Recipe: Hearty Vegetable Lentil Soup - West Coast Food

By Caren McSherry, Founder/President of  The Gourmet Warehouse

It’s that time of year again when the temperatures are still low, the weather can be on the gloomy side and a bowl of soup is the perfect thing to warm your body and soul. This soup is full of hearty, delicious (and easy to find) ingredients and is guaranteed to take the chill off any West Coast winter evening.


Yellow onion, diced (1 large)
Carrot, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
Celery diced (2 stalks)
Garlic cloves, minced (2)
Leek, sliced, white part only (1 large)
Olive oil (¼ cup)
Anchovy fillets (optional) (3)
Cauliflower, cut into small florets (2 cups)
Broccoli cut into small pieces (1 cup)
White or brown mushrooms cut into quarters (2 cups)
Napa cabbage shredded (3 cups)
Lentils (1 cup)
Cannellini beans, drained (1 – 14-ounce can)
Black beans (1 – 14-ounce can)
Zucchini, diced (1 small)
Chicken or  Vegetable stock (12 cups)
Fresh thyme (3 sprigs)
Bay leaves (2 large)
Dried oregano (2 teaspoons)
2.0 chili paste or hot sauce (2 tablespoons)
Large piece of parmesan rind (if you have it)
Parsley, chopped, include the stems (½ bunch)


  1. In a large 4-5 quart dutch oven, heat the oil, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and leek. Stir to coat with the oil.
  2. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat to low. Let the vegetable steam and soften for as long as 30 minutes. This is the key to the base of your soup. Do not rush this process and do not let the ingredients brown.
  3. Once they are soft and fragrant, add the stock and bring to a boil, then add all the vegetables and beans along with the thyme, bay leaf and oregano.
  4. Drop in a large piece of Parmesan rind, put the lid on and turn the soup to medium. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir and taste as you go.
  5. Add the chili paste and parsley and cook a further 15. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt & pepper.
  6. Ladle into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese to finish.

Makes 15 cups

Caren McSherry is the founder and owner of the Gourmet Warehouse, a specialty food and housewares emporium located at 1340 East Hastings Street in Vancouver. She attended several international culinary academies, including the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu, and, in 1978, opened her own cooking school. Caren has shared her culinary expertise with thousands of people, whether in person or on her regular Global TV and CKNW radio segments. She is an award-winning entrepreneur and bestselling author. 

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