Can Lentil Soup Really Taste This Good?

The first mention of lentil stew in the Bible is in Genesis 25:27-34, especially 34 in the story of Esau selling Jacob his birthright for a bowl of soup! They had to really know how to make soup!

The Lord often provides me with surprise blessings when I’m seeking something else. Many times I’m so focused on what we’re praying for, I don’t pause long enough to give thanks for these extra expressions of love and care He gives.

It was like that a few weeks ago. While researching a children’s chapter book set in first century Israel, the Lord provided the opportunity to go to the Biblical History Center in LaGrange, GA. Since I was having trouble finding enough references to children’s lives in that time period, I saw this as a not to be missed opportunity. That is exactly what it turned out to be, but God had a special bonus surprise I have loved. 

As a part of our tour, we enjoyed a first century seder meal. The whole meal was delicious, but all the ladies on the trip agreed that the lentil soup was the standout dish and the one we all wanted to make at home. However, the gift shop didn’t have a recipe book for sale and we were frustrated by the only blot on our day. Our guide told us a book with that recipe was for sale on the square in LaGrange. The tour took too long for us to stop on the way home to look, but one of our number has a sister living in LaGrange. She got the book for my friend who loaned it to me. You can also be the beneficiaries of that loan.

I had been trying to copy the lentil soup we had that day using recipes on the internet, but even with adding the “secret” ingredient our guide told us about, I wasn’t coming very close. When I saw the recipe in my friend’s book, I saw some vital differences. Most are in the preparation. Now my lentil soup is almost as good as what we had that day and I would like to share it with you because it is healthy, high protein, and inexpensive. It’s easy to make and has become a favorite at our house. Also, blessings should be shared as it’s a way we can show our gratitude. This season, resolve to notice your surprise blessings and give thanks.

If you would like to try this delicious, easy piece of ancient Israel (with a couple of modern modifications), it is now printed below. If you like it, please let me know. Also, if you discover a way to make it even more delicious, let us all know! The more we share, the better the soup will be.

Ancient Lentil Soup Recipe

1 lb. lentils (any color)

3 large carrots

2 large onions

3 bay leaves

3 ribs celery or 2 tsp. celery seeds

3 cloves garlic

1-3 tsp. original Mrs. Dash seasoning* (I use 2)

¼ cup olive oil

chicken stock/broth

1-2 tsp. Salt (to taste)

Cover the lentils in stock or broth and let them soak for about 2 hours in a crock pot. Cut all the vegetables into small pieces and saute in the olive oil until tender. Add vegetables to the lentils. Add more broth or water, depending on how robust you want your soup, until everything is covered. A crock pot will be almost full. Cook on high until the lentils are tender, but still slightly firm (NOT mushy). This will insure the best flavor. It’s still fine mushy, but just a more muted flavor. In a crock pot, this will take 1-2 hours. If you’re in a hurry, it can be cooked on the stove top, but will have to be watched closer. It takes about 30 minutes on the stove top. Taste the lentils occasionally until they are barely cooked and the soup is ready. 

When the lentils are cooked, mash the soup with a potato masher if you’re a purist, or put in a blender or food processor to make a puree. Add chopped parsley and/or celery leaves as a garnish when you want to be fancy. Personally, I prefer to eat it just the way it’s cooked without blending (as you can tell from the picture), but the history center served it to us pureed.

*Mrs. Dash, of course, isn’t an authentic first century blend, but it’s what the cook at the history center used the day we were there (we asked!). We know the first century cooks would have flavored their soup with the spices at hand because the Bible mentions various spices in many places.

*Mrs. Dash, of course, isn’t an authentic first century blend, but it’s what the cook at the history center used the day we were there (we asked!). We know the first century cooks would have flavored their soup with the spices at hand because the Bible mentions various spices in many places.


This blog will be different because I want your opinion. A friend of mine posted this question in her Facebook group a few weeks ago. I answered it quickly, but as other answers came in, I saw that while I still like mine, there are a whole lot of other intriguing ways to look at it. The Lord has used this to make me think and meditate on subtler shades of meaning than what I thought of off the top of my head.

So, this is what I hope all of you will do. Please answer the question, “What is the difference between knowing and believing?” in the comments with the first answer you think of. Please share it with your friends as the more answers we get, the more interesting it will be. If the Holy Spirit brings anything else to mind later, please feel free to come back and add to your post. Those of you who aren’t on Facebook, please send me an email from the blog site with your answers. I’d love to hear from every one of you! This is also a more reliable method of being sure I see them than Facebook/

As you have time, read what others have written and see if you learn anything. I might use some of them, with your permission, on my “Thoughts for the Day” I post every morning on Facebook. If you haven’t seen these posts, you can “follow” me on Facebook at kaywhatleyauthor and they should pop up on your screen every morning. Thanks for your help and I hope you all gain a lot of insight from the Holy Spirit. I’m looking forward to seeing what you think.

Story of the Lily

At an adult education class, I found lilies are hard for me to draw. I erased many wrong lines and flipped to several new pages for a fresh start before I was satisfied. However, the next week the teacher handed us one sheet of black paper and a white pencil. It was our only piece of paper and the white marks wouldn’t erase. Once I made a line, it was permanent. This was a much harder project. For me, it was almost impossible. It’s too much like life where our words and actions are permanent. 

Along with everyone else, I proceeded with much more care than the week before. However, it didn’t take long before there were lines on the page I didn’t want where I drew them. There was no remedy. I just had to keep trying, make adjustments, or try to hide them with more lines. It was a frustrating and harrowing morning, but I ended with a finished drawing. I wasn’t proud of it, but I took the mess home and filed it away hoping to never see it again.

Later, during a quiet time, the Lord had me studying lilies in Matthew 6:28 and I wrote a poem about them. When it was complete, I remembered the picture I’d drawn on the white paper, so I searched for it and used it to illustrat the poem. I also found the less perfect lily on the black paper. It fascinated me. It wasn’t good, but neither was it the disaster I remembered. God’s still small voice said, “That’s how your life is. When I saved you, it was black and dark, but I’ve worked to make it into a thing of beauty. It isn’t there yet, but look how far it’s come.” I now use this drawing as a reminder He’s still working on me. Since I stepped back and stopped trying to grow by my own efforts, my progress has been much faster. It’s only when I forget and try to help that progress slows.

I framed the black picture. It sits on my desk to remind me every day how far the Lord has brought me and how far I have left to go. It is both encouragement and inducement. That’s why I’ve made it the symbol for this web page and blog. We’re all emerging from the darkness and into the light. If our interaction on this site can speed our cooperation with Him, our progress toward the beauty coming from being more like Him, then it will fulfill its purpose.

I hope to post a blog every week. There will be a place for interaction. I don’t have all the answers by any means, but maybe together, we can help each other grow more into the light of God’s peace and rest. Follow this blog so we can help each other grow into the beauty of His peace and rest and build beauty from our ashes.