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Heat 1/4 cup oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Stir in onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until onions start to brown at the edges, stirring frequently, 6 to 9 minutes.
Stir in stock, lentils, thyme and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until lentils are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs.
Stir in garlic, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and use an immersion blender to purée the soup to the desired consistency, keeping it chunky or making it smooth. (Alternatively, ladle it into a blender and blend in batches.) Stir in vinegar, then taste and add more salt and vinegar if needed.
In a small bowl, toss radicchio, if using, and parsley with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with a small mound of radicchio and parsley, and/or any other garnishes you like.