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  • Writer's pictureHila

Lentil Stew

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

The biblical story of Esav, who sells his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew, inspired generations of home cooks to recreate this rich, thick soup, using ingredients and spices that were cultivated during Biblical times.

Cooking this delicious, comforting, and extremely satisfying stew is effortless, and it would be ready in less than an hour (no need to soak the lentils and they cook fast!). Feel free to improvise with available vegetables, and adjust the spices to your taste.

Serves 6-8


  • 3 Tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 large carrots, diced

  • 2 zucchinis, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, including leaves, chopped

  • 3 clove garlic, chopped

  • 2 cups (400gr) brown or red lentils, or a mix of both, rinsed

  • 1 Tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (or crushed seeds)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (or crushed seeds)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (or 2 open pods), optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 8 cups water


  1. In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute till translucent.

  2. Add garlic, carrot chunks, zucchini, and celery. Continue to saute till ingredients begin to caramelize.

  3. Add lentils to the pot, stir.

  4. Cover the mixture with water, and bring to a boil.

  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, add all spices, and stir.

  6. Cover the pot and let the stew simmer slowly for 40-45 minutes.

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