German Lentil Soup

A good soup starts with good stock. You can use your own beef stock or you can buy canned/packaged beef stock or canned beef broth. Add slices of Polish Kielbasa or smoked sausage to this soup to taste. In some parts of Germany, cooked sauerkraut is added to the finished soup to give it an interesting flavor.

1/2 pound of lentils, wash thoroughly in cold water to eliminate any dirt or bad lentils.

1 large onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 cup of diced leeks. Use the white part of the leek and wash it carefully.

1/2 pound of lean bacon cut into strips. You can always add a bit MORE bacon than that, up to you.

6 cups of beef stock

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 tsp cumin powder

2 tbl spoons chopped parsley

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tablespoon vinegar.

Render the bacon in a heavy pot or Dutch Oven. When the bacon has lost about half of its fat, add onions, leeks, celery, and carrots. Saute vegetables and then add the washed lentils. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the vinegar and chopped parsley. Simmer for about an hour and a half. Add salt and pepper to taste. At the end, add the vinegar, chopped parsley, and serve.

I like to use rye bread croutons in the soup. They should be cubed about an inch – hearty croutons, freshly made, not boxed.


Notes on Beef Stock

To make good beef stock, get good beef bones or beef shank. Always wash the meat first and set it up in cold water. Starting in cold water opens the pores of the meat and all the flavor is extracted into the stock. Add an array of root vegetables for flavoring. Carrots, celery, leeks, parsley stems, a couple of cloves of garlic, and a bay leaf will work. Continuously skim off the impurities which cook out of the meat. After simmering for about 3 hours,  strain the stock. You can use it as is or put it into ice cube trays to freeze. After the stock is frozen, remove it from the trays and store them in a food-saver (air-tight bag).


I personally like a hearty, homemade soup on a cold day. Making enough for more than one serving only makes sense. The soup freezes nicely.  A hearty bread always goes well with the soup.


  1. All that sounds good indeed.

    For some reason I’m reminded of an Indian (dot) friend who inadvertently upset a number of people at work one day. Someone was holding forth (quite shrilly I might add) on how “Indians are mostly vegetarian, but their food is delicious. No one needs meat, ever!” My friend (who was an EXCELLENT cook, totally self-trained) burst out laughing, “That’s because all those ‘vegetarian’ dishes you get from Indian restaurants are based on chicken stock! Everyone knows that. Except for certain very religious people who take their vegetarianism seriously, we just PRETEND to not know about the chicken.” Hoo boy, you could see the mental anguish of the woman who had been holding forth. “I want to tell him off and say he’s FOS, but he’s Indian and I’m white. What to do? What to DO?!!” Bwahahaha! It was glorious.

    Good man, my friend, and highly atypical: Played semi-pro hockey for two years after college. Had the speed and talent but at 5’6″ and about 140 lbs was too small to make it to the bigs. Didn’t keep him from marrying a gorgeous 5’8″ Frenchwoman however 🙂

    • Good woman prefer men who can cook, including Sunday morning fare. Dad taught us boys to cook, couple of self-taught chef’s in the family.

    • The best red dot Indian food is based around chicken. However it’s difficult to find good Indian in the Western US. Easier to find feather Indian. Frybread & green chili

    • Good vegetarian (or vegan, though much harder) food can be made, but it doesn’t allow you to brag about your wealth and virtue as much as the incredibly overpriced store-bought crap, so most of those folks don’t care.

      It’s mostly like electric cars; a way to crow about how much “better” you are than other people, through the act of conspicuous consumption.


  2. If you happen to be in the Acadiana part of Louisiana on a day when a cold snap blows thru, and preferably one with a little drizzle or light rain, go watch the natives. About 9:00 AM they’ll start looking at each other, and by 9:30, somebody will invoke the holy words, “Where are we going to eat the gumbo today?” Pretty much everything stops while they hammer out a consensus about where the best gumbo is to be had. 11:00 AM they’ve lost all patience and out the door they go, en masse, whether their favorite place was chosen or not. It is a fine thing to watch, and a finer thing to asked to participate in. You know you’ve made the cut as a non-Cajun when they include you in on it. Pro tip: C’est Bon in Mermentau. You can get there off I-10, but you gotta work at it a little. It’s worth the stretch. You’re welcome.

    • Good gumbo is like soup of the gods (small g). It’s true that there are a lot of different gumbos in the South. I’m a clam chowder snob. I prefer fresh geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck) clams in my chowder.

  3. re — making bone broth
    (I owned a restaurant business for ten years, we operate a small organic teaching farm.)
    Instead of a stock-pot, I like electric pressure-cookers (one brand is ‘InstaPot’).
    To help extract minerals from the bones and ligaments, I add a splash of vinegar (coconut vinegar is my favorite) to the water (spring or RO, no chlorine).
    Exclusive-ists segregate their swine, beef, venison, lamb, fowl… I freeze everything together in pot-size chunks, then pot it unified.
    Fish heads and tails and such soak separate.
    Warm weather, we run an extension cord to the porch so the pots keep the heat outside.
    After a relaxing soak, I skim and strain (this is the ‘discard’).
    That ‘discard’ goes in the blender with the bones to pulverize to dusty paste, then gets added to smoothie ‘snacks’ for the dogs.
    In some cultures, fermented broth helps maintain gut health.

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