Soups de Lentilles

In 2014, my daughter and I visited Stéphane Gabart of the My French Heaven blog. I’ve sung his praises many times before on this blog as the result of now three visits to him in his French heaven.

His expertise, of course, are food and wine, but because visits are customized to your interests, he also can take you to castles, fortresses, and places like Abbey de la Sauve Majeure.

It was at the Abbey, in their gift shop, that I purchased a beautiful French cookbook, called “The Cuisine of our Grandmothers.”

Stéphane sent me a photo of me holding the bag with my new cookbook and, of course, also fiddling with my camera. And I had to throw a pic in of my gorgeous daughter, walking with me in the French countryside.

The cookbook is beautiful, with creative artwork, interesting stories and anecdotes.

I decided to make a lentil soup recipe from the cookbook because it contains two interesting ingredients – crème fraiche and hazelnut oil. And, the soup is puréed.

Why in the world would I think that a cookbook purchased in France would be in English? Silly American. Thanks, Mom, for the translation help.

Lentil Soup
printable recipe below

300 g of Le Puy lentils, about 10.6 ounces
2 carrots
2 shallots
1 celery stick
2 cloves garlic
Bit of butter, about 1 tablespoon
20 cl creme fraiche, about 6.7 ounces
80 g butter, about 2.8 ounces
Salt
Pepper
8 cl hazelnut oil, about 2.7 fluid ounces
2 ounces diced, smoked bacon

Peel, rinse, and chop the carrots, shallots, celery, and the garlic into small pieces.

Let them cook softly in a little butter in a large pot over low heat.

Add the lentils and add three times the volume of water.

Let the lentils cook for about 20-25 minutes.

Stir, then add the crème fraiche and butter.

Emulsify the soup with a hand blender, and incorporate the hazelnut oil.

Pour the soup into warmed serving bowls, and top with the cooked bacon.

It kind of bothered me to purée the lentils. I love the taste of le Puy lentils, but I love them also because they hold their shape, which is why they are not only good for soups, but even side dishes.

I should have put the lentil soup in a blender, but decided the texture was fine semi-puréed.

The texture obviously had no affect on the flavor, which is what I was most interested in. Unfortunately, the hazelnut flavor was too mild, and I wasn’t willing to add more oil.

But what I did love was the creaminess of the soup. Next time I’ll definitely include a bit more butter and crème fraiche, but not bother with the hazelnut oil, except for maybe a drizzle on top.

 

By Published On: May 2nd, 201868 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

68 Comments

  1. All That I'm Eating May 2, 2018 at 6:17 AM - Reply

    This sounds so delicious, and humble too. A great recipe!

    • chef mimi May 2, 2018 at 6:50 AM - Reply

      Thanks so much.

  2. Chomeuse with a Chou May 2, 2018 at 6:42 AM - Reply

    This looks so tasty! I love lentils :)

    • chef mimi May 2, 2018 at 6:50 AM - Reply

      They are so good!

  3. David @ Spiced May 2, 2018 at 8:52 AM - Reply

    What a fun twist on lentil soup! This soup sounds delicious, and even better are the memories that come along with a bowl. Thanks for sharing!

    • chef mimi May 2, 2018 at 10:00 AM - Reply

      Definitely a unique recipe for lentil soup. I just wouldn’t bother with the blending step.

  4. Gerlinde May 2, 2018 at 9:50 AM - Reply

    This soup reminds me of a lentil pâté I once had in France and it was very good. I make a lentil salad with hazelnut oil and hazelnuts.

    • chef mimi May 2, 2018 at 10:01 AM - Reply

      Delicious. It’s definitely a wonderful combination. Do you like a specific brand of hazelnut oil? Mine barely had any flavor.

    • Gerlinde de Broekert May 2, 2018 at 11:46 PM - Reply

      The good ones I bring from Germany. Right now I am using La Tourangelle , it’s com California and it is ok and you are right it doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor.

      • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 6:52 AM

        That’s the brand I have. It’s hardly worth using if there’s little to no flavor!

    • Gerlinde de Broekert May 2, 2018 at 11:54 PM - Reply

      I always keep my hazelnut oil in the refrigerator because it goes rancid very fast .

  5. Megala May 2, 2018 at 10:08 AM - Reply

    Wonderful recipe ! Sounds healthy & hearty !!

    • chef mimi May 2, 2018 at 10:09 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

  6. Bill May 2, 2018 at 10:13 AM - Reply

    I had a similar dish once that used hazelnut milk to make it a cream soup. Might have been inspired by. Et les photos sont magnifiques, merci.

    • chef mimi May 2, 2018 at 10:15 AM - Reply

      It’s hard to take a bad photo in a place like that! Good idea, actually, especially if you’re counting calories! (Hazelnut milk over creme fraiche.) But I’ve had hazelnut milk and it’s so mild, as was my hazelnut oil.

  7. kitchenriffs May 2, 2018 at 10:42 AM - Reply

    Love lentils! Wonderful in soup, or as a side dish. I can read a bit of cookbook French, but I’m lucky in that Mrs K R was a French major, so I have expert help at hand. :-)

    • chef mimi May 2, 2018 at 12:14 PM - Reply

      Oh, how nice! All I can do in French anymore is order food! And sadly, it was my first language.

