Lentils are a quick cooking alternative to other dried legumes (as in dried beans), making them appropriate for busy weeknight dinners. (Just be sure not to overcook the lentils, or they will become mushy; you want them to retain a bit of bite.) Lentils are also traditional in brothy soups that are chock full of vegetables, as in this straightforward version, which combines carrots, tomatoes, turnip, celery, and leek to delicious effect. Toasted cardamom and sesame seeds are a crunchy garnish.


  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tomatoes (ripe)
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 leek (white part only)
  • olive oil (to taste)
  • 1 vegetable bouillion
  • water (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)
  • 2 cardamom seeds (green)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Soak the lentils in warm water to soften.
  2. Saute the finely chopped onion until golden and translucent.
  3. Dice the vegetables and add to the onion. Mix well and cook until the vegetables have softened slightly.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, well-drained lentils and water (calculated depending on the number of servings desired).
  5. This soup is meant to have a small amount of broth.
  6. Season with salt, and add one or two green cardamom seeds (skin removed).
  7. Toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan until golden brown.
  8. Once cooked through, season soup to taste.
  9. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve warm.
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