Homemade German Lentil Soup Recipe (Made From Scratch Goodness)

Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Europe with our German Lentil Soup recipe, a rustic and hearty bowl brimming with wholesome goodness. Savor the earthy flavors of lentils, melded seamlessly with smoky bacon, tender vegetables, and a splash of vinegar for an authentic touch. Each spoonful is a celebration of tradition and taste, providing a comforting and nourishing experience. Dive into this soul-warming soup, and let the rich, savory layers of our German Lentil Soup transport you to a cozy kitchen in the heart of Germany.

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Savor the comfort of German Lentil Soup Recipe, a nourishing symphony of flavors enriched by tradition. Embrace the dance of hearty lentils, tender vegetables, and aromatic herbs that takes you to the heart of German kitchens.  

German Lentil Soup Recipe

This soup is a love letter to simplicity, yet makes your palate travel through a fascinating culinary landscape. Find comfort in each spoonful, reminiscing of heart-warming, homemade meals.

Sip, relish, and find yourself transported to the quaint cobblestone streets of Germany, experiencing the country’s culinary heartbeat

Each bowl offers a healthful, filling meal that marries taste with nourishment. Explore the magic of simple ingredients creating profound flavor, woven together by time-honored cooking techniques. 

Savor every spoonful of this German Lentil Soup and discover a world of flavor in your bowl every time.

Join us on this journey of wholesome indulgence. Taste the tradition, relish the warmth, and be a part of the German culinary legacy.

What Is German Lentil Soup?

German Lentil Soup, known as Linsensuppe, is a hearty, traditional dish steeped in simplicity yet rich in flavors.

This soul-warming delicacy features earthy lentils, and an assortment of vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery, bolstered by a smoky hint of bacon or sausage. 

Often accompanied by potatoes or bread, the soup is seasoned with bay leaves, thyme, and vinegar, offering a pleasing tanginess. A staple in German households, it’s a healthful, satisfying meal that embraces culinary heritage and hearty comfort.

History Of German Lentil Soup

Dating back centuries, German Lentil Soup, or “Linsensuppe,” has its roots in the nation’s farming communities.

As lentils were among the earliest crops cultivated in the Old World, they became a staple in German peasant diets. 

Over time, Linsensuppe transformed from a simple pottage into a flavorful, hearty soup. Adding locally available ingredients like potatoes, sausages, and aromatic herbs enriched its taste and texture

The humble, nutritious lentil soup has since become a symbol of German comfort food, an edible tapestry of the nation’s agricultural history, carrying forward the tradition of wholesome, home-cooked meals.

Interesting Facts About German Lentil Soup

  • Lentil variety: Germans traditionally use “Alblinsen,” a local variety of lentils that are small, green, and known for holding their shape during cooking.
  • Regional variations: Every region adds its unique spin to the soup. Swabian Linsensuppe often includes sausages and spätzle, a type of pasta.
  • New Year’s tradition: Many Germans consume lentil soup on New Year’s Day, associating the lentils’ round shape with coins, signifying wealth and prosperity for the coming year.
  • Health benefits: Packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, the German Lentil Soup is not just hearty but a highly nutritious meal.
  • Cultural importance: Linsensuppe is a beloved staple in German cuisine, often evoking nostalgic memories of familial gatherings and home-cooked dinners.

What Makes The German Lentil Soup Special?

The charm of German Lentil Soup lies in its harmonious balance of simplicity and depth.

It’s a testament to how humble, essential ingredients, when cooked with care, can yield a meal that’s soul-warming, satisfying, and rich in flavors. 

The use of local German lentils, distinct regional variations, and the addition of hearty ingredients like potatoes or sausages make each bowl unique and special. 

It’s not just a soup but a culinary journey that tells a tale of German heritage, agriculture, and home-style cooking. 

Its relevance during New Year’s festivities underscores its cultural importance, symbolizing prosperity and good fortune. It’s a wholesome, nourishing staple that resonates with the taste and spirit of Germany.

