These stove top creamy vegetable lentils are the perfect meal prep choice for a busy week. Winter's finest vegetables (carrots, celery and onions) slow simmered with thyme and rosemary for the perfect winter soup.
These lentils are the equivalent of your cosiest, chunkiest winter sweater keeping you warm from the inside out. Lentils are humble. Lentils are peasant food. They always have been. Because they're cheap. Really cheap.
But what you and I already know is that these little nutrition power houses taste like everything that is right with the world.
But here's the thing. Lentils can sometimes be really ugly. So we need to pretty them up a bit. But wanting to keep this still in the area of completely non fancy, I used some shitake mushrooms and some pancetta. Adding the mushroom pancetta mix gives these creamy vegetable lentils a wollop of flavour that can only come from all that umami action happening.
I've done step by step photos and they are below, but what you'll really want to know are some things that can make cooking dried lentils intimidating. Like...
Do dried lentils need to be soaked before cooking?
Nope. Nope. Nope-ity nope. All that's recommended before you cook dried lentils is that you give them a good rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. From there they only take about 25 minutes until they're soup bowl ready.
How much water or stock does it take to cook lentils?
Green lentils like this recipe need about 3 times the amount of liquid to lentil. I like my lentils on the thick side, so this recipe calls for 2 cups of lentils and 5 cups of water.
Creamy Vegetable Lentils Step By Step
- Step 1- Get that bacon crispy
- Number 2 Once the bacon and mushrooms have been cooked add the other vegetables to the pan.
- Step 3- Add the lentils and stock to the pan and simmer the lentils until they're tender.
This is the part where it gets really good. To get that super smooth and creamy consistency all you need to do is blend a cup of these lentils and add them back to the pan and mix in.
Creamy. Vegetables. Lentils. Feel the winter food love.
One Pot Stove Top Creamy Vegetable Lentils
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 rashers of bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 ½ cups shitake mushrooms, quartered
- 1 Large yellow onion, diced
- 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bayleaves
- 1 small sweet potato, diced
- 2 cups green lentils
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons single cream
- In a large heavy sauce pan, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon to a separate bowl. Leave the bacon fat in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook on medium high until golden. Remove to the same bowl as the bacon and set aside while you finish the soup.
- Add the onion celery and carrot to the pan. Let them sweat over a medium heat. Once they’ve softened add the minced garlic, thyme and the bay leaves. Leave to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato, lentils and chicken stock to the pot and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and leave to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the lentils are cooked, remove 1 cup of the soup and blend and place in a blender. Add ¾ cup boiling water if the mixture is too thick. Add this back to the pot.
- Season to taste. Add a splash of sherry or balsamic vinegar to the finished soup. To serve this soup, place ladles full into bowls and top with the bacon and mushrooms and drizzle with the single cream.
- This recipe makes a lot of soup! It’s 10 portions, and is meant to be frozen for super quick mid week meals.