ffwd: orange-scented lentil soup

Lentil Soup

Without any doubt, lentil soup is my hands-down favorite kind of soup. I have multiple favorite recipes and rotate between them, but I’m not fixated on only those recipes and often try something new.

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is yet another variation on lentil soup: Orange-Scented Lentil Soup to be more specific. The basic recipe was typical, but this version’s flavorings were a little exotic. Dorie adds orange peel, chopped fresh ginger, coriander seeds, peppercorns, and a clove.


This wasn’t my favorite lentil soup ever. I doubt it will make a repeat appearance in my kitchen. It wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t wow me. The only liberty I took was to use just a quart of chicken stock because I know the soup recipes in this book can be too thin for my taste.


For one thing, this soup is pureed. I prefer whole lentils in my soup. Also, I used an immersion blender because Dorie said it would be chunkier that way. However, I had my usual trouble with that tool. It never seems to do the job I want. I never get the pot size right and usually make a big mess and cover myself and the stovetop with soup.. In addition to not liking the lentils pureed, another problem was that the immersion blender left noticeable pieces of orange peel and ginger and didn’t do anything to the whole spices. I didn’t really like the surprise of an entire coriander seed or peppercorn as I swallowed a spoonful of soup.

I served the soup topped with a dollop of yogurt and some crumbled bacon, yet even the delicious toppings didn’t make the soup a winner. (Note: if you want to try a winner recipe, check out the recipe for Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Soup in the most recent issue (March/April) of Cooks’ Illustrated magazine. It’s excellent.

You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. I also found the recipe on-line here. To see what other bloggers thought of this week’s recipe, follow their links here.


Posted on 15 March 2013, in French Fridays with Dorie, Soup and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. I loved this one…but I also preferred the chunkier version. I’d love to know your favorite recipe :)

  2. We like this, but definitely think I would have preferred a chunkier version.
    I haven’t made my way through the current copy of CI – I am going to have to look out for that recipe – I have a TON of sausage hanging out in the freezer that I need to work through.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. My favorite recipe with lentils is a stew with chorizo. Can´t beat that combination. This soup was good, but I had to add more coriander and orange to make it interesting. And I didn´t puree it. I like whole lentils! Have a great weekend Betsy!

  4. I liked this soup and like the chunkier version also. Although I am more cautious now because of your and Diane’s Immersion Blender problems, I have not had a problem. A few splashes on the side of the bowl. Be sure to immerse the bender in the soup before you turn it on and don’t bring it out of the liquid until it’s off. I never do it in batches because I think it works better with the whole pot of liquid. A blender or food processor work just as well, Betsy. I am going to find my CI and earmark your soup suggestion. Too many magazines. Too many earmarks. (Oh, yes, that’s a government problem also.)

  5. Betsy I really liked the flavor of this soup but I had exactly the same issues as you with the texture and the spices… Really annoying.

  6. Betsy, so you are a lentil soup fan also – thank goodness, I am not alone, we seriously love lentil soup at our house. I chose not to purée the entire soup but left most of it chunky – personal preference. I am sure that you have tons of other wonderful lentil soup recipes on file, there are just so many recipes out there…although we did like this one, I am always looking for new recipe ideas for lentil soup.
    Have a great weekend!

  7. We didn’t love this one either, and I doubt I will be making it again. There are too many other good ones out there!

  8. Hmm, that’s the second mention I’ve heard of lentil soup with chorizo. I’m intrigued.

  9. Thanks for the info on the recipe for lentil soup in Cook’s Illustrated. I am always on the look out for Lentil Soup recipes.

  10. Chorizo and lentils sounds like something I want to try as soon as possible! I really enjoyed this soup, but it’s the first lentil soup I’ve ever had, so I’m keen to try other variations. And I hear you on the immersion blender not getting the ginger and spices properly. I used ground for this recipe because I never can seem to get chopped ginger blended properly. Have a good weekend!

  11. This was a hit in my house…although I wish I made an adjustment with the liquid…I like my soups thicker! Yours looks lovely…sorry it wasn’t a favorite! I just printed the Cooks Illustrated soup…my husband would love it with the Chorizo. Thanks for the tip! Have a great weekend, Betsy!!

  12. I think I might have liked this soup chunky as well. Unless it is strained, the hulls get in the way. Probably not a repeat in our house, but we did like it.

  13. Sorry this wasn’t a winner for you.

  14. triciaandnana

    Thanks for the heads up on that CI recipe- sounds fantastic. Sorry this was not a keeper for you – I imagine since you enjoy lentil soup so much it had a lot of competition :) We were pleasantly surprised but had little expectations, esp with the ginger and orange additions. I also find that I am not even trying with my immersion blender any more and just going straight to the full size blender. I am also embarrassed to say but have been buying Trader Joe’s creamy roasted corn/red pepper soup in large quantities. I am addicted to it and need to find out how to make it at home :)

  15. Well, I will have to check out the lentil and chorizo soup recipe in CI, Betsy, because it just might be the only way I can entice John to eat lentils! Sorry this one wasn’t a hit for you.

  16. That looks great with the crumbled bacon on it!

  17. It’s nice to know I wasn’t the only one with this problem. I have the same issues with my immersion blender. I love the idea of it, but I always seem to end up wearing whatever it is I tried to puree. This experience did make me want to pull out my traditional lentil soup recipe, before it gets too warm.

  18. moderngirlnutrition

    Agreed! I love lentil soup :)

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