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June 6, 2012

Recipe for red lentil rhubarb soup


When I say rhubarb, you think sugar. I know you do, because we all do. So go ahead and jump for joy: this red lentil rhubarb soup beats a savory path to your taste buds. No sugar, no sweetener. Instead, it uses the lemony flavor of the rhubarb to brighten up the mild red lentils (which could also be yellow or brown or green lentils, whatever you have in your pantry). Use homemade stock to make it gluten-free. Make it vegan with the easy substitution of vegetable broth for chicken broth; you could use water instead, and add some kosher salt. If you have herbs in your garden, chop a generous bit of parsley and dill together, and add it right before serving. Isn't it a shame that with red lentils and red rhubarb stalks, the soup doesn't turn a gorgeous shade of pink?

Red lentil rhubarb soup

Serves 4.


2 tsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup chopped rhubarb
3/4 cup red lentils (or yellow, or brown, whatever you have)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, or water
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley, or dill, or a mix


In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the carrots, celery and onion for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the rhubarb, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another 3-4 minutes. Stir in the lentils.

Add the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring now and then to keep the lentils from sticking. Taste the lentils; if they are not soft, keep cooking for a few more minutes.

Remove the pot from heat, and purée with an immersion blender (or, allow the soup to cool for 15 minutes, process in batches in a stand blender or food processor, then return the pot to the stove).

Stir in all but one tablespoon of the chopped herbs, and season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Ladle into individual serving bowls, garnish with remaining herbs, and serve hot.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: susan g | June 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM

This is brilliant!

Posted by: Rupert Worfort | June 6, 2012 at 01:43 PM

How come it's not red?

It tastes a bit like potato soup - very very good

Posted by: Lydia | June 6, 2012 at 02:22 PM

Susan, right up your alley. I know you'll love it.

Rupert, it's a shame that it's not red or pink, isn't it? So glad you liked it.

Posted by: chris | June 6, 2012 at 05:41 PM

Savory with a capital S!!!! so simple..subbed cilantro for the parsley..and plenty of it! thank you for the wonderful recipe!

Posted by: Lydia | June 6, 2012 at 09:34 PM

Chris, cilantro would be great (I'm not a cilantro lover, but I can imagine...). So glad you enjoyed it.

Posted by: Stacy | June 21, 2012 at 08:03 PM

Just made with fennel instead of celery because that is what I had. Used brown lentils and vegetable broth... and I added two peeled chopped apples during the simmer. Also combined fresh tarragon with the parsley and dill mixture... so so good!!!!

Posted by: susan g | August 11, 2012 at 05:56 PM

My neighbor's rhubarb made a late appearance, so I just made this. No celery, 1 apple (unpeeled), a little dill, a little cilantro. Delicious!

Posted by: Lydia | August 11, 2012 at 06:01 PM

Stacy and Susan: I love hearing about your adaptations! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and leave your comments.

Posted by: Joanne T Ferguson | August 19, 2012 at 05:16 AM

Made this today!! Got the two thumbs up from DH.
Thank you!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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