Red Lentils, Apple and Chestnut Soup: Seasonal Chef Recipe


Lentils are a traditional ingredient used to usher in the New Year, purportedly bringing good luck to those who eat it. Whether that is true to not, lentils pack a big punch in flavor and nutrition. You can’t miss when adding this healthy legume to your diet. Click this link to read more about Lentils in the New Year.

Red Lentil Soup with Apple and Chestnut

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

This quick and easy soup is smooth and full bodied with great texture and taste.


  • 1 cup shallot, 1/4" dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 4 cups stock, divided
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 stem fresh thyme
  • 1 large apple, I like Fuji or Pink Lady
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Roasted chestnuts, garnish
  • Chives, garnish


  1. Over medium heat sauté the shallot and garlic in olive oil. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for about 2-4 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the ginger and cardamom and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add 3 cups of stock and cinnamon stick and bring to a low boil.
  4. Add the lentils and thyme and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile peel and chop the apple. Take care to dice 1 cup in nice symmetrical 1/4" cubes and set in a bowl of cold water with the lemon. This will keep the apples from turning brown. Take the rest of the apple and toss it in the soup pot.
  6. While the soup finishes cooking roughly chop the chestnuts and slice the chives thinly.
  7. Once the lentils are really soft and falling apart, about 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the cinnamon stick and carefully puree in a blender until very smooth. Taste for seasoning and use the last cup of stock to get the consistency you like in soup.
  9. Garnish with the chestnuts and chives.


You can find roasted peeled chestnuts at many local produce and grocery markets in the area, generally in 3.5 oz bags. One bag will be plenty for this soup, unless you like to nibble on them. In that case I would highly suggest two bags!


About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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