With winter coming, it’s time to break out the soup recipes, and one of my favorite soups to make is lentil soup with beef. This is an easy lentil soup recipe with beef anyone can make, even if this is your first attempt at making lentil soup. I modified the traditional lentil soup recipe by necessity and not by choice. Most lentil soup recipes call for 64 oz of chicken broth or beef broth. I had frozen chicken broth in the freezer I had made a week or so earlier for chicken soup, and when it defrosted it turned out to be just 32 oz. I needed to improvise and I found a 32 oz can of beef broth in the cupboard, which I added so my lentil soup recipe had 64 oz of liquid. My family said it was the best lentil soup I had ever made. My wife said the chicken and beef broth together added an amazing and delicious depth and complexity to the flavor, and that’s when Ken’s half and half Easy Lentil Soup with beef was born.
The best thing about lentil soup is you can modify the recipe in endless ways, such as adding garbanzo beans.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 lbs pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large celery stalks, chopped
2 – 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds. I like big pieces of carrot. You can chop the carrots into smaller pieces as well.
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper cut into 1/2 inch pieces (optional)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped dried rosemary leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 (32-ounce) can of beef broth
1 (32-ounce) can of chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups (usually 1 bag) lentils, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley. You can substitute dried parsley, but flavor will be a bit weak.
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Remove the beef and set aside. This step will prevent the beef from overcooking.
Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, and oregano to the pot. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Return the beef and any juices from the bowl back to the pot. Add the chicken and beef broth and tomatoes with their juice. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover pot and simmer until the meat is just tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Add the lentils, recover and continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about another 40 to 60 minutes. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.