German Lentil Soup Recipe

Ingredients List

IngredientsQuantity
Dried brown lentils2 cups
Chicken stock3 cups
Bay leaf1
Carrots, chopped1 cup
Celery, chopped1 cup
Onion, chopped1 cup
Cooked ham, cubed1 cup
Worcestershire sauce1 teaspoon
Garlic powder1/2 teaspoon
Freshly grated nutmeg1/4 teaspoon
Hot pepper sauce5 drops
Caraway seed1/4 teaspoon
Celery salt1/2 teaspoon
Fresh parsley, chopped1 tablespoon
Ground black pepper1/2 teaspoon

Ingredient Tips 

  • Lentils: German lentil soup traditionally uses “Alblinsen,” a small, green lentil variant. Brown or green lentils are suitable substitutes if unavailable, as they hold their shape during cooking.
  • Meat: Use good quality smoked sausages or bacon for depth of flavor. For a vegetarian version, smoked paprika can add a similar smoky nuance.
  • Vegetables: Fresh vegetables lend more flavor and nutrients. Feel free to add seasonal vegetables for extra wholesomeness.
  • Seasoning: Fresh herbs and spices can elevate the soup’s aroma and taste. Please don’t skip the dash of vinegar; it gives the soup its characteristic tanginess.
  • Cooking: Simmer the soup gently, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully.
  • Adjustments: Feel free to adjust quantities of ingredients and seasoning to personal preference. After all, the best soups are often those tailored to your palate.

Can You Vary The German Lentil Soup With Other Ingredients? 

The German Lentil Soup can be modified to suit various dietary preferences and restrictions. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keto: Replace lentils with more low-carb vegetables and increase the amount of ham or sausage. Add a splash of heavy cream for added richness.
  • Paleo: Substitute lentils with chunks of meat or poultry and increase the variety of vegetables. Make sure your broth and seasonings are paleo-friendly.
  • Gluten-Free: The soup is naturally gluten-free, but always double-check labels on broth, ham or sausage, and seasonings like Worcestershire sauce which may contain hidden gluten.
  • Whole30: Substitute lentils with compliant protein and ensure that your broth, ham or sausage, and seasonings are Whole30-compliant.
  • Vegetarian: Remove the ham and add extra vegetables or cubed tofu for added protein. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
  • Vegan: Follow the exact instructions as vegetarians but ensure all the ingredients, like broth and Worcestershire sauce, are vegan.
Ingredients of soup

Recipe Directions

  • Rinse the lentils under cold water and place them in a slow cooker.
  • Add the chicken stock, celery, carrots, bay leaf, onion, and ham.
  • Season with nutmeg, garlic powder, caraway seeds, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, celery salt, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  • Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on Low for 10-13 hours.
  • After the extended cooking time, remove the bay leaf and taste the soup. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Serve the hearty German Lentil Soup hot, and enjoy!
Soup in making

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Variations

  • Vegetarian Variant: Skip the ham and add smoked paprika or liquid smoke for the smoky flavor. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
  • Vegan Version: Follow the vegetarian variant and ensure Worcestershire sauce is vegan or substitute soy sauce.
  • Spicy Kick: Add extra hot pepper sauce or a dash of cayenne for those who enjoy more heat.

Add-Ons

  • Proteins: Add chunks of chicken or turkey for added protein. Tofu cubes work well as a vegetarian option.
  • Grains: Stir in cooked barley or rice to fill the soup.
  • Greens: Spinach, kale, or Swiss chard can be added towards the end of cooking for a nutritional boost.

