How thick do you like your lentil soup?

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Master Chef
Dec 25, 2006
Long Island, New York
Im up late (or early) and looking at a bunch of crap on the internet. I came across a Shortt video recipe for lentil soup, so I figured I'd take a look. Everything looked good, but the finished product looked more like a bean side dish than a soup. The beans were literally mounding way above the minimal liquid. I'm sure if not eaten immediately, the beans will absorb whatever liquid is left. I guess everyone has their own preference, but I prefer more of a soup when Im eating soup. This is just one snap shot of the video, he eventually smooths out the mound (which looks better) but still doesnt look soupy to me.


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To comment on my own thread, I wouldn't even call it a thick soup., as whatever liquid was there was still very liquid. I guess my comment is more on the bean to liquid ratio.
I don't think I would call something that could stand up a spoon to be soup either.
But I think I would prefer that than too much liquid. I like soups like beef 'n barley, cream of mushroom types, wonton chicken noodle types. Although I've made and eat minestrone types, I'm not a big fan and don't go out of my way for it.
Too much liquid sloorps around in my tummy - makes me feel bloated.

:unsure: Now on the other hand..... wine doesn't sloorp around :brows:- just feels cosy. :whistling
We have this discussion, mr bliss and I, often enough.
He says a soup, if it is a proper soup, must be soupy. So my greek lemon spinach soup, is too thick, he adds water to it and then heats it.
I'm fine either way, thick or thin, and water can always be added to make it soupy. Even with chili mac, he adds water before heating.

I like soup thick or thin depending on my mood and what else may be on the menu.​

“A soup so thick you could shake its hand and stroll with it before dinner.”​

- Robert Crawford​

I'm another one that likes soups thicker than just the broth! Maybe not thick enough to stand a spoon in, but definitely thick. Things like mushroom soup, that get somewhat thick from the barley I always have in mine, I also thicken a little more, by putting in a quarter cup of red lentils, or moong dal - both of which more or less dissolve into the soup, in 20 or 25 minutes, and thicken it some more, and I prefer to use, rather than cornstarch or white flour. I also keep a jar of ground up red lentils, to thicken things with, and for Mexican type things, masa harina. For lentil or bean soups, the lazy way to thicken, of course, is to just mash some of the beans.
Never thought of using lentils for soup thickener. What a healthy idea! Too bad it is only the reds that dissolve easily, but just purely for the colour factor.
I like mine “soupy”. I serve it over brown rice. The next day I make linguine and lentils. Tomato sauce, lentil soup and wine are added to pot. The pasta is added and cooked in the soup.
Never thought of using lentils for soup thickener. What a healthy idea! Too bad it is only the reds that dissolve easily, but just purely for the colour factor.
Actually, the red lentils (a.k.a. masoor dal) dissolve to a sort of yellow color, almost like turmeric was added! And the moong dal - split and hulled mung beans - also dissolve to a sort of yellow color.

I remember way back (sometime in the mid 80s), before I knew anything about lentils, as all I had ever seen were the brown lentils, a small Indian/Pakistani grocery opened on my route, and the first day I went in, I couldn't believe all those lentils they had! After giving him his first day's mail, and welcoming him to the neighborhood, and wishing him luck with the business, I was walking out, then it dawned on me to ask him a lentil question - which lentil would be good if I wanted it to stay firm, and he held a finger up, like he knew exactly what I meant, and took me to the chana dal, and said that would stay "good", as he put it, even after cooking it for 30 minutes or more. He showed me the other "yellow" dal, and told me not to get them if I want them whole. He was definitely right about the chana dal, and I've been using those ever since in a lentil salad, which was hard to make with the brown lentils, as they would be hard to stop cooking without getting just cooked enough, but not too mushy - like getting al dente pasta. Chana dal is a good thing to add to a dal or other lentil soup, when you'll be cooking it down to where most of it dissolves, but the chana dal will give some texture to it. Chana dal is also a nutritious lentil (actually they all are) in that it is a type of chickpea, split and hulled, which is why it takes somewhat longer to cook.
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I make mine just thin enough to recognize it as soup, rather than stew. In fact, I just made some on Thursday.
Sicilian Lentil Soup with Chicken
  • 4 Tbs olive oil​
  • I cup chopped onion​
  • ½ cup chopped celery​
  • ½ cup chopped carrot​
  • 1 tsp minced garlic​
  • 8 cups water​
  • 2 skin on, bone in chicken legs​
  • 2 skin on, bone in chicken thighs​
  • 1 lb brown lentils​
  • ¼ cup Italian seasoning​
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste​
  • 1 15oz can spinach​
  • 1 tsp crush red pepper flakes, or to taste​
  • 2 bay leaves​
  • 4 cups chicken stock​
  • salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste​
Rinse and drain lentils. Heat 2 Tbs olive oil over medium heat in thebottom of a Dutch oven. Addonion, carrot and celery and sautéuntil soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the mincedgarlic and sautéan additional1 minute. Remove from Dutch oven and set aside.

Add water and chicken legs and thighsto Dutch oven and heat over medium heat until chicken is falling offthe bones. Remove legs and thighs from poaching liquid, removechicken from bones and set aside. Discard skin, bones, ligaments,tendons and cartitage. Pour poaching liquid into a containerand set aside.

Add the sautéed onions, carrots, celery and garlic back to the Dutch oven, add the lentils and remaining olive oil and sauté until the lentils are toasted.

Add the poaching liquid, chicken, Italian seasoning, spinach and tomato paste to the Dutch oven, stir, and simmer over medium low heat for at least 2 hours, until lentils are cooked. Remove and discard bay leaf and add additional chicken stock until desired thickness is reached.
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