Mexican Lentil Soup Recipe
This Mexican lentil soup recipe includes tomatoes, onion, cilantro, carrot, and plantain for a delightful version of lentil soup.
Traveling and Cooking
I learned to make this Mexican lentil soup when I traveled to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in June 2016. Whenever I travel, I seek out new foods that I haven’t tried before. While I’ve tried many versions of lentil soup, I had not tried something like this. I especially like the addition of plantains in this soup, it adds an exciting twist, and it’s an ingredient I don’t work with very often. I took a cooking class with Maria at Marilau Cooking School. It was a terrific class, and I learned a lot, including that traditional soups are generally very “loose” in Mexico, meaning more liquid is added to make a more watery soup. She also said that traditional Mexican soups are never spicy, but that spicy-ness can be added by each individual eater, if preferred.
This is a light soup, perfect for summertime, and pairs well with Pan-Roasted Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes.
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 4 cups water
- ½ white or yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 large plum tomatoes, (about 10 oz.)
- 1 garlic clove
- ⅓ cup diced white or yellow onion
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon refined coconut oil or lard
- 8 stems cilantro, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 ripe plantain, cut into 1-2” pieces*
- Sea salt to taste**
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper, 4-5 grinds
To cook lentils, rinse briefly under cold water and drain. Put in a pot with water, onion, and garlic. Water should be two inches above the contents of the pot. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until lentils are soft, about 45 minutes. Remove onion and garlic. Blend briefly with an immersion stick blender, or in a blender.
Core tomatoes and cut in half. In a blender, combine tomatoes with garlic, onion, and chicken broth. Blend until smooth. Heat oil or lard in a soup pot. Strain blended tomato mixture into warm oil. Press to extract all liquid, leaving only a few solids behind. Cook for 5 minutes, discard strainer contents.
Add chopped carrots, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cilantro, pre-cooked blended lentils, and 2 cups broth. Cook for 8 more minutes. Add plantain and cook for 5 more minutes, until plantain appears plump. You may add more broth for a thinner soup, or leave it thicker. Taste and add salt, if needed (see note) and pepper.
To serve, serve into bowls with 1-2 plantain pieces per bowl.
*Plantains are ripe when they are black. Try to pick one out that is not overly squishy, a small amount of yellow still on the skin is ok.
** Be mindful of how much salt is in the broth you are using when you are adding salt.