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The best (and easiest) lentil soup

This article first appeared in City Press.

by: Grethe Kemp | 13 May 2018
lentil soup recipe

Afrikaans women can cook, let me tell you that much. My mother-in-law is one of them, and her kitchen is filled with time-tested recipes gathered over the years from Huisgenoot’s Wenresepte and Kook en Geniet.

One of my favourite recipes is for lentil soup. It’s the most delicious soup I’ve had, and I’ve not found anything easier to cook.

To make it, you will need a slow cooker, so if you don’t have one already, I really suggest you invest in one. They’re relatively inexpensive – you can get one for about R500 from Game or Makro – and will change your life.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:


  • 500g (one small bag) of dry brown lentils
  • 4 cups of cold water
  • 500g beef shank (the kind you use for stew)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • A small handful of chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg or mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper


  • Roughly chop the onion and carrots.
  • Place everything in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for an hour, then turn down to the lowest heat and cook for another six to eight hours – you want the meat to be falling off the bone.
  • Top up with water if the soup becomes too thick.
  • Serve with bread.

This is great to prepare in the evening and leave overnight to cook. I’ve even used frozen beef shank and dried red speckled beans instead of lentils, and it tasted just as good! This soup also freezes well.

Dankie, Ma.

Read more on: pulses  |  recipe  |  soups

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