January 29, 2013

Lentil Soup for the Cold Cornell Student’s Soul

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Along with every other living soul in the world, I wrote out a list of resolutions on the morning of New Year’s Day:

While I have since broken my first resolution after fishbowls at Level B last Wednesday and #3 was a lost cause from the get-go, the others are actually going pretty well: hey, at least I’m hitting 60%, right? #cornellstudentexpectations

The secret to my success? Lots and lots of soup. Before coming back this semester from winter break, my kind father told me two very important things: First, that if I didn’t stop the incessant charges to his Visa from GrubHub, he would change his credit card number; and second, that my face resembled a plump, full moon.

In response to this, one of my housemates and I decided to split the ingredients for a healthy, hearty soup that we would make a lot of so that it would last us a while. In the end, my dad’s lecturing turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Cooking, especially with friends, is so relaxing and almost therapeutic. Being thrown back into the grind of things at Cornell makes you want to go insane from information overload on your brain, but cooking gives you the opportunity to de-stress while being productive at the same time.

The soup that we decided on was a simple lentil soup. Lentils are ridiculously good for you, filled with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are often heralded as one of the healthiest foods. They are also surprisingly filling, thus while the soup was vegetarian (with the exception of chicken broth), it didn’t feel like it was missing a meat protein in the least. This soup is delicious and warms you up to the tips of your fingers, which is very necessary during this freakishly cold winter, and making one batch of it will last you for at least a week.

Lentil Soup, adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


2 tablespoons olive oil1 white onion2 carrots2 celery stalks3 garlic cloves1-14 ounce can diced tomatoes1 pound lentils11 cups chicken broth5 fresh thyme sprigs


Chop the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add all of the chopped vegetables with salt and pepper. Sautee for about seven to eight minutes until the vegetables are tender, and then add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer for about eight minutes, stirring occasionally, until the juices evaporate a little. Add the lentils and mix everything together, and then add the chicken broth and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then cover and simmer over low heat for about 35-40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To store:

Wait for the soup to cool completely, and then store in Tupperware in the refrigerator or the freezer.

Original Author: Michelle Kim