Toppings

  • Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley, dill, or chives for a pop of color and freshness.
  • Cheese: A grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese sprinkle adds a lovely, savory finish.
  • Croutons: Top with homemade croutons for a crunchy contrast.
  • Sour Cream or Yogurt: A dollop adds a creamy tanginess that pairs well with the hearty soup.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling a soup recipe, like the German Lentil Soup, is generally straightforward and depends on the servings you need. Here are some tips:

Scaling Up

  • Double or triple the ingredients. It is based on the number of servings you need. For instance, if the original recipe serves 4 and you need to feed 8 people, double all the ingredients.
  • Use a larger pot or slow cooker to accommodate the increased quantity.
  • Be mindful that cooking times may increase slightly, especially using a slow cooker. Make sure lentils are tender before serving.

Scaling Down

  • Halve the ingredients if you want to make less soup. For example, use half of each ingredient if the original recipe serves 4 and you cook for 2.
  • Reduce the size of your cooking pot accordingly.
  • Cooking time may decrease slightly, so check for doneness earlier than the original recipe suggests.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

German Lentil Soup can be garnished with several ingredients that enhance its presentation and add another layer of flavor. Here are a few options:

  • Fresh Herbs: A sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley or dill adds color and freshness.
  • Cheese: A grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese dusting can give a delicious, savory finish.
  • Croutons: Homemade croutons provide a crunchy contrast to the soup’s texture.
  • Sour Cream or Yogurt: A dollop on top can lend a creamy tanginess that pairs beautifully with the hearty soup.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A drizzle adds a glossy finish and rich depth of flavor.
German Lentil Soup Recipe

Can I Make German Lentil Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

German Lentil Soup adapts well to slow cookers and Instant Pots, making it a versatile recipe for any kitchen. Here’s how you can adapt the process:

Slow Cooker

  • Layer your ingredients in the slow cooker, starting with the lentils, then vegetables, ham (if using), and seasonings.
  • Pour in the chicken stock, ensuring all ingredients are covered.
  • Set your slow cooker on Low for 8-10 hours or High for 4-5 hours.
  • Before serving, remove the bay leaf and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Instant Pot

  • Using the sauté function, cook the ham (if using), followed by the vegetables, until they soften.
  • Add the lentils, seasonings, and chicken stock.
  • Lock the lid in place, ensure the pressure valve is set to ‘Sealing,’ and set to Manual High Pressure for 15 minutes.
  • After cooking, allow a natural pressure release for 10-15 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure.
  • Before serving, remove the bay leaf and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth Or Should I Make My Own?

Both store-bought and homemade broths can make German Lentil Soup, depending on your time, convenience, and preference for flavors.

The store-bought broth is an excellent time-saver and can still provide a robust base for your soup. When choosing one, look for low-sodium options. It allows you to control the salt content and season your soup to taste. Organic or all-natural broths often have cleaner ingredient lists and better flavor profiles.

On the other hand, homemade broth can elevate your soup to a new level. It allows you to customize the flavors precisely to your liking and avoid preservatives or additives. It’s also a great way to utilize leftover vegetable scraps or bones. You can make it in large batches and freeze it for future use.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The German Lentil Soup?

German Lentil Soup is quite versatile, and you can certainly modify it to suit your preferences or dietary needs. Here are some possibilities:

  • Meat: While traditional German Lentil Soup often features ham or sausage, you could use other meats like chicken, turkey, or beef. Ensure they’re cooked thoroughly.
  • Fish: While less traditional, you could incorporate fish or shellfish. Like trout or salmon, smoked fish could offer a unique flavor twist.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes like ditalini, orzo, or even German spätzle can be added for extra heartiness. Be cautious about cooking times, as pasta can become too soft if cooked too long.
  • Vegetables: The soup typically contains carrots, celery, and onions, but you can add others like potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, or leafy greens like spinach or kale. Remember to adjust cooking times to ensure the vegetables are properly cooked.
Healthy soup

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks

Creating the perfect soup can be an art. Here are some useful tips and tricks to help you along the way:

