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Polish Red Lentil and Vegetable Dahl - Grochowka
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Polish Lentil and Vegetable Dahl - Grochowka

Our Grochowka, was made with the leftover Christmas ham bone and skin, the fat rendered into the soup gave it a richer flavour, but you can simply add some fried cold-smoked speck at the end of cooking for a similar effect. We simply didn't want the bone and skin to go to waste with so much flavour still there. For a vegetarian version, omit the speck and use extra virgin olive oil to ensure you get the full nutritional benefit from the dhal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 4 people


  • 300 g dried split red lentils
  • 1 large carrot peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 small celeriac peeled and cubed
  • 1 small parsnip peeled and cubed
  • 2 large potatoes cubed
  • 1 small leek sliced thinly
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 2 large garlic cloves or 4-5 small ones, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
  • 80 g cold-smoked speck diced (optional) or 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme


  • Place all ingredients except for the garlic, marjoram and speck in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add more water if you prefer the dhal to be thinner.
  • Turn off the heat, add crushed garlic, marjoram and stir through. If using, fry off the speck until crispy. Drizzle the rendered fat and crispy pieces or olive oil over the soup.
  • Serve on its own or with some bread, quinoa or rice.


Gluten-free, Dairy-free | Options: Vegetarian, Vegan
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