Debbie’s Cherry Tomato, Red Lentil, 
and Chickpea Soup | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Debbie’s Cherry Tomato, Red Lentil, 
and Chickpea Soup

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Debbie’s Cherry Tomato, Red Lentil, 
and Chickpea Soup

Credit: Clare Winfield

My sister Debbie served this to me as a dinner party appetizer one night and it was so delicious; even better, it’s very healthy. I’ve recreated it many times since and it works just as well as a filling and virtuous lunch with some lovely dense rye bread or sourdough as it does as a no-fuss dinner party offering. I threw in some leftover cooked chickpeas at the end once and now I always add them—aside from providing some welcome texture to the soup, they also make it into more of a meal in itself.

I would urge you to use really good-quality organic canned cherry tomatoes for this soup and not be tempted to substitute other types of canned tomatoes; only fresh would be an acceptable alternative.

Servings & Times
Yield:
  • Serves 8
Ingredients

2 white onions

6 carrots

2 celery stalks 

3 garlic cloves

olive oil, for sautéeing

1 cup dried red lentils

3 × 14oz cans cherry tomatoes

1½ quarts chicken or vegetable stock

3 bay leaves

a few sprigs of thyme

¼ cup dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked or 14oz can chickpeas,
drained and rinsed

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

dollop of crème fraîche (optional)

Steps

Peel and finely chop the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, or add to your food processor and pulse until everything is nice and small but not puréed. 

Add a few glugs of olive oil to a large saucepan, add the vegetables, and sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes until they are soft. 

Rinse the lentils well until the water runs clear and then add to the saucepan and cook for a minute. Stir in the canned tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaves and thyme and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Turn the heat down, cover with a lid, and simmer gently for around 35 to 40 minutes.

When the soup is ready, it will be nice and thick. At this point, you can either blend completely until smooth using a stick blender or by transferring to a blender, or partially blend to keep it thick and chunky. 

Add the chickpeas to the soup and continue cooking until they are heated through. Check and adjust the seasoning, then serve with a dollop of crème fraîche if you like.