You may have seen me prepare this on the NBC TODAY Show. It’s a great dish to serve on a chilly winter day and comes from my cookbook, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 large leek, white and tender green parts, cut in half lengthwise, well rinsed, and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 quart home-canned tomatoes, diced, or one 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 kosher salt
  • 1 freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, leeks, and garlic, and saut&eacut; until soft, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, lentils, vegetable broth, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 1 hour, or until the lentils are tender. Add the salt and pepper, and remove the bay leaf.
  3. For a more rustic or informal meal, serve the soup as is. For a more "refined" meal, puree the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth, and gently reheat it.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve.