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White soup plate with blue flowers with green lentil soup with carrots and parsnips

New Year’s Good Luck Green Lentil Soup

  • Author: Michal Martinek
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Cuisine: Czech


This traditional Czech soup will bring you good luck and money in the upcoming year! You must eat it for lunch on January 1st.


  • 1/2 cup (95 g) green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 whole allspice berries
  • 4 cups (1 L)  water
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) peeled, diced carrots (about 1 medium carrot)
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) peeled, diced parsnips (about 1 small parsnip)
  • 2 tablespoons (23 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste


  1. Place the lentils in a medium stockpot and rinse under cold running water. Drain.
  2. Add the bay leaf, whole peppercorns, allspice and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Lower the heat to low, partially cover with a lid, and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 25–30 minutes. Set aside.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, melt 1 tablespoon (13 g) butter in a medium pot or skillet over medium heat. Sauté the carrots and parsnips, stirring occasionally, until crisp around the edges, about 5–6 minutes. Transfer to a small plate.
  5. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons (27 g) of butter in the same pot or skillet over medium heat.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and stir constantly until light brown, about 4–5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour in 1/2 cup (150 ml) cold water. Stir to combine (it will turn into a paste). Set aside.
  7. Add the vegetables, salt, and lemon juice to the pot with the lentils. Stir in the roux base and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and add the parsley. Season with the black pepper to taste and serve.
  9. The soup will last, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.


  • This recipe easily doubles. Make a big pot and have it for dinner for extra luck!
  • You can soak the lentils in water overnight and it will cut the cooking time in half.
  • Gluten-free version: use GF flour for the roux base.
  • Carrots and parsnips are traditional, but you could use other vegetables: celeriac, zucchini, or peas.

Keywords: lentil soup