cheat’s lentil soup

cheat's lentil soup |

Trust me when I tell you that I am nowhere near ready for cold weather recipes.

I am currently reveling in juicy heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, zucchini bread, and other seasonal delights that will soon disappear in a snap. Summer forever! So, while this soup might seem obnoxiously early on the seasonal forefront, it is merely an extension of my need to eat clean. A warm bowl of nutrient dense lentils and veggies is in order to cure the indulgence from our recent vacation. Only problem is, I think that I’m still on vacation…

That’s why I have this cheat’s version.

cheat's lentil soup |

How does one cheat a soup recipe? The food processor.

As much as I love my food processor, I don’t use it very often because I’m too lazy to deal with it. It’s usually buried behind a million things and I have trouble fitting the pieces into the dishwasher properly. But ever since we moved, my tune has changed. We have much better cabinet space in our new kitchen. It now has its own designated spot without obstructions, leaving me more inclined to use it. The dishwasher though? There’s no hope.

The food processor cuts your prep time down to literally nothing. I use the slicer blade, which does all of the work for you; there’s no chopping involved. Not only that, the veggies are sliced super thin which means that they will cook fast. I should’ve called this ‘cheat’s speedy lentil soup.’

In about 15 minutes, your house will be filled with fragrant herbs, fennel, and tomato…

cheat's lentil soup |

This recipe varies from a traditional lentil soup, in that it’s not quite as thick and dried lentils are replaced with canned. Although the dried variety cooks relatively fast (and is usually my preference) the need for speed supersedes us here.

The food processor method is perfect for those lazy days when you want to eat quick and healthy. Don’t forget the bread!

cheat's lentil soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 slices of good quality bacon (optional)*
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 baby fennel (or ½ regular fennel bulb)
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 c. yellow swiss chard leaves, stems reserved
  • 1 juicy beefsteak tomato
  • 1 quart chicken stock + more as needed
  • 1x 14 oz. can of lentils, rinsed + drained
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper
  • ¼ c. roughly chopped parsley
  • parmesan cheese
* I used Applewood smoked bacon
  1. In a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven, warm a teaspoon of olive oil over moderate heat. Thinly slice the bacon and add to the pot. Saute until golden.
  2. Meanwhile, fit your food processor with the slicer blade. Process the onion, garlic, fennel, carrots, and swiss chard stems (reserve the leaves). Depending on how wide your feed tube is, you might need to cut the vegetables to the appropriate size before processing.
  3. Add the sliced vegetables to the pot and saute until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the tomato and cook until soft.
  5. Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Add the lentils.
  7. Thinly slice the reserved swiss chard leaves and stir into the soup. Cook for about 5 minutes or until wilted.
  8. Taste the soup, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the fresh parsley right before serving.
  10. Garnish with parmesan cheese and enjoy with warm, crusty bread.


    • Emilie says

      Thank you lovely! Ah, yes… so I’m not the only one with totally unorganized cabinets! I know it sounds silly, but the minute I gave my food processor its own spot, free from clutter, I was more excited to use it. That thing can work wonders! xx

  1. Chrissy says

    Lentils are a wonderful food, I just love them.

    Awesome tip: should anyone live near a Trader Joes they sell them pre steamed in a very neatly wrapped box in the produce section! I buy them 4 boxes at a time for salads and soups! They come from France and are delicious. Tip #2. If you are a beet lover they have boxed steamed baby beets from right next to the lentils!!!! No canned taste necessary.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Chrissy! I LOVE TRADER JOE’S! I practically live in that store… Now, how on earth have I missed the steamed lentils?! Is this a new product? I do know that some TJ’s differ from others in terms of product selection, but I do hope that this will be available in my local store soon. Thank you so much for the tips! I will certainly be on the look-out :) And ps- love beets too!

      • Chrissy says

        Hi Emilie! Again check the produce area. I am not sure where you are located but my experience with the store is they love customer feedback! Ask for these items and if they don’t have them they will order.

        A box of beets, Goat cheese and balsamic glaze all from Tj travels to work with me for lunch weekly!

        • Chrissy says

          Sorry one more thing! Box of lentils a little EVO, tbl or so of balsamic finely chopped red onion s&p to taste and a sprinkle of goat cheese again is another favorite quick lunch or side! Enjoy!

        • Emilie says

          Hi! I will definitely check the produce area again and hit up the customer service desk to inquire within. Hopefully they will be able to order it for the store, as I’m sure many people would appreciate this product as well. They did this for me when they were out of dried rice noodles… they were the best and such a good price too!
          I’m loving your lunch ideas! They’re right up my alley. And it’s a good thing I have some of that TJ glaze in my pantry ;)

  2. says

    Saving this recipe for the fall-looking forward to making it, but not for the cold weather! My food processor is really old, discolored and with a broken piece, but it’s still probably my favorite appliance…

  3. says

    I’m loving this recipe actually! I totally agree that the food processor usually sits in the back of the cupboard but you’re right it makes things so much quicker. I’ve never tried canned lentils before…so smart for time-saving!

  4. says

    I’ve been living off a batch of borscht I made on Saturday all week – same as you it’s a cheat’s version and ready in 20 minutes. I’m still feeling the need to cleanse too :)

    • Emilie says

      Oh yes! I saw that on IG… that’s a really good idea actually, as I have plenty of beets in the fridge. Soup’s on ;)

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