Lentil soup with tarragon

by | Nov 4, 2015 | Soups

Though lentils were considered as a food of poor for a long time, now they are integral part of everyday consumption, regardless of the finanacial situation. In Hungary lentils are usually prepared as a soup or stew, mainly with roux and smoked meat, similar to dry bean soup. To break with the tradition, I’m sharing a more digestible soup recipe with you. The specialty of this lentil soup lies in seasoning, lemon juice and tarragon, whose aroma is reminiscent of anis, make it very piquant.

Lentil soup with tarragon
Lentil soup with tarragon – photo: zserbo.com


  • 1-2 tbsp lard
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 parsley root, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1,2 l (~5 cups) stock
  • 250 g (~1 1/4 cups) lentils (brown or green)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2-3 tbsp sour cream
  • lemon juice to taste

Soak lentils overnight in order to reduce the cooking time.

Heat up the lard, add finely chopped onion, garlic, sliced carrot and parsley root, and stir-fry for a few minutes. Sprinkle with flour, stir once or twice, then pour in stock. Add drained lentils, paprika and bay leaf, season with salt, pepper and tarragon. Cook until soft, and turn off the heat.

Put the sour cream in a small bowl and dilute with 1-2 ladles of hot soup. Pour the mixture into the soup while stirring constantly. Flavour the soup with some lemon juice.

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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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