Lindsey Bareham’s lentil soup with lemon and dill mushrooms

This is the kind of soup to come home to after a chilly, wet, wintry day. It’s simple to cook, easy to shop for, interesting to eat and very satisfying.

Earthy Puy lentils are simmered in stock with onion and celery, ending up swollen and creamy yet holding their shape. The thick, heavy soup is finished with diced mushrooms cooked separately with garlic and dill. There’s a hint of chilli but freshness from lemon and aniseedy dill.

Serves 4

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 35 min


  • 130g red onion
  • 55g celery
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g Puy lentils
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove
  • generous pinch crushed chillies
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 20g bunch dill
  • best olive oil

Halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Dice and rinse the celery. Stir both into 1 tbsp butter melted in 1 tbsp oil in a spacious, lidded pan. Cook, stirring, for 5 min or so while you rinse the lentils, coarsely chop the mushrooms, chop and crush the garlic. Stir the lentils into the onion, add chilli and zest the lemon over the top.

Stir in the flour, add the stock, bring to boil, reduce the heat to a steady simmer, stirring a couple of times, cover and cook for 25 min or until the lentils are soft. Melt remaining oil in a frying pan, stir in the mushrooms with the garlic and stir-fry until glossy. Add lemon juice and half the dill. Add to the soup, season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Serve with a swirl of best olive oil and extra dill.