What are the best side dishes for lentil soup? The best sides for this thick, savory soup are creamy textured, like a herby quiche, a creamy potato salad, or veggie-packed, cheesy rice. Intense flavors also work well, like spicy chili bites and hearty stuffed eggplants. Choose light, fresh salads to add a green element.
Whether you’re making a sausage-stuffed lentil broth, a curried dal soup, or a Moroccan chickpea and lentil soup with cumin, you can’t go wrong. The best side dishes for this robust, nutritious soup need to add contrast, so let’s see what works well with lentil soup.
Onion And Herb Quiche
A quiche is a great side dish as it’s light, savory, and can be eaten hot or cold. This quiche is fresh and herbaceous. Make your preparation easy by buying a shortcrust pastry flan case.
Preheat your oven to a moderate 350⁰F (180⁰C).
Melt two tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. Sauté one finely diced onion. Meanwhile, beat two eggs with a cup of heavy cream. Stir in the fried onion, a tablespoon of snipped chives or spring onions, a tablespoon of chopped watercress, and a tablespoon of chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the filling into the flan case and bake for 30-40 minutes until the filling sets.
Creamy Potato Salad
A light and creamy potato salad is ideal if your soup doesn’t contain any potatoes. Use any leftover cold meat for the salad: corned beef, ham, or sausage.
Boil new potatoes until just tender. Peel the potatoes while hot and cut into thick slices, and put in a salad bowl.
Make a dressing with three tablespoons of oil, one tablespoon of vinegar, and one small onion, finely chopped. Pour the dressing over the potatoes. Chill.
Combine ½ cup of mayonnaise and ½ cup of sour cream. Fold into the cooled potatoes. Add ham, chopped parsley, and strips of canned pimento.
These spicy Indian savories are easy to make and elevate a simple lentil soup. They’re also perfect if you’ve made a curried lentil soup.
Sift 2 cups of pea flour, 1 cup of cake flour, a tablespoon of baking powder, a teaspoon of masala or curry powder, and a teaspoon of salt. Add one finely chopped onion, one finely diced green chili, and five shredded spinach leaves.
Mix with just enough water to make a thick batter. Deep-fry teaspoons of the dough in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
This delicious rice dish is perfect as a side dish for lentil soup if you’re making a vegetarian feast. The light, creamy rice, bursting with green veggies, contrasts beautifully with a protein-packed, tomato-based lentil soup.
Green Rice works best if you have 3 cups of white rice, ready cooked.
Heat ½ cup of olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Sauté ½ cup of chopped green pepper for five minutes. Add the rice, 3 cups of finely shredded baby spinach, ½ cup of chopped parsley, ½ cup of snipped chives, and toss together until hot and the greens have wilted.
Remove the green rice from the stove and stir through ½ cup of cream and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Season and serve with the rest of the Parmesan sprinkled on top.
For a hearty vegetarian supper, serve stuffed eggplants with your lentil soup.
Preheat your oven to a moderate 350⁰F (180⁰C), also laying out a deep ovenproof dish.
Cut two eggplants in half, lengthwise. Heat two generous tablespoons of olive oil and gently fry the eggplants (cut side down) for a few minutes until the creamy flesh is soft.
Remove from the heat and carefully scoop out the flesh, taking care not to damage the skin.
Chop the eggplant insides. Add one chopped onion, four peeled, chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, two tablespoons of chopped parsley, and a generous dash of black pepper. Stuff the eggplant shells with the filling.
Place the shells in the ovenproof dish. Add a little beef stock to the dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender.
For garnish, fry 1½ cups of breadcrumbs in butter. Serve the eggplants with the crispy breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
This version of the famous Caesar salad produces a fresh but luxurious salad, ideal with a wholesome lentil soup.
Preheat the oven to a low 300⁰F (150⁰C). Cut eight slices of French bread and top them with anchovies mashed with crushed garlic and butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crisp.
Boil one egg for 50 seconds – it will be soft.
Wash and dry one cos or romaine lettuce, place in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
Make a dressing with a tablespoon of lemon juice, three tablespoons of olive oil, and a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, and pour over the lettuce. Add the soft-boiled egg, toasted bread, and three tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Gently roll the lettuce in the dressing until the egg becomes part of the dressing. Serve immediately.
Artichoke Heart Salad
This unusual salad is light, fresh, and tangy, a delicious contrast to a savory lentil broth.
Drain a can of artichoke hearts. Combine the artichoke with one shredded lettuce, 1 cup of raw cauliflower florets, a chopped tomato, stuffed olives, chopped gherkins, and snipped chives.
Dress with a simple vinaigrette and serve immediately.
If you’ve made a spicy Mexican-style lentil soup, this creamy guacamole salad is a cooling side that continues your theme.
Combine two generous tablespoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of vinegar, the juice of half a lemon or lime, a few drops of hot sauce (e.g., Tabasco), salt, and pepper. Beat the ingredients until the mixture thickens.
Peel and roughly chop two large avocados and gently toss them with the dressing. Add two peeled, seeded, diced tomatoes and two finely sliced shallots. Chill.
Line plates with lettuce leaves, and serve the salad garnished with parsley.
Best Wine Pairings For Lentil Soup
Lentil soup, rich in winter vegetables, pairs well with a fruit-forward wine, especially a red that has enough heft to stand up to a hearty soup.
Try a floral Pinot Noir, a powerful, dark Syrah or medium-bodied spicy Sangiovese to bring out the sweetness of the lentils and complement the flavor of the veggies. Avoid wines with a high tannin content if you’ve got a tomato-based soup.
Medium-bodied white wines, like Chenin Blanc, or a dry rosé, will be your best bet for the earthy flavors of the lentils. White and rosé wines will be too light for most robust lentil soups, but are a good choice if you’ve made a spicy or curried lentil soup and you need to put out the fire.
Best Sauce And Garnish Pairings For Lentil Soup
Most lentil soups are thick and chunky, so they don’t need much in terms of topping. But if you’ve flavored your lentil soup specifically, here are some topping ideas:
- For a Greek-style lentil soup, top with chunks of soft feta cheese.
- Top with nachos, chopped avocado, salsa, and sour cream for a Mexican-style lentil soup.
- Add a swirl of cream, chopped parsley, and some thickly sliced, sautéed Italian sausage or bacon bits to an Italian-style lentil soup.
- Moroccan-style lentil soups go well with harissa and roasted chickpeas.
- Most lentil soups will benefit from a topping of grated cheese and a few croutons.