Classic Lentil Soup

GFGluten FreeGRGrain FreeNFNut FreeOFOil FreeVVegan
5 from 1 vote
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This Lentil Soup is made with a classic mirepoix, hearty lentils, savory broth and the perfect combination of spices. Enjoy a bowl of this warm vegan soup with bread for dunking. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free.

This classic Lentil Soup is the ultimate budget-friendly, veggie-packed recipe. No need to fuss over hard-to-find ingredients or complicated instructions to enjoy a hearty plant-based meal. This one-pot soup is guaranteed to win a spot on the meal plan rotation.

Table of Contents
  1. A Fresh Twist on Canned Lentil Soup
  2. What You Need for Lentil Soup
  3. How to Make Lentil Soup
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. How to Store Lentil Soup
  6. Recipe FAQs
  7. Classic Lentil Soup Recipe
lentil soup served in a white bowl with a spoonful of it scooped up

A Fresh Twist on Canned Lentil Soup

Growing up vegetarian, I loved canned lentil soup. It was quick, easy to heat up, and always stocked in my childhood pantry. This homemade version is equally nostalgic, but with a fresh twist and a few flavor upgrades. You simply can’t beat homemade! 

Take advantage of the storage and freezer instructions and have a stash in the freezer to enjoy year-round.

What You Need for Lentil Soup

This hearty lentil soup includes the fundamentals of any good soup:

ingredients for the lentil soup laid out on a marble countertop with labels added on
  • A mirepoix: tons of soup recipes start with sauteing a blend of onion, carrots, and celery for a reason – it lays the foundation for a flavorful soup. 
  • A blend of seasonings: here we’re using Italian seasoning blend, paprika, cumin, bay leaves, and black pepper. 
  • Broth: I opted for good ol’ fashioned vegetable broth, but if you want a richer tasting lentil soup go for vegan “beef” broth. 
  • Lemon juice: any hearty soup needs a splash of acidity to balance the rich and hearty flavors. 
  • Protein: this isn’t a crucial ingredient in every soup per se, but it is when you’re looking to serve a bowl of soup as a stand alone main dish. I personally love the heartiness of green lentils (sometimes called French lentils), but brown lentils will work in a pinch.

How to Make Lentil Soup

lentil soup served in a white bowl with a spoonful of it scooped up
  1. Saute the aromatics in a warm dutch oven or large pot. Add the tomato paste and mix until evenly distributed. 
  2. Season with garlic, Italian seasoning, paprika, cumin, bay leaves, and black pepper and mix well. Saute for 2 minutes to toast the spices. 
  3. Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, vegetable broth, and water until well combined. 
  4. Boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer until the lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add additional water if your lentil soup becomes too thick. 
  5. Serve warm with fresh parsley and additional sides as desired. 

Caitlin’s Cooking Tips

  • Avoid overcooking your soup. For best texture, simmer long enough to make the lentils tender, but still hold their shape. If you simmer for too long, the lentils will become overly soft and become more mushy (particularly true with brown lentils). 
  • Don’t skip the saute! Sauteeing the aromatics before bringing to a boil is essential to creating depth of flavor and layers of complexity. This 10 minutes of prep is short, yet imperative to full bodied flavor.

Serving Suggestions

This classic lentil