Lentil soup with caraway

Total Time
55 min
18 min
37 min
Packed with vegetables and lentils, this soup is a hearty meal in a bowl. The caraway seeds lend a nutty, delicate, anise flavor to this soothing soup. Double this recipe (using an 8-quart Dutch oven) to make a really large batch. It’ll take about the same amount of time, and you can freeze half the soup for almost-instant meals later. Chicken broth may be substituted for the vegetable broth. Try stirring in a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar just before serving to give it extra sparkle and zing. The parsley and radish topping adds a fresh, peppery, crunchy contrast to the warm soup.


Olive oil

1 Tbsp

Uncooked leek(s)

2 medium, trimmed to white and light-green parts, cleaned, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

Caraway seeds

¾ tsp, crushed

Ground allspice

½ tsp

Vegetable broth

6 cup(s), reduced-sodium

Uncooked sweet potato(es)

1 large, peeled and chopped

Uncooked parsnip(s)

2 medium, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced

Dry lentils

½ pound(s), picked over, rinsed, and drained

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Fresh parsley

¾ cup(s), flat-leaf, finely chopped

Fresh radish(es)

6 medium, thinly sliced

Fresh spinach

1 bunch(es), small, cleaned, stems discarded, and leaves roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the caraway seeds and allspice and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth, potato, parsnips, and lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables and lentils are softened, about 20 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 1⁄4 cup of the parsley and the radishes in a small bowl.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat; stir in the remaining 1⁄2 cup parsley and the spinach. Garnish each serving with the parsley-radish mixture. Yields about 1 1⁄3 cups soup with about 2 tablespoons radish mixture per serving.