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Lentil Chowder
with butter lettuce salad

Active: 30 min Total: 30 min
This vegetarian-friendly chowder uses aromatics, spices, and savory lentils to build layers of flavors.
Smarts: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.


Lentil Chowder:
  • Leeks - 2 , thinly sliced
  • Chives - 1 Tbsp , chopped
  • Potatoes, Yukon gold or baby yellow potatoes - 8 oz , cubed
  • Butter - 2 Tbsp
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Paprika, smoked - 1 tsp
  • Old bay seasoning (opt) - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • White wine - 1/2 cup (sub stock)
  • Stock, any type - 4 cups
  • Lentils, cooked - 2 cups (use pre-cooked lentils or if cooking from dried, use half the amount of dried and prepare according to package directions)
  • Heavy cream - 1/2 cup
  • Oyster crackers (opt) - for serving
Butter Lettuce Salad:
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Honey - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Cucumbers - 6 oz , cubed
  • Lettuce, butter - 8 oz , leaves chopped or torn


  1. Leeks - Finely slice leeks. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make vinaigrette - Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and honey. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Chives / Potatoes / Cucumbers / Lettuce - Prep as directed.

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  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter and then leeks and bay leaves to melted butter. Saute until leeks are very tender, ~5 minutes.
  2. Add paprika, Old Bay (if using), and salt. Cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Pour wine over leeks and bring to a simmer. Simmer ~3 minutes to reduce slightly.
  4. Add stock and potatoes and return to a simmer. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (Note: Adjust heat as needed to keep the liquid simmering gently but not bubbling over.)
  5. When potatoes are tender, remove and discard bay leaves.
  6. If you’d like a thicker soup, use an immersion blender to blend a small portion of the soup and potatoes. (The blended potatoes will serve as a natural thickener.)
  7. Add lentils and simmer until lentils are warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  8. Remove soup from heat and stir in cream. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
  9. When soup is ready to serve, toss cucumbers and lettuce in vinaigrette. Finish salad with some black pepper.
  10. Serve soup with chives and crackers (if using). Enjoy salad on the side.



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