  John Spottiswood
                  Hi Pam - There is a PRINT icon just above the Toolbox at the top right corner of the recipe. There is also an EMAIL icon there if you ever want to email a recipe to yourself. Hope you enjoy it!
                • Dena
                  This sounds so good.. nice and healthy which I like.. Can anyone tell me how many cups of lentils would equal one pound please? Thank-you for sharing this recipe!!! Looking forward to making it soon.. Thanks Dena (Canada)
                  • John Spottiswood
                    John Spottiswood
                    Hi Dena - one cup of lentils is about six ounces. So 2 2/3 cups per pound.
                    • Dena
                      Oh good!! Thanks so much John!!!! :)

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