This hearty lentil soup is a wonderful combination of cozy comfort food and nutritionally packed health food. Cooked with dry lentils, made with pantry staples, and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice, this vegan lentil soup is flavorful and filling. This might be my favorite soup for a tasty and satisfying lunch on a cold winter day.
Choose green or brown lentils when making lentil soup. Yellow lentils and red lentils tend to disintegrate into a mushy consistency and won't contribute the desired texture to the soup. French green lentils will also work well but need more cooking time. Black lentils are another option; they take longer and have a slightly firmer texture.
You can use any canned diced tomatoes, but if you have fire-roasted tomatoes, they add flavor to a slightly smoky lentil soup.
The acid in the lemon juice gives the soup a bright finish and complements the earthy flavor of the lentils. If you do not have lemons on hand, lime juice or red wine vinegar will do the trick.
Tips, Tricks, and Alterations
- Freeze- I highly suggest making a double batch of soup so that you can freeze the extra in an airtight container. This soup seems to get even better with time. One night of the week you will have no time to cook and be glad to have the best lentil soup ready to enjoy.
- Creamy Soup- if you like a thicker creamer broth, without the daily, use an immersion blender for a few seconds at a time to achieve a thicker broth.
- Serve with- parmesan cheese and a piece of crusty bread or with your choice of grain, like brown rice, farro or quinoa.
- More Green- Add a handful of baby spinach before serving to pack in more veggie goodness
- More Herbs- Try adding more fresh herbs like oregano and basil, both of which work well in the cooking process and as garnish/topping.
Start by finely chopping two yellow onions and mincing two cloves of garlic. In a large pot over medium heat, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the chopped onions until they become translucent.
Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Incorporate three finely chopped carrots and two chopped celery stalks, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften, about 6-8 minutes.
Sprinkle two teaspoons of kosher salt over the vegetables and add two tablespoons of tomato paste, along with the ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and cayenne. Stir well to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant; this enhances the flavors of all the spices.
Add one pound of picked and rinsed green or brown lentils to the pot. Pour in a 28-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes (with their juices) and stir to combine. Follow this by adding four cups of chicken or vegetable broth and two cups of water.
Add the thyme to the pot, along with two bay leaves. Bring the soup to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Finish by stirring in two tablespoons of lemon juice for a fresh flavor. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed.
Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with chopped fresh parsley, and serve with crusty bread (and grated Parmesan cheese on top for those of us flexitarians).
The answer is a resounding yes! Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition, packed with minerals and protein while low in fat. Research also indicates that lentils offer positive effects on heart health. Learn more in my post about Lentils' health benefits and nutrition facts.
Yes, you sure can, but it’s better made with dried lentils because of the soup's texture. If you are short on time, it will save you about 10 minutes. See the note section of the recipe card for instructions.
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- Large pot
- 2 finely yellow onion chopped
- 2 olive oil
- 2 garlic
- 3 finely chopped carrot
- 2 celery stacks
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoon Tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- ½ fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 pound green or brown lentils picked and rinsed
- 1 28- can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth chicken broth flexitarian option
- 2 cups of water
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Fresh parsley chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle kosher salt and stir in minced garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add chopped carrots and celery, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften, about 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste, ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and cayenne. Cook for 1-2 minutes, untill freagrent.
- Add the rinsed lentils to the pot. Pour in the fire-roasted tomatoes (with their juices), chicken or vegetable broth and water and stir well to combine all ingredients. Drop in the bay leaves and fresh thyme.
- Bring the soup to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
- Stir in the lemon juice for a fresh flavor.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.