Food & dining

Recipe for vegetarian lentil soup with dumplings

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Serves 8

Daphne Romanoff of Newton made this soup for us because it’s a meal in itself. She adapted it from a recipe used by her late mother, Malka, and believes it came from one of her 1960s synagogue sisterhood cookbooks. Malka followed recipes to the letter, but Daphne varies it, adding cumin for some kick, and improvising ingredients. She’ll use chopped frozen spinach instead of parsley, or bell pepper if she’s out of celery. When her kids were young, they’d fight over the chewy dumplings. Allow one hour for the lentils to sit. Make the dumplings while the soup is simmering so you can add them when the vegetables are almost tender.


cups lentils, rinsed
1tablespoon olive oil
1small onion, chopped
2stalks celery, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon ground cumin
6cups water
1cup tomato sauce
4vegetarian bouillon cubes or 1½ tablespoons Vegeta
4medium carrots, chopped
¼cup small pasta, such as orzo or small shells
½cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Place the lentils in a bowl and add water to cover; set aside for 1 hour or until the lentils absorb all the water.


2. In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil and when it is hot, add the onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.

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3. Stir in the cumin and cook 1 minute. Add the lentils, water, tomato sauce, and bouillon cubes or Vegeta seasoning, and carrots. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat, set on the cover askew, and simmer for 25 minutes or until carrots and lentils are tender.

4. Add the pasta, parsley, and dumplings to the soup and continue simmering for 10 to 15 minutes or until the lentils and pasta are tender and the dumplings have a gooey texture. Total simmering time is 35 to 40 minutes.


2eggs, lightly beaten
1cup flour
½cup water
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a bowl mix the eggs, flour, water, salt, and pepper.


2. Add teaspoonfuls of the dumpling batter to the soup with the pasta and parsley. Linda Matchan. Adapted from
Daphne Romanoff