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how to make a smooth pureed lentil soup?

I tried to make a pureed soup the other day, and I found that lentils when pureed doesn't give a smooth texture...there's still a bit grittiness to the final product. Any tips for a smooth consistency?

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  1. What type of lentils did you use?
    I don't think lentils get velvety smooth with blending, so I just take my stick blender and whiz through them to get a creamy texture that still has dimension. If they lentils seemed grainy, perhaps they needed to be soaked/cooked longer or were a bit old?
    Lentil soup should have a pleasant texture.

    3 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      Stick blender is a good start, and if the lentils are fairly fresh and thoroughly cooked it could be enough. But that old standby, the wire-mesh sieve, is the surest way to finish the job. It's a bit of work, both to rub the soup through the mesh - wooden spoon is the classic tool, but I use a silicone spatula - and then to clean the sieve out afterwards. I got a fine-mesh chinois, thinking it'd work better, and it does, but it took days of soaking and spraying to clean the thing; so much for that!

      1. re: Will Owen

        Lentils don't go through my chinois for the same reason. I don't want it smooth--I want it a bit of creaminess as well as texture because I think it brings the soup together.

        1. re: monavano

          Me too, generally, unless it's a fancy-occasion soup to open a meal. But the OP is apparently wanting a smooth purée, and I was responding to that.

    2. Straining out the skins will smooth it out. But first make sure that you are really cooking the lentils till they are falling apart.
      Adding a little bit of baking soda to the pot helps to denature the skins as well.
      Use a blender or burr mixer to puree the soup a food processor does not do a very good job.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chefj

        Thanks. I've cooked them tender but they weren't falling apart so maybe that was part of the problem. I used hand blender and from my experience w other legume I know blender doesn't work that great either....I'll try this before the wire-sieve - which I'm sure will work but cleanup sounds like a hassle!

      2. You'll need to run the soup through a food mill to get rid of the skins. You could try a coarse sieve, but that is a lot of work; a food mill will be fast and give you the smooth result you're looking for.

        1 Reply
        1. re: janniecooks

          Right on with the food mill, that will work great.

        2. As previously mentioned, getting the skins out of the mixture will help. But with the beneficial fiber in the skins I'd just leave them in and tell the others at the table how healthful it is. Or, perhaps not.

          1. A VitaMix set on "high" for a couple of minutes will effectively remove the skin problem. You can also pass through a tamis afterwards just to be absolutely certain.

            1 Reply
            1. re: wattacetti

              I'm finding out just how smooth and silky soups can get since getting my Vitamix. But for those without a high powered blender use a regular blender and strain. A stick blender and food pro won't do as good of a job.