  8. Greg Henry (@sippitysup) May 2, 2018 at 12:03 PM - Reply

    You’re BOTH gorgeous and so are the lentils. GREG

    • chef mimi May 2, 2018 at 12:14 PM - Reply

      Aw, thanks.

  9. jenniferguerrero1 May 2, 2018 at 12:09 PM - Reply

    Ooooh! Thank you for another use for my hazelnut oil! :D

    • chef mimi May 2, 2018 at 12:13 PM - Reply

      Hahahaha! Do you have a brand that you prefer?

      • jenniferguerrero1 May 2, 2018 at 12:16 PM

        No. Mine’s from Trader Joe’s. lol! :D

  10. Liz May 2, 2018 at 2:33 PM - Reply

    Yum! I love lentil soup and it’s good to see a slightly different take on it. Fun to read about your travels and cookbook find as well :-)

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Liz. It was a magical, action-packed trip!

  11. Francesca May 2, 2018 at 2:51 PM - Reply

    Lovely pics of you Mimi. An interesting version on lentil soup, so odd to puree it. I like the idea of the hazlenut oil.

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      I know. I really wanted to follow the recipe, but it was actually hard for me to purée the beautiful lentils! But I should have put it all in the blender to really purée them.

  12. canelakitchen May 2, 2018 at 6:04 PM - Reply

    I love lentilles ! this soup sounds wonderful!!

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      I love the ingredients in this soup, and I’d add a few toasted chopped hazelnuts on the top.

  13. camparigirl May 2, 2018 at 6:15 PM - Reply

    One more lentil recipe to try. I adore lentils and cook them frequently – always on the lookout for different ways to use them.

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 6:54 AM - Reply

      I treat a lot of beans with mutual respect – black, white – but lentils really are special little things. Especially Le Puy lentils!

  14. Debra May 2, 2018 at 11:20 PM - Reply

    I enjoyed reading about your travels, Mimi. How lovely to have shared that experience with your daughter. I do love lentils, and make a nice lentil soup, but this is really a very elevated and special taste experience. I’m excited at the thought of introducing it to my family!

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 6:53 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much! You can visit Stephane, too!!! It’s like immersion instead of being a tourist, plus with great food and wine!

  15. grumpytyke May 3, 2018 at 12:10 AM - Reply

    I often make lentil soup but like to wizz it in the liquidiser. The recipe is basically the same without the hazlenut oil. Rather than creme fraiche I usually put a dollop of sour cream when serving, a habit I picked up in Romania where it is common practice with many soups.

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 6:50 AM - Reply

      Interesting. I put sour cream on a lot of soup, but just because I love the flavor and coolness against the hot soup!

  16. Ariasmith May 3, 2018 at 12:18 AM - Reply

    It’s looking very healthy and yummy!!! I love your recipes chefmimi ,My thanks for doing such a good job!!!

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 7:04 AM - Reply

      That is so sweet – thank you!

  17. Eva Taylor May 3, 2018 at 5:22 AM - Reply

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. I am often drawn to cookbooks, particularly when I’m abroad, but I have so many already that I always stop myself. Plus they tend to be heavy and I’d rather the weight in my suitcase be shoes 🤪!
    Le puys lentils in a creamed soup? I am intrigued. I’ve always used le puys lentils in salads as they are known for their structure, they don’t fall apart like red lentils (which by the way are luxuriously creamy when puréed too). I have used red lentils as a sauce or soup thickener many times (like last night). I keep a zip lock baggy of puréed lentils (frozen in an ice cube tray) in the freezer, when a sauce or soup needs thickening, I just pop one or two cubes in and allow it to melt. It makes a gorgeous, creamy texture.
    Too bad the hazelnut oil didn’t deliver, it’s fairly expensive here so that would be annoying. I wonder if you could use hazelnut extract for a bigger bang? The crème fraiche sound like an awesome addition. Will try this next time I make lentil soup, which won’t be long as it is a beloved pulse in my kitchen.
    I’ll check out your blogging friend, how wonderful it is to meet bloggers from all over the world! I have met around 9 so far; if we happen to travel to their city, I reach out and mostly we meet up for a coffee or glass of vino. Bloggers are the loveliest.

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 6:47 AM - Reply

      Ha! I would rather carry shoes than books myself! What I really should have done, when my immersion blender didn’t do the job on the lentil soup, was to put it all in a blender and purée it until smooth. But I also was intrigued by the recipe because of the resulting flavor, not texture. I love lentils on salads, also. They’re just wonderful little legumes!

      • Eva Taylor May 23, 2018 at 6:03 AM

        What a coincidence, I had a lentil soup scheduled for this past Monday! I used red lentils and puréed the heck out of them for a super silky texture. I’ll bookmark your recipe for when the cooler days set in the fall, we are into heat and humidity from here on in!

