Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Lentil Soup in Bread Bowls, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, season 10.
Recipe courtesy of Molly Yeh

Lentil Soup in Bread Bowls

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 55 min (includes rising and cooling times)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings


Bread Bowls:


  1. Cook the pancetta in a heavy-bottomed 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until crisp and the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and jalapeño pepper. Season with salt and sweat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. (Add a little oil if your pot seems dry.) Add the cumin and coriander. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lentils, can of tomatoes, chicken stock and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine, then increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to marry the flavors. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until the lentils are tender, start checking at 20 minutes. Continue cooking, uncovered, stirring to break down the lentils and thicken the soup, another 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  2. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, a dollop of yogurt and fresh cilantro leaves, or use the bread bowls. If using the bread bowls, cut a circle around the top of each with a paring knife, then gently pull out the tops. Remove some of the bread innards and have as a snack. Fill each bread bowl with hot soup and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and fresh cilantro leaves.

Bread Bowls:

  1. Combine the flour, milk powder, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together. Add the water and oil and mix with the dough hook until a dough forms, scraping down the sides. Knead on medium-high speed until it pulls away from the side of the bowl and makes a smacking noise, 12 to 15 minutes. (The dough will be very sticky and soft, but do not add more flour.) Scrape out into a liberally oiled bowl, then toss to coat in the oil and cover in plastic. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  2. Place an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Prepare a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured countertop and gently fold over onto itself to deflate some of the gas. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll into tight balls. Evenly space the balls on the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic. Let proof until puffy and almost doubled; depending on the temperature, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Snip the tops of the dough balls with scissors in an X and bake until golden brown and puffed up and they feel hollow when you tap, begin checking at 15 minutes. Let cool on a rack.