You’ll find numerous types of lentils in the bulk or dried bean section of your local grocery store, each with unique properties that will all work beautifully in soup. Brown lentils are earthy and rich, French and green lentils are peppery, and red and yellow lentils are creamy and buttery.
You can enhance the flavor notes in any type of lentil in soup by creating a flavorful foundation with plenty of herbs, aromatics, and stock. A blend of coconut milk or cream and stock will create a thick and creamy consistency while also adding a nutty and rich complement to the savoriness of the spices and herbs you add.
Because lentils will be submerged in cooking liquid and not drained, chances are they will lose their shape. However, their partial disintegration will create a creamy texture that you can accentuate with the help of a hand emulsifier or the back of a wooden spoon. If you want a textural contrast, use a mirepoix base or add some browned mushrooms to the mix.
Lentils have a meatiness and plenty of protein to be the star of any lentil soup, but they also taste delicious with pork and beef. In Mexico, it’s common to poach eggs in the lentil soup as it simmers. If you want to add some brightness to your lentil soup, try adding a splash of apple cider vinegar or garnishing your soup with a bit of lemon zest.