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
- Place the lentils in a medium stockpot and rinse under cold running water. Drain.
- Add the bay leaf, whole peppercorns, allspice and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Lower the heat to low, partially cover with a lid, and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 25–30 minutes. Set aside.
- 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.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons (27 g) of butter in the same pot or skillet over medium heat.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove from the heat and add the parsley. Season with the black pepper to taste and serve.
- 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