Hearty, high-protein (13 g), lentil and rosemary soup, made with only 3 ingredients! Fast, easy and frugal, it is also naturally vegan, oil-free, and gluten-free.
As much as I enjoy cooking, I definitely have nights when I simply want to eat dinner. A meal made with maximum ease, minimal fuss, and ingredients from the pantry is what I need. And while the weather is still chilly, something warm, cozy, and delicious is what I crave.
If you feel the same way, I have a solution for all of us: my super-simple 3-Ingredent Lentil Soup.
The three ingredients in question? Regular brown lentils, a large onion, and rosemary. I used fresh rosemary, since it grows year-round in our backyard, but dried rosemary (or Italian herb seasoning, or basil, or thyme) works, too.
Do you have green, black or red lentils? No problem, any variety of lentils will work, so use what you have. And in case, by chance, you have some dried Mung beans…they work too! Like lentils, they cook quickly and do not need any pre-soaking.
Begin by chopping the onion. In a large saucepan, bring 1/3 cup water to a boil. Add the onion. Cook and stir on medium-high until the onion is soft, the water evaporates, and the onion caramelizes to a deep golden brown.
Add the rosemary (or one of the alternatives mentioned above) to the onions during the last 30-60 seconds of cooking. Cook and stir to release the oils. Add the salt and pepper, too. I provide specifics for the amounts, but you can adjust these to suit your preferences/needs.
The home stretch is near! Add the lentils and water. Bring the soup (covered) to a simmer over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, still covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the lentils are falling apart and the soup is thickened.
If you like, use an immersion blender to further break down the lentils (and onions). I prefer some texture, so giving the soup a vigorous stir at the end is just right to me.
Like my 3-ingredient tomato soup from a few weeks ago, this bowlful of goodness needs little else in accompaniment. Consider rounding up some stray lettuces and greens from the refrigerator, for a simple salad, and toast leftover bread (call it crostini :)) for dunking.
Happy eating and (minimalist) cooking, everyone!
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 and ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves (see notes for options)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 and ¼ cups (225 g) brown lentils
- 6 cups (1.5 L) water
- In a large saucepan, heat ⅓ cup water over medium high heat. Add the onions; reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes until water is evaporated and onions are a deep golden brown.
- Add the rosemary, salt and pepper; cook and stir for 30 to 60 seconds until very fragrant.
- Add the lentils and water to pan. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and continue simmering, covered, until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes longer. Give the soup some vigorous stirring during the final minutes of cooking (to help break up lentils).
- Taste and season with more salt or pepper as needed. If you prefer a creamier texture, use an immersion blender to partially purée the soup.
Herb Options: 1-1/4 teaspoons of dried, crumbled rosemary or Italian herb seasoning, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, can be used in place of the fresh rosemary