Easy Lentil Soup From the Pantry

Ever have that day where you head to the kitchen to whip up something for dinner, only to find you’re out of pretty much everything fresh? I mean, like, even onions? It’s pretty much full-on panic time around here when I run out of something as essential to my every day as onions. Oh, and garlic. Did I mention I was out of garlic, too?

Guess it’s time for a trip to the store, huh?

Ok, but before we do that, a recipe born of necessity. Sometimes those turn out to be the best kind, I think.


  • 1 lb brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock (or the corresponding amounts of bouillon cubes and water – or in my case, a combination of both)
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • lemon juice, optional


Throw it all in a large sauce pan (except lemon juice, if using), bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally to be sure tomato paste dissolves and to prevent sticking (especially near the end of the cooking time. This gets pretty thick. I probably should have called it a stew). If you should happen to have some lemon juice, a dash of it at the end does wonders for this, but it’s good without it, too.


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