Rosemary, Lentil and Tomato Soup

Can winter have crept up on me already?  Suddenly I need to put on a bobble hat to pop round to the local shop.  Suddenly it’s dark enough to light candles at 4pm.  And this afternoon I was sleepy enough to have a wee nap on the sofa under an orange woolly blanket.  Sounds like winter to me.

My garden is also entering hibernation mode.  With only a few leeks remaining in the ground, I have covered most of my vegetable patch with a thick layer of horse poop and left the ground to recover from a busy summer.  Only my hardy herbs will see me through the coldest months.  Hardy herbs like the revitalizingly fragrant rosemary. 

Now, it’s easy to overpower a dish with rosemary but it’s also easy to be so scared of overdoing it that the flavour is lost completely.  Inspired by a dish eaten in The Falls of Dochart Inn in Killen, Perthshire, the following recipe does not shy away from its rosemary base.  A hearty, invigorating soup perfect for a dark November afternoon.

Rosemary, Lentil and Tomato Soup

1 tblspn olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1.5 tblspn fresh rosemary, chopped

150g red lentils

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

500ml vegetable stock


  • Gently fry the onion, rosemary and garlic until the onion is soft but not coloured.
  • Add the lentils and stir.  Add the tomatoes and stock.  Stir.
  • Bring to the boil then reduce the heat.  Simmer for 30 mins.
  • Season carefully, adding extra rosemary if you like.

25 thoughts on “Rosemary, Lentil and Tomato Soup

  1. I am really enjoying your grain posts! Keep them coming as I am trying to be somewhat healthy! I have tons of rosemary and really enjoy the flavor it imparts. But you are correct, you need to be cautious with it.
    I did do a wheatberry chili recipe on my site if you are interested. It makes a great winter dish. Look on my blog under the recipes “Zesty Black Bean Wheatberry Chili”.
    The guys loved it!

  2. Deb – Thank you! I’m enjoying using grains more too. Will most definitely check out the wheatberry chilli recipe. It sounds great.

    Betty C – Where abouts in the states do you live? Wondering if it the rosemary didn’t agress with your temperatures?

    Annemarie – You’re very welcome. 🙂 It’s my favourite soup just now. Can’t get enough of it!

  3. Ohh good! A red lentil soup! I’ve been expanding my lentil ‘repetoire’ and haven’t found much (other than dal) on red lentils!
    Too bad about that winter thing… I keep a scented candle by my computer to light when it gets dark…here it’s only by 6:00….thankfully!

  4. Ah, yes, I too am pleased to see the recipe you mentioned in the interview. My favourite thing about split red lentils is that they are often referred to as ‘fat drainers’ by nutritionists – great for losing weight and providing lots of extra fibre. Beautiful recipe.

  5. We are in contrast weather condition to you Wendy, it is full of sunshine for the past few days with longer day light… But winter, I believe, has its own beauty.

    Excellent soup – rustic and herby. Love that.

  6. Wendy we are not at winter but I love soup everytime!! and I enjoy so the lentils soup!!!! nice post (I love autumn/winter)Gloria (Maybe I born in the wrong country!))

  7. Katie – It’s just normal tealights I burn but I do have an oil burner too. And the frangrance? Rosemary. 🙂

    Lucy – “Fat drainers”? Really? I can see my intake of red lentils rocketing in the coming weeks. 😉

    JennDZ – Let me know what you think!

    Kelly – Yeah, I had that problem for a long time. It is very nice to be able to watch things grow. 🙂

    Anh – Rustic is just the right word for it. Wish I’d used that now…

    Cooking Ninja – Hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you do. Or don’t, for that matter. 🙂

    Patricia – They work really well together. I think, anyway.

    Gloria – I’m with you Gloria. Soup is great any season. 🙂

    Claudia – 🙂

  8. Hi Wendy, taking a wee nap under a woolly blanket sound perfect! And this soup is also so comforting. It also uses ingredients that i always have in my pantry. Thanks for this recipe. My rosemary bush tends to only be used to roasts.

  9. Holler – It’s very simple which is probably why I often make it mid-week for my school lunches. 🙂

    Nora – I always have the ingredients handy too! Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  10. This sounds great – I love rosemary too, there’s no chance of me skimping. Your recipe is very similar to the lentil soup in Heidi Swanson’s book Supernatural Cooking. Hers also has diced butternut squash which adds a nice sweetness but I think a bit of rosemary would give it the lift it was missing. I’ll have a go at amalgamating the two next time!

  11. Maryann – A snowman? I find that rather exciting!

    Christina – Have to say, it really is. 🙂

    Cynthia – It’s my favourite too.

    Sophie – I have Heidi’s book but haven’t tried her lentil soup. Might try amalgamating the two too!

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