Simple Red Lentil Soup with Spinach, Lemon and Pepper

This recipe by Amy Chaplin, is from her cookbook “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well”.  Amy was one of our Thanksgiving Extravaganza guests and we just loved her.  We’re hoping she’ll be doing some more events with us.  When Food Network asked why she wrote her book she responded, “Healthy food is never featured as elegant and indulgent, and with the book I wanted to bridge that gap and show that it’s beautiful and easy for everyone—not just for hard-core health nuts.”  This recipe is an excellent example of just that.

Authors Note:  The quality I like most about red lentils is their ability to dissolve and become a creamy pot of earthy goodness in very little time–for a legume, that is.

(Serves 4)


Photograph from the book © 2014 by Johnny Miller


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups red lentils washed and drained
  • 6 cups filtered water, plus more to thin out soup as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups (3 1/2 ounces) baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

To Serve

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Warm olive oil in a medium-large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until golden. Stir in garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add lentils and water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until lentils are cooked and becoming creamy; stir pot every 10 minutes or so to make sure lentils aren’t sticking. Remove lid, add salt and more water, if needed, to reach your desired consistency. Cover again and cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer or until lentils have completely dissolved and soup is creamy.

Stir in pepper and spinach, and cook for 1 minute or until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Season to taste and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.