We’re big fans of Marcella Hazan Lentil Soup’s simple instructions and recipes, and in this case, we love her recipe for lentil soup.
It’s an excellent makes-enough-to-feed-a-crowd dish that’ll please everyone, including meat eaters and vegetarians. We’ve used green lentils to make the soup a bit more hearty (although you can use any variety), but if you want it to be super light, feel free to use only water or chicken broth instead of the combination we recommend below.
Marcella Hazan is a world-renowned Italian cookbook author and cooking teacher. Here’s her recipe for the perfect lentil soup when you feel under the weather or need a comforting dish.
What is Marcella Hazan Lentil Soup?
Marcella Hazan Lentil Soup is a traditional European-style soup that’s hearty enough to make a family with four hungry children full and happy while still being light enough to serve as an appetizer with bread or even as an entree for vegetarians and raw foodists. Best of all, it requires only six ingredients: water, stock (or water), onion, garlic, salt, and green lentils (although any lentils such as brown, pinto, red, or green lentils can be used).
Hazan says this recipe is so simple because the soup is easy to make once you have all your ingredients together. She recommends making a big batch on Sunday and then taking it out of the refrigerator daily to cook on low heat on an electric stove top or in a slow cooker.
Marcella hazan lentil soup recipes
Hazan says this soup is elegant, simple, and sophisticated because it’s so easy to make. Lentil soup is also versatile because it can be made with chicken or beef broth instead of water.
Need to make Lentil Soup:
- One tablespoon salt
- One green or red cooking onion, chopped into small bite-sized pieces
- Two cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup green lentils (about 4 ounces or 114 grams)
- 2 cups water or chicken broth (or water with a touch of the stock cube)
1. Once the ingredients are combined, fill a high-powered blender with a bit of soup liquid. Blend until smooth, and then pour this mixture into the soup pot. Reduce heat, and add salt, onion, garlic, lentils, and water or stock.
2. Bring up soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender (although you can use any lentil variety, such as brown lentils).
If cooking on the stovetop over low heat, make sure that the soup is bubbling slowly. To get a thicker or thinner consistency in your dish, add more water or stock as needed.
3. Serve with a spoon if you like.
1. To make this soup lighter, you can use only water or stock and omit the onion, garlic, and salt. This will turn it into a vegetable-based soup. To make it more hearty, add an extra cup of water or broth (or more stock) at the start of cooking. You can also add some barley to this recipe to get a fuller flavor profile for your soup.
2. Add a bit of vegetable bouillon and cook until tender.
3. Add a touch of cream at the end to get a creamier and thicker texture.
4. If you want to make this soup on the sweeter side, add some apple juice concentrate or even a touch of sugar after it has cooked for 20 minutes.
5. Use red lentils to make the soup slightly different in color and texture.
The only downside to this recipe (other than needing a high-powered blender) is cooking it over low heat for about 20 minutes. You can also make this soup on the stovetop instead of in the slow cooker and add extra water or broth to get a thinner consistency.
This recipe does not call for any herbs, spices, or seasonings, so if you’re trying to avoid these ingredients, this is not the recipe for you. This recipe also uses low heat for an extended period, so if you’re looking to get dinner on the table quickly, this is not an option.
1. Use any lentil you’d like! You can even use French green lentils to add a bit of visual appeal to the dish. Red lentils will also work well for this recipe, so feel free to use them instead of green or brown ones if you’d like a different-colored soup.
2. If you want to make this recipe in advance, take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve it. This will make it easier to heat up and cook.
3. You can also cook this soup in a pot or slow cooker if you have no access to an electric stove top. Make sure the soup is bubbling slowly (or simmering) throughout the cooking process.
4. If you want a vegetarian soup, omit the chicken or beef broth and add only water. This will turn it into a vegetable-based soup.
5. Add vegetables to this recipe for a complete meal.
6. You can add barley or pasta to fill it more.
Why will you love This Marcella Hazan Lentil Soup?
It’s tasty and easy to make, essential in any recipe. Lentil soup is also quick and easy to make (suitable for busy families or anyone looking for a hearty meal that doesn’t take up much time). This soup is also light enough to be served as an appetizer or an entree. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, and has a very low-fat content.
It’s also inexpensive to make, especially if you buy all your ingredients in bulk from the grocery store. Hazan says it’s essential to ensure that your lentils are fully cooked before adding any vegetables. Her suggestion is to cook the vegetables in a separate pan, so they’re ready when the lentil soup is ready. This will prevent over-cooking the lentils.
Delicious and Hearty, Great for a Crowd
Hazan says this is a delicious, hearty, and appealing dish that’s great for a crowd.
- Grease the inside of the slow cooker, and insert butter or olive oil on the bottom and sides of it.
- Place chopped carrots, onion (both chopped into small bite-sized pieces), garlic (finely minced), beef chuck roast, beef soup bouillon cube or powder, salt, pepper, and water into a slow cooker insert.
- Cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or until meat is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork (meat will also shred easily and come apart).
- Shred meat into small pieces using two forks.
- Mix in peas, tomatoes, and cream until well-blended and serve hot over bread if desired.
- Add some paprika and parsley to give a little taste of Italy to this recipe if you love Italian food (or simple Italian flavors).
- Serve with a salad of salad greens or fresh vegetables for a complete meal.
- Place the meat in a sealable plastic bag and freeze it for 6 to 8 weeks or so before making this soup (so it’s fully cooked). This will prevent you from having to cook it for a long time.
- Use nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream if you need a dairy-free or vegan version of this recipe.
- Add some water to a pot and bring it up to a boil over the stove top before adding other ingredients (including the meat) to cook the meat faster and more evenly. Be sure to stir the heart every so often so that it cooks evenly throughout.
- Finish this soup with a swirl of cream if you like to get some creaminess without adding any dairy (such as sour cream).
- Use less water and more stock to make this dish thicker.
Hazan says this recipe is delicious, creamy, and filling without adding any cream to it (which makes it an excellent soup for anyone needing to watch their waistline). She also says that this recipe calls for a lot of carrots, making it a very healthy soup and giving it a unique flavor.
This recipe is also good because it’s inexpensive and easy to make, even if you have no experience making soups before. It’s also versatile, so you can substitute your favorite vegetables or meats to make them your own.
When you’re not in the mood for a full meal, this soup is a great way to use leftover chicken or beef, and it’s also straightforward to make from start to finish. This recipe will give you precisely what is in the photo above, except the bread that I included for photo purposes.