Prepping Tips

  • Organize: Gather all your ingredients before you begin. It streamlines the cooking process and ensures you get everything.
  • Chop Evenly: Ensure your vegetables are chopped to a uniform size. It promotes even cooking and a better texture.
  • Soak Lentils: Soaking lentils can decrease cooking time and improve digestibility. If you’re short on time, rinse them to remove debris.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh ingredients whenever possible for the best flavor and nutritional value.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Layer Flavors: Build flavors by sautéing aromatic ingredients like onions, garlic, or spices before adding the main ingredients.
  • Use Broth: Cooking with broth instead of water can greatly enhance the flavor of your soup.
  • Season Gradually: Don’t add all your salt at the beginning. As the soup cooks, it reduces, which can intensify the saltiness. It’s easier to add more later if needed.
  • Simmer, Don’t Boil: Lower the heat to simmer once your soup has reached a boil. This slow, gentle cooking method allows the flavors to meld without overcooking the ingredients.
  • Adjust Consistency: If your soup is too thin, let it simmer uncovered to reduce. If it’s too thick, add more broth or water.
  • Check for Doneness: Cooking times can vary depending on the ingredients used. Always check to ensure everything is cooked properly.
  • Let it Rest: Before serving, let the soup sit off the heat briefly. It allows the flavors to meld together even more.
  • Taste and Adjust: Always taste your soup before serving and adjust the seasoning if necessary. The final flavor balance is critical.
German Lentil Soup Recipe

Nutritional Values 

Indulge in the goodness of German Lentil Soup, packed with essential nutrients. This hearty dish offers a rich source of protein, fiber, iron, and vitamins, promoting a balanced and nourishing diet. Experience a bowlful of health and flavor!

What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?

A basic serving (approximately 1 cup or 250 ml) of German Lentil Soup made with lentils, vegetables like carrots and onions, ham or sausage, and a basic broth might contain 150-300 calories.

Dietary Restrictions Of The German Lentil Soup

German Lentil Soup can be adapted to suit various dietary restrictions, but as typically prepared, it may not meet all dietary guidelines. Here are a few common restrictions to consider:

  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Traditional German Lentil Soup often includes ham or sausage. For a vegetarian or vegan version, omit the meat and use vegetable broth. Ensure any added seasonings like Worcestershire sauce are also vegetarian or vegan.
  • Gluten-Free: This soup is generally gluten-free, but double-check all ingredient labels. Some broths, sausages, or seasonings may contain hidden gluten.
  • Dairy-Free: As traditionally prepared, the soup is dairy-free. However, if garnishing with cheese or sour cream, use dairy-free alternatives for those following this diet.
  • Nut-Free: This soup is generally nut-free, but always check the labels of store-bought ingredients for potential cross-contamination if you’re cooking for someone with a severe nut allergy.
  • Low-Fat/Low-Sodium: This can be controlled using lean meats, low-sodium broth, and limiting added salt.
  • Paleo/Keto: Lentils are not typically included in strict Paleo or Keto diets due to their carbohydrate content. Consider substituting lentils with more meat and low-carb vegetables for a more compatible soup.

Health Benefits Of German Lentil Soup

German Lentil Soup offers many health benefits due to its wholesome ingredients. Here are some key benefits:

  • High in Fiber: Lentils are a great source of dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health, controlling blood sugar levels, and helping you feel fuller for longer, thus aiding weight management.
  • Rich in Protein: Lentils and ham provide a good dose of protein, essential for muscle growth and repair. For vegetarians, lentils are an excellent plant-based protein source.
  • Packed with Nutrients: This soup is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A from the carrots, vitamin C from the celery, and iron and zinc from the lentils.
  • Low in Fat: The soup can be relatively low in fat, mainly if lean cuts of ham are used or if it’s made vegetarian.
  • Heart-Healthy: The fiber, folic acid, and potassium in lentils are good for heart health.
  • Bone Health: The bone broth (if used) can contribute to stronger bones due to its high collagen content.
  • Immune-Boosting: The vegetables and herbs, full of antioxidants and vitamins, can support a strong immune system.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition table

How Can I Make German Lentil Soup Lower In Sodium? 

