Marie Saba

Easy Lentil Soup or Side Dish

Marie Saba
Easy Lentil Soup or Side Dish

Lentils are such a wonderful, versatile, nutritious dish! And so simple to make!

All you need is a handful of ingredients . . . onion, carrots, celery, garlic, ham, lentils, broth and bay leaves.


This recipe can be served as a soup (in bowls with plenty of broth), or scooped up with a slotted spoon and served as a side dish with parsley and a squeeze of lemon.


Try ’em alongside seared salmon for a protein-packed supper, or simply in a bowl with rice for a satisfying lunch. I love to top my lentils with a spoonful of creamy Greek yogurt (or if I have some, the Lebanese yogurt called “labne”) and a sprinkle of salt, so definitely give that a try, too!


Easy Lentil Soup

Serves 4-6 as a side dish


1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 white onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced or diced

2 stalks celery, sliced or diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 slices uncured ham, diced

1 cup green lentils

4 cups water (or 2 cups stock and 2 cups water)

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

For garnish: chopped parsley, sliced lemon, Greek yogurt


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ham; cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

  2. Add the lentils, water and/or stock, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat to low, set the lid ajar and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes. 

  3. Test lentils for tenderness and seasoning. (Add more salt and/or cook longer if needed.) When done, remove from heat, and remove and discard bay leaves. Serve the lentils with chopped parsley, a squeeze of lemon, and a spoonful of Greek yogurt, if desired.