Adapted from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery root
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup black lentils, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 cup red lentils, soaked overnight and drained
  • Aromatics, tied into a bouquet garni: 2 bay leaves, 8 parsley sprigs, 6 thyme sprigs, 4 oregano sprigs, 1 rosemary sprig
  • 9 cups vegetable broth or stock, store bought or homemade
  • Freshly milled pepper
  • 1 bunch greens — mustard, broccoli rabe, chard, or spinach
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds or pine nuts, toasted & lightly salted


  1. In a medium saucepan or rice cooker, add the black lentils and 3 cups water. Cook for about 40 minutes in the rice cooker, or 30 minutes on the stove. Add the red lentils, and set aside. They will continue to cook and break down in the residual heat.
  2. Heat the oil in a wide heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onion, and saute, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, parsley, garlic, carrots, celery root, and salt, and stir to combine. Saute until the vegetables become fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  3. Drain the lentils, and add to the pot. Add aromatics and vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  4. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Remove the aromatics.
  5. Boil the greens in salted water until tender and bright green, then chop coarsely. Just before serving, add the greens to the soup and heat through. Serve with olive oil drizzled into each bowl, a generous grind of pepper, and pumpkin seeds or pine nuts, to taste.