Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Czech Lentil Soup

With this recipe I plan to save the world from the economic crisis. Not because it is cheap to make, but because the tradition says that if you eat this soup on New Year’s Eve, the lentils represent coins. Your wealth next year depends on how many lentils you will eat. You guessed right, we eat tons of this soup. We try our best to eat many, many coins in order to pay for our dreams or blog hosting costs.

Before New Year’s Eve, we have this soup as a Christmas dish.  Most families in Central Europe have fish soup, but our and other cool families prefer this amazing lentil soup. Since Katy joined the family, we also have this soup many times during the year. My mum makes it the best, but I have gotten good at it too. And I even developed a vegetarian version especially for Katy.  Here I mention both, the classic with sausage, and the vegetarian version. Enjoy and get rich!

Czech Lentil Soup with Sausage

Lentil Soup – classic version

The only meat in this soup is a Hungarian-style smoked paprika sausage (not hot). Gyulai kolbasz or Debreceni kolbasz are ok. Do not skimp on the quality, since you need just a little bit of it. Please do not use fancy vinegars. The rule here is cheap white vinegar. You can use any mushrooms, no need for anything exotic, but for the most authentic results you can use dried European wild mushrooms. The more varieties, the better the soup. Instead of sour cream you can use cream or 1/2 cream and 1/2 sour cream. For a fancy occasion I go for cream, when I am making it just for us, I use sour cream.

Ingredients

Makes 4 portions

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar – optional but good
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 Californian one
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms or handful of dried ones
  • 2 tbs white vinegar or 3 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 cup sour cream or cream
  • 1 cup or more sliced Hungarian style sausage
  • 2ts flour

Method

  • Wash the lentils, put them into a pot together with water, 3 cloves of crushed garlic (just hit it hard once with your palm), bay leaf, salt, sausage and mushrooms.
  • Cook on low heat. When lentils get soft (40min to 1 hour). Add the sour cream/cream. In order to prevent curdling, put the sour cream into a bigger bowl and gradually add some of the hot soup, maybe a quarter-cup at a time to bring up the sour cream’s temperature. Then add the mixture back into the soup and bring it to a boil. (boil it for 2min)
  • Now soup is almost ready. Let it cool a bit (like 5-10 min) and then add the vinegar and sugar.
  • Depending on your taste, add more salt,vinegar or sugar.
  • You can serve it with more sour cream 🙂 and parsley.

Lentil Soup – vegetarian version

This is a vegetarian version of the amazing lentil soup. The quasi roux is for imitating the spiciness of the sausage. You could try adding a little Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón) for even more sausaginess. As above, use cream, sour cream, or a mixture according to your taste.

Ingredients

Makes 4 portions

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 7 cups of water
  • 1 tsp sugar -optional but good
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 Californian one
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms or hand full of dried ones
  • 2 tbs white vinegar or 3 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • For the roux
  • 1.5 tbs of vegetable oil
  • 2tsp flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method

  • Wash the lentils, put them into a pot together with water, 1 clove of crushed garlic (just hit it hard once with your palm), bay leaf, salt, and mushrooms.
  • Cook over low heat. When the lentils are slowly getting soft (cca 30min) make the roux. In a separate pan add oil, and start to fry smashed garlic and the black pepper. Add flour and when the flour is a bit brown, add the paprika, stir and add it to the soup. The process has to happen fast, because you do not want to burn the garlic or the paprika.
  • Continue simmering over low heat. When lentils get soft (40min to 1hour). Add the sour cream/cream. In order to prevent curdling, put the sour cream into a bigger bowl and gradually add some of the hot soup, maybe a quarter-cup at a time to bring up the cream’s temperature. Then add the mixture back into the soup and bring it to a boil. (boil it for 2min)
  • Now soup is almost ready. Let it cool a bit (like 5-10 min) and then add the vinegar and the sugar.
  • Depending on your taste add more salt,vinegar or sugar.
  • You can serve it with more sour cream 🙂 and parsley.

2 Comments
  • seboka
    Posted at 08:08h, 20 November Reply

    our family also eats lentil soup for Christmas, but not this kind, only onion chopped, lentil cooked and done. plain soup for a family get-together.

    for lunch on the 24th we have always mákos guba, you promissed not to forget to write about that. 😉

  • Laura
    Posted at 16:07h, 18 September Reply

    Lencseleves !
    I’m familiar with the tradition of ” lentils = wealth”, but the big thing in my family around “Új év” was that eating anything with wings would mean your luck would fly away for the new year …
    So pork and venison on New Year’s Eve, kolbász and hurka (blood and liver pudding) on New Year’s day …
    Kocsonya was a treat too (pigs trotters in the jellified liquor they were cooked in).
    Fond memories !

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