Dr. Padma Garvey

The plant-based Doctor Mom 

Italian Lentil Soup

My best friend’s mother made this soup for my children and me.  It is a classical Italian lentil soup.  Even better was the fact that she used Swiss chard that she had grown in her garden.  This soup is something that you can make a giant batch of and freeze single servings to take for lunch.


Olive oil

Large white onion, finely chopped

Four cloves of crushed garlic

Three ribs of celery, finely chopped

Two large carrots, finely chopped



One cup of green lentils

One tomato, pureed

Two large bunches of Swiss chard, thoroughly rinsed and chopped

Two bay leaves

One cup of short grain brown rice

In a large pot, add one teaspoon of olive oil and heat to medium.  Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots.  Add one tablespoon of salt and sautĂ© until onions have started to sweat.  Add green lentils and 8 cups of water.  Add tomato, and two large bunches of Swiss chard.  Add two bay leaves and one teaspoon of pepper.  Let the soup cook for about 45 minutes.  Add water as necessary.  Add one cup of short grain brown rice.  Let the soup continue to cook until rice is tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste at the end.