Gluten-Free Smoky Lentil Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms


Seems easy enough. But, somehow it’s hard to find. I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a magazine editor. I’m a cookbook author. I’m a… The list goes on. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You walk in my shoes every day.

This year, I’ve made a decision to be more present and more green—in what my family eats and in our daily routine. Today, that means lentils with spinach. Instead of running to the grocery store to grab ingredients, I am training myself to cook (and bake) from my pantry. First, I see what I already have. Then, I supplement that with fresh meats, fish, vegetables and fruits. Turns out, I have plenty of ingredients right at my fingertips. I just wasn’t looking closely enough.

I’m happy to announce that my friends and fellow gluten-free bloggers Amy Green and Maggie Savage have launched a new website called The Balanced Platter—a place you can go for balanced, healthy gluten-free living with recipes, tips, how-to’s and product reviews.

Balanced Healthy and Gluten Free

To kick off their launch, we’re all celebrating with a month’s worth of recipes and tips as part of the Balanced, Healthy, & Gluten-Free in 2012 blogger event. Check out their website for more details and to enter the Balanced Platter Baking Gift Pack giveaway on February 1!

Until then, please join me and my family for a cup of lentil soup.

Gluten-Free Smoky Lentil Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms

Yield: 6


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 bay leaf

3 cloves garlic, 1 clove finely chopped? and 2 cloves smashed

1½ cups dried French lentils

5 cups vegetable broth or water

1 cup strained tomatoes

1 cup dry white wine (or more broth or water)

1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste (optional)

2 whole chipotles in adobo sauce, or to taste (optional)

Salt, to taste

One 3.5 ounce container of maitake mushrooms (also known as hen of the woods) or your favorite mushroom variety, loosely chopped

2 handfuls of baby spinach

Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot; cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils, broth, strained tomatoes and wine; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Season with the cumin and chipotles, if using, and salt.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until you’ve reached your desired consistency. If needed, you can thin the soup with more broth or water, then season with more salt. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, top with the mushrooms and a squeeze of lemon.


  1. This soup looks and sounds perfect Silvana. Gorgeous photo. It’s a perfect day for soup where I am. Thanks for helping us celebrate the launch of The Balanced Platter. We are grateful for your support! I’m totally inspired by your ‘cook from the pantry’ mantra. It is such a time-saver and I do not enjoy trips to the grocery store (especially with a 3YO & 5YO in tow)!

  2. This sounds perfect! I love lentil soup!

  3. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. I have been pulling from what we already have on hand to cook, too. It makes sense on so many levels. Your soup sounds so good – bursting with flavor. Thanks so much for your support of TBP! We’re excited to have so many people join in to support us.


  5. this looks excellent! one question, where do you get tomatoes without citric acid? i am seriously considering starting an elimination diet and want to arm myself with great recipes.

  6. If one lacks an immersion blender can a food processor be used?

    • A blender may be better if you have one. Either way, just be careful not to put to much in at a time. Also, I like to cover the blender/food processor with a dishtowel before blending/processing just as another precaution. Hope that helps!

  7. This sounds like the perfect savory soup, with many of the ingredients as pantry/refrigerator staples.

    I never would have thought of Chipotle Peppers, great idea!