Reducing the sodium content in your German Lentil Soup while maintaining its robust flavor can be accomplished with a few adjustments:

  • Broth: Choose a low-sodium or sodium-free broth, or make your own at home to control the salt content.
  • Meats: Opt for fresh meats over processed ones like ham or sausage, which often contain high sodium levels. If using ham, try to find a low-sodium version.
  • Seasonings: Cut back on added salt and increase other seasonings like garlic, onion, and herbs to enhance the flavor without adding sodium. Worcestershire sauce and celery salt typically have high sodium content and can be used sparingly or replaced with lower-sodium alternatives.
  • Vegetables: Incorporate a variety of vegetables that boost the nutritional value and add flavor without contributing to sodium content.
  • Taste Test: Always taste your soup as you cook. Sometimes, less salt than the recipe calls for can still yield a flavorful result.
  • Garnish Wisely: Use fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice, or a dollop of unsalted yogurt instead of cheese to add extra flavor without increasing the sodium.

How Can I Make German Lentil Soup Lower In Sugar?

German Lentil Soup is naturally low in sugar, primarily made from lentils, vegetables, and meat, which are all low-sugar ingredients. However, if you’re trying to minimize your sugar intake further, here are some additional tips:

  • Broth: Use a homemade or store-bought broth that doesn’t contain added sugar. Some brands may add sugar or other sweeteners, so read the label carefully.
  • Ham: Some processed hams can contain sugar, so opt for fresh meats or ham without added sugar.
  • Vegetables: While all vegetables contain some natural sugars, the amounts are usually small and accompanied by fiber, which can help regulate your blood sugar levels. Still, some vegetables, like carrots, have slightly higher sugar content.
  • Seasonings: Some sauces and seasonings, including Worcestershire sauce, can contain added sugars. Check the labels and use sparingly, or find low-sugar or sugar-free alternatives.
  • Taste As You Go: Balancing the flavors as you cook can help you avoid the need to add sweeteners at the end.

How To Serve The German Lentil Soup Best?

Serving German Lentil Soup is a delightful experience that can be enhanced with a few thoughtful touches:

  • Warm Bowls: Serve the soup in warm bowls. It keeps the soup hot longer, especially during colder months.
  • Accompaniments: A hearty piece of crusty bread, like a German rye or pumpernickel, is a traditional side for dipping. A light salad with a tangy vinaigrette can also complement the rich flavors of the soup.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or a swirl of cream for an appealing contrast. For a smoky twist, a little crumbled crispy bacon or a sprinkle of smoked paprika would work well too.
  • Additional Seasoning: Set out small dishes of extra pepper, hot sauce, or vinegar for those who like to customize their soup’s flavor.
  • Proper Utensils: Provide large, deep spoons for easy eating and a soup plate if serving as a main dish.
  • Pairing: If pairing with wine, a crisp Riesling or a light beer like a Pilsner complements the soup’s hearty flavors.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Soup Recipe

Complementing your German Lentil Soup with appropriate side dishes can make your meal even more satisfying. Here are some suggestions:

  • Crusty Bread: A hearty slice of German rye bread or a warm baguette pairs ideally, providing a delightful texture contrast and a way to soak up every last drop of soup.
  • German Potato Salad: With its tangy, hearty flavors, this salad can be a delicious accompaniment and keeps with the German theme.
  • Pretzels: Traditional German pretzels would be a nice touch. They’re great for dipping and adding a bit of salty crunch.
  • Mixed Greens Salad: A light salad with a tangy vinaigrette can help balance the rich, hearty flavors of the soup.
  • Sautéed or Roasted Vegetables: This can be a colorful, nutritious, and flavorful addition to your meal.
  • Cheese Board: A small selection of cheeses, particularly if you have some hearty German varieties like Tilsiter or Cambozola, can be an enjoyable accompaniment.
  • Applesauce may sound unconventional, but applesauce is often served with hearty dishes in Germany and can provide a refreshing, sweet contrast to the soup.
German Lentil Soup Recipe

How Long Can We Store The German Lentil Soup?

