The Literate Chef


In For Moms on the Go, Recipes, Soups on November 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Uncle Fred’s Lentil Soup

Active time, 30 minutes. Soak lentils overnight. Cooking time, 1 hour.  Makes 6 quarts.


2 1 lb. packages of lentils
1 medium onion, chopped fine, about 2 cups
5 cloves garlic chopped fine, about 2 tbsps.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small can (6 oz.) of tomato paste
1 package of Lipton Dried Onion Soup Mix
2 smoked ham hocks
2 9 oz. packages of frozen chopped spinach


1.    Add the lentils to an 8 qt. pot, cover with water to about 4 inches above the lentils and soak overnight.
2.    The next day, drain and rinse the lentils and rinse the pot.
3.    In the rinsed pot, heat the olive oil on medium, add the onions and garlic and lightly sauté until translucent, do not let brown.
4.    Reduce heat to medium-low and add the tomato paste, mix well.
5.    Add the contents of one Lipton soup envelope and stir.
6.    Add the lentils and mix well.
7.    Cover with water to about 2 inches above the lentils, about 3 quarts, and then add the ham hocks.
8.    When the water comes to a boil, add the spinach, reduce the heat to medium/low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
9.    When the soup reaches your desired thickness, remove the ham hocks and discard them, (see note). Add more water if too thick to your liking.
10.   Serve the soup with olive oil drizzled into it and warm crusty Italian bread on the side.
11.    Freeze the remainder in 1 or 2 quart containers to enjoy for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking.

Note: As an alternative, if the hocks are particularly meaty, you can remove the meat from the bones, chop it coarsely and add it back to the soup, discarding the skin and bones. You may also wish to use fresh ham hocks, rather than the smoked variety, in which case the meat will be much more tender and definitely worth adding to the soup when thoroughly cooked, however the soup flavor will differ. Try it both ways, each method has its merits.

Please refer to: SOUP’S ON

Also See: Uncle Fred, The Godfather

  1. Looks fantastic – it’s really my sort of food. Lentils, especially, are one of my favourite ingredients.

  2. Uncle Fred’s Soup looks great …. still a little too warm in Fl. though for soup …..
    Will try the recipe come Jan !

  3. This will definately be added to my list of must tries. Meanwhile I’d like to point out to your followers. One item I keep on my soup ingrenients shelf is packets of Manischewitz Soup Mix, these can be found on most supermarket shelves, I’ve used them to add body and taste to my chicken soup and have used it as a base while spicing it up with frankfurter bits as referenced in Uncle Fred’s choices. “gutes Essen”

  4. Reblogged this on The Literate Chef and commented:

    As the night time and early morning temperature begins to drop into the 50’s and 60’s here on The Cape, and the days are free of humidity and sunny, (September really is the best month) one’s thoughts begin to turn to soup and what better soup then Lentil Soup to warm our innards and pay homage to Uncle Fred, The Godfather. Today we cooked up a batch following the recipe first posted here almost 2 years ago. SOUP’S ON!

  5. With winter coming, that lentil soup is definitely on my menu:)

    • Excellent. Fred would approve. And having spent the better part of his career working for Agence-French Presse in NYC would say “J’espère que vous apprécierez la soupe.”

  6. What’s up with the Lipton’s Onion Soup mix?

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