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Magda’s Hearty Lentil Soup

Lentils are a delicious, hearty and super frugal food that makes really nutritious meals with lots of meatless protein. This wonderful soup is a great way to warm up.  I like to serve it with garlic bread for dinner or lunch.

Hearty Lentil Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry lentils
  • 5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 8 ounces tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • (null) salt and pepper, to taste


  • Pick over dried lentils to remove any foreign materials. Rinse.
  • Add water to the lentils, covering by about 1 inch.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until just tender. This can take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes depending on the age of the lentils.
  • Check the water level regularly to make sure the lentils do not burn.
  • Do not add salt.
  • In another pot, sauté onion, garlic and red pepper in oil.
  • Add lentils and stock.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes, corn and seasonings, and simmer another 10 minutes.

Frugal tip: Don’t be idle, or at least don’t idle unnecessarily. When you need to stop for a medium a few minutes, don’t leave the car idling.  Apparently, with most cars, it takes about ten seconds worth of idling to start your car. If it is safe and practical and you know you will be stopped for significantly more than ten seconds, turn off your car instead of idling.  Occasionally, I still go through a drive through and if the line is going slowly I will turn off the car while waiting to move ahead. I will allow cars to move ahead of me without advancing until real progress can be made. For example, if there are three car lengths between the pay window and the pickup window, I will turn off the car after passing the pay window and not go again until it is my turn at the pickup window. Of course, I try to make sure I am not inconveniencing those behind me as I do this.
If I have to wait for someone to run a quick errand or to get into the car when picking them up, I also turn off the engine. It may not make a huge difference, but every little bit helps.