      • chef mimi May 23, 2018 at 7:14 PM

        Love red lentils…

  18. Sissi May 3, 2018 at 8:41 AM - Reply

    Hi, Mimi! First of all thank you so much for your visit on my blog and the kind comment!
    I’m very glad to meet you and to discover your blog and love this soup! I cook lentils quite often, but have never had them creamed (I mean this type of lentils). I also like their texture, so would probably leave them partly creamed, just like you did!
    I always buy cookery books whenever I travel abroad. Even written in languages I understand only a little (though I always tend to know best the food vocabulary in every language, haha!)…. There’s internet for translation and sometimes friends can help…. It’s such a pleasure to have an original and not a translated version, isn’t it?

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 5:59 PM - Reply

      I’d never puréed lentils either, and instead of not trusting the recipe I should have just put them in the blender! Thank you for your sweet comment. I also tend to know some food vocabulary, which helps when ordering, but not when translating recipes!

  19. Julie is Hostess At Heart May 3, 2018 at 11:22 AM - Reply

    I love lentils and am always looking for new ways to enjoy them. This soup sounds creamy and delicious. I agree that I wouldn’t have added more oil either.

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 5:48 PM - Reply

      It was very tasty, but I don’t think I’d purée the lentils again. And I might add some chopped hazelnuts on top!

  20. Laura May 3, 2018 at 6:01 PM - Reply

    So interesting that you puree the lentils Chef Mimi – looks delicious and I have some macadamia oil that I’m thinking could work in place of the hazelnut oil…..

    • chef mimi May 3, 2018 at 6:04 PM - Reply

      I know. It was almost sacrilegious pureeing them! I just love Le Puys whole. That’s why they’re so wonderful.

  21. Elaine @ foodbod May 4, 2018 at 5:57 AM - Reply

    I love the illustrations in the book! And the scenery looks gorgeous :)

    • chef mimi May 4, 2018 at 6:54 AM - Reply

      It’s a very pretty and fun cookbook. I’m glad I grabbed it!

  22. Frank Fariello May 4, 2018 at 6:42 AM - Reply

    I love the French take on lentil soup. Had it once with sautéed fois gras on top, in a small bistrot in Paris. Pure heaven!

    • chef mimi May 4, 2018 at 6:54 AM - Reply

      Oh my god that sounds incredible.

  23. Ron May 4, 2018 at 8:28 AM - Reply

    Lentil soup is a staple around here. We mix it up and make its in the style of India at times and then with a French twist now and then, but never with creme fraiche. What a great idea. Must give it a whirl.
    That cookbook is a true treasure. I love picking up an old cookbook a purchase somewhere in the world and reading what I wrote in it at the time I bought it. Do you make notes in your books when you get them?

    • chef mimi May 4, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Reply

      No, I don’t. I make notes about recipes, and often wish I had better handwriting!

  24. hotlyspiced May 4, 2018 at 6:30 PM - Reply

    How wonderful to have traveled to France then brought back this wonderful cookbook. It certainly is beautifully illustrated. But like you, I would definitely need to run to the nearest translator. Your soup looks very comforting xx

    • chef mimi May 4, 2018 at 7:13 PM - Reply

      Thank you Charlie!

  25. Emma May 4, 2018 at 9:34 PM - Reply

    What a lovely soup and a beautiful cookbook. I always buy cookbooks when I travel and then need to use google translate to understand them!

    • chef mimi May 21, 2018 at 7:19 AM - Reply

      Oh, that’s a great idea! The soup was really nice – I loved the addition of the creme fraiche.

  26. FrugalHausfrau May 5, 2018 at 3:25 AM - Reply

    Oh Mimi, my mouth is watering!! All those lovely ingredients!

    • chef mimi May 5, 2018 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

  27. Marie May 6, 2018 at 10:31 AM - Reply

    What a lovely cookbook! I’ve never thought to add crème fraiche or hazelnut oil to lentil soup before. Sounds delicious!

    • chef mimi May 6, 2018 at 11:05 AM - Reply

      It’s such a different recipe, isn’t it/!!

  28. kathryninthekitchen May 7, 2018 at 7:07 AM - Reply

    The joy from memories keep on keeping on (as they say) and having something to bring those memories to life is so special. What a lovely soup to bring this memory and joy to life. ☺️

    • chef mimi May 7, 2018 at 7:10 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much, Kathryn !

  29. David May 7, 2018 at 8:40 AM - Reply

    Holy cow, does that look good! Thanks!

    • chef mimi May 21, 2018 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      Thanks, David. I really like the addition of the creme fraiche.

  30. Dawn @ Words Of Deliciousness May 8, 2018 at 8:16 PM - Reply

    The soup looks wonderful! Love the pictures from your trip.

    • chef mimi May 21, 2018 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      Thank you. Oh, that trip was just magical.

  31. Jeff the Chef May 12, 2018 at 6:35 AM - Reply

    I’m not so sure you should’ve put the soup in the blender. It looks to me like you have a nice balance between creaminess and chunkiness that I think I would love!

    • chef mimi May 12, 2018 at 6:40 AM - Reply

      It just wasn’t very pretty, to me. But it tasted good!

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