German Lentil Soup, like most homemade soups, can be stored safely and effectively if done correctly:

  • Refrigerator: The soup can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Please keep it in an airtight container to preserve freshness and prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer: If you want to store the soup for longer, you can freeze it. Again, ensure it’s in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Consider portioning the soup into individual servings before freezing for ease of use. Properly stored, it should maintain the best quality for about 2-3 months, but it will remain safe.

Can I Make German Lentil Soup In Advance?

One of the beautiful things about soup, including German Lentil Soup, is that it often tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld together. Here’s how to do it:

  • Cook the Soup: Prepare the soup according to the recipe instructions.
  • Cool: Once the soup is cooked, allow it to cool slightly before storing. Never put hot soup directly into your fridge as it can lower the temperature of your fridge and risk food safety.
  • Store: Transfer the cooled soup to airtight containers. You can store it in one large container or individual serving-size containers for easy reheating later.
  • Refrigerate or Freeze: The soup can be refrigerated for 3-4 days. If you’d like to store it for longer, it can be frozen for 3 months. If freezing, leave a bit of headspace in your container for the soup to expand.

When ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Thawing the soup in the fridge overnight before reheating is often easiest if the soup has been frozen.

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

Leftovers of German Lentil Soup can be versatile and used creatively to minimize waste and enjoy a different twist on the same dish. Here are some ideas:

  • Reheat and Eat: The simplest option is to enjoy the soup again. It often tastes even better the next day!
  • Add to a Stew: Use leftover soup for a hearty stew. Just add some diced meat and additional vegetables.
  • Blend into a Dip: Blend the soup into a creamy dip for chips or raw vegetables. Add a bit of cream or yogurt to adjust the consistency if needed.
  • Pasta Sauce: Toss the soup with pasta for a quick and flavorful dish. Adding a little grated cheese on top is a delightful finishing touch.
  • Fill a Pie: Use the soup as a savory pie filling. Top with puff pastry or mashed potatoes for a comforting dish.
  • Make a Casserole: Mix with rice or quinoa and some extra veggies, top with cheese, and bake for a tasty casserole.
  • Use as a Bed for Protein: Use the soup as a flavorful bed to serve grilled or roasted meat or fish.
German Lentil Soup

Special Tools/Equipment Needed

You don’t need special or unique tools to cook German Lentil Soup. Here are some common kitchen tools that will be helpful:

  • Large Soup Pot or Dutch Oven: A sturdy and spacious pot with a lid for simmering the soup.
  • Cutting Board and Knife: For chopping vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions.
  • Wooden Spoon or Ladle: For stirring and serving the soup.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To accurately measure the ingredients.
  • Can Opener: If using canned chicken stock or other canned ingredients.
  • Grater: For grating nutmeg, if using fresh nutmeg.
  • Soup Bowls and Soup Spoons: For serving and enjoying the soup.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Make This Soup Ahead Of Time And Reheat It Later?

Absolutely! German Lentil Soup reheats well. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Add a splash of water or chicken stock to adjust the consistency if needed.

Can I Freeze The German Lentil Soup?

Yes, you can freeze the soup for future meals. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Label the soup with date and store them in the freezer for almost 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can I Substitute Vegetable Broth For Chicken Stock To Make The Soup Vegetarian?

Absolutely! Vegetable broth is an excellent alternative for a vegetarian version of the soup. The flavors will still be delicious, and you can follow the exact recipe instructions, replacing the chicken stock with vegetable broth.

Can I Use Canned Lentils Instead Of Dried Lentils?

While dried lentils are recommended for this recipe, you can use canned lentils as a time-saving option. Rinse and drain the canned lentils before adding them to the soup. Remember that canned lentils are already cooked, so that they may have a softer texture than dried ones.

Can I Make This Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

For a slow cooker, combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook the soup on low pressure for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until the lentils are tender. For an Instant Pot, follow the exact ingredient instructions, set the pressure cook function for 15 minutes, and allow for a natural release. Adjust the cooking time and settings based on your specific appliance and preferences.

Homemade German Lentil Soup Recipe (Made From Scratch Goodness)

Homemade German Lentil Soup Recipe (Made From Scratch Goodness)

5 from 7 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

8

hours 
Calories

250

kcal

Enjoy the hearty flavors of German Lentil Soup! This recipe combines tender brown lentils, aromatic vegetables, and savory ham in a rich chicken stock base. Simmered with spices and herbs, it creates a comforting and nourishing dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 2 Dried brown lentils

  • 3 cups 3 Chicken stock

  • 1 1 Bay leaf

  • 1 cup 1 Carrots, chopped

  • 1 cup 1 Celery, chopped

  • 1 cup 1 Onion, chopped

  • 1 cup 1 Cooked ham, cubed

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 Freshly grated nutmeg

  • 5 drops 5 Hot pepper sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 Caraway seed

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Celery salt

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Ground black pepper

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation
    Start by gathering all your ingredients. Ensure all vegetables are washed, peeled, and chopped as necessary.
    Place lentils in your 5-6 quart slow cooker. This size is perfect for achieving the ideal consistency and depth of flavors.
    Next, pour in the chicken stock, creating a liquid base for your soup. Add the bay leaf, chopped carrots, celery, and onion. Include ham for that rich, savory note.
  • Seasoning
    It’s time for the flavor magic. Season your soup with Worcestershire sauce for a tangy kick, garlic powder for a hint of warmth, nutmeg for a subtle sweetness, and hot pepper sauce for a bit of heat. The caraway seed adds a pleasing crunch and unique aroma, while celery salt adds a savory touch. Sprinkle in parsley for freshness and a pop of color, and finally, add pepper to taste.
  • Cooking
    Once everything is in your slow cooker, cover it and set the temperature to Low. Allow the soup to simmer gently for 8-10 hours. This slow, steady cook time melts all the ingredients together beautifully, enhancing the overall flavor.
  • Final Touches
    After your soup has cooked, remove the bay leaf before serving. It has imparted its flavor during cooking and is no longer needed.
  • Serving
    Ladle the soup into bowls, allowing the inviting aroma to fill the room. If desired, garnish with extra parsley or a sprinkle of black pepper for an added touch.
  • Additional Options
    Ladle the soup into bowls, allowing the inviting aroma to fill the room. Garnish with extra parsley or a sprinkle of black pepper for an added touch if desired.

Notes

  • Lentil Varieties: While the recipe calls for dried brown lentils, you can also experiment with other lentil varieties, like green or French lentils, for slightly different textures and flavors.
  • Soaking Lentils: Soaking them overnight can help reduce cooking time, but it’s unnecessary for this recipe. If you choose to soak them, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Adjusting Consistency: If you prefer a thicker soup, simmer it uncovered longer to allow some liquid to evaporate. Conversely, add more chicken stock or water if you desire a thinner consistency.
  • Ham Substitutions: If you don’t have ham on hand or prefer a vegetarian version, you can omit the ham or substitute it with cooked bacon, smoked sausage, or even smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
  • Seasoning to Taste: The listed spices and seasonings are a guide, but feel free to adjust them based on your preferences. Taste the soup as it cooks, and add more salt, pepper, or spices if needed.
  • Serving Suggestions: German Lentil Soup pairs well with crusty bread, such as rye or whole-grain bread, for a complete and satisfying meal. You can also garnish each serving with a sprinkle of fresh parsley for a pop of color.

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