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Recollected German Lentil Soup

Serves 8-10


  • 2 cups of lentils or almost any bean.
  • 1 medium baking potato - peeled and grossly chopped
  • 1 cup of soaked and then chopped porcini mushrooms
  • 1 medium size carrot chopped
  • 1 cup of well chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of curry
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 ham hocks or 1.5 lbs of pork loin
  • 1 green bell pepper coarsely chopped
  • Cayenne to taste


DIRECTION: Gently cook lentil and ham hocks in adequate amounts of water. Might need to add water from time to time. Briefly saute curry in 2 to 3 Tbs of butter. Then add all vegetables and continue to sauté until the onions are softened and translucent. Continue to gently cook for at least 6 hours or over night. Selectively remove ham hocks and separate meat from bone and, when obvious, dispense the globules of fat. Place the meat of the ham hocks in blender along with the more watery aspects of the soup and blend seriously to create a smooth tecture.

Return this blended mixture to the pot. Now blend all but 1/8th of the soup. (The lumpy 1/8th will add pleasant tecture to the final mixture.) Can cook another hour or so to fully incorporate all flavors. Add salt and dash of cayenne at your discretion.

On Alaska Avenue they added cut-up garlic sausages. At Irving we garnish with croutons and sometimes sour cream. Lemon juice to be added at the last minute or let the sluppers squeeze individual quarters of lemon juice.

This is what I reconstructed from my tongue's memory of a winter soup at Alaska Avenue circa 1936 - 1944.