German Lentil Soup


A friend's mother brought this recipe to Santa Barbara, where Lydie Marshall and her family lived after emigrating from Germany. Lydie's friend, Inge Wilkinson, substituted olive oil and red bell peppers for the lard and for some of the potatoes. Warming Soup Recipes

German Lentil Soup
Photo: © Reed Davis
4 quarts


  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds shoulder lamb chops

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • One 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes, crushed, with their liquid

  • 1 pound brown lentils, rinsed

  • 10 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems discarded, leaves chopped

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the lamb chops and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate.

  2. Add the potatoes, garlic, peppers, carrots, onion and celery to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the lamb chops, tomatoes, lentils, chicken stock and parsley and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the lamb chops and discard the bones. Cut the meat into large pieces and return to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


For a memorably rich soup, substitute lard for the olive oil as in the traditional German recipe. Prairie Pride Farm sells leaf lard, the best kind of lard, which comes from around the pig's kidneys. Store the lard in the refrigerator or the freezer.

Suggested Pairing

A rustic, earthy red with good fruit will harmonize with the earthiness of the lentils. Try wines from Corbières or Côtes-du-Rhône.

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