Simplest lentil soup

    1 hour 10 min

    This is my easy version of Scottish lentil soup, skipping the ham shank (hock) stage by using ham stock cubes instead. I use bay leaves, thyme, and nutmeg which might make some Scottish purists shudder - but the flavour is lovely. The soup is quite thick, but this is deliberate so that when portioned into containers they don't take up so much room in the freezer - just add a splash of milk or cream when serving.


    Uusimaa, Finland
    8 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 400g red lentils
    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 large potato, peeled and grated
    • 3 carrots, peeled grated
    • 2 ham (or vegetable) stock cubes
    • 1.5L boiling water
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 good dash of white pepper
    • 1 good dash of grated nutmeg
    • 1 generous pinch of dried thyme

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Rinse the lentils well to remove any debris. Drain.
    2. Gently warm up the oil in a large pot. Add the diced onion, put a well-fitting lid on the pot and leave over a low-medium heat until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Add all the other ingredients, stir well to combine.
    3. Bring to a brisk simmer. Turn down to a low heat. Put the lid on the pot, leave to gently simmer till the lentils have dissolved, 50 to 60 minutes, stirring now and again.


    Lentils burn easily, so take care to let the soup simmer slowly on a low heat.

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