CNYEats A Taste of Utica Lentil Soup

by Joanne on January 10, 2010

As I’m sitting here typing in this weeks Taste of Utica recipe from our book DSC_0355 on page 33, I’m just wondering if your thoughts are going to be identical to mine when you read this one paragraph recipe.  The soup is posted by Toni (Leone) Guzski.  Here it is, as written in our book:


Lentil Soup
1 bag of lentils: wash and drain put in pan and cover with water.  I change the water at least twice.  Add chopped onions, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer, add more water if needed, add a little oil and stir.  Can be served plain or with rice or macaroni. 

No kidding…that’s the recipe.  For all cooks (like me) who cannot follow a recipe and like to ad-lib, so to speak, this is a super recipe.  It’s so open wide, we can do anything we want to call it our own.  In addition,  this is about as easy as cooking can be, especially when you consider the nutrition from lentils and how satisfying the soup is.  This isn’t thick like some versions of lentil soup.  It’s simple, well balanced, and satisfying to the mouth and stomach. 

For those of you who want more specifics when following a recipe, see my version below.


Lentils offer so much goodness, we just can’t ignore them when trying to maintain a healthy diet.

One serving of dried lentils is about 1/4 cup.  In that 1 serving size, when cooked we get 70 calories, ZERO fat,cholesterol, and sugar, only 5 mg of sodium (if you don’t add salt), 19 g carbohydrates (that’s for your workout in the morning), and 8 g protein (so important for strong muscle development). 

Lentils are one of the easier legumes to cook. They do not require an overnight soak.  I’m going to offer my version of  Toni’s recipe with a little more specifics.


  • 16 oz lentils (sorted for any off colored lentils or tiny stones and rinsed two times in a colander).
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 carrots – cut in 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion – rough cut into larger chunks
  • water to cover – you want to cover the lentils and veggies so the water is about 2” over the level of your ingredients.  If not (maybe you want a thicker soup or thinner soup), simply watch carefully and keep adding water as needed.
  • salt and pepper to finish
  • oil to finish *I forgot to add the oil – it was delicious any way!

After sorting and rinsing the lentils (it’s so rare that I find a lot of “strange” things in my beans…I think generally you’re pretty safe but all the bags say to sort and rinse so…you never know and it’s best to be safe.) I put them in a large pot, added the bay leaf, carrot (you can also add chopped celery which would be so good!), and the onion then turned the heat up to medium high and brought to a boil, uncovered. 



Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook 40 minutes. *Check to make sure there is always enough water in the pot.   Also – if you don’t add the carrots, you will probably only need 30 minutes for the lentils to tenderize.

Check the lentils to make sure they are softer, and if so, add the salt and pepper.

This is surprisingly tasty without a lot of ingredients or time.   Try it…it’s too easy and healthy not to.  Cheers!


By the way, if you want another recipe using lentils, see this super recipe for Lentil Apple Walnut Loaf.  Love it!


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  • At 2010.01.13 13:08, Samuel Scialdone Jr. said:

    Joanne,all this stuff is great,food,dog Ted,you,but if I am going to read your column,I would more things about me. Ha!

    • At 2010.01.13 13:48, Joanne said:

      Sam – I thought it was SUE commenting. Should have known = you ham! Send a photo and I’ll let other bloggers take a look at my fabulous brother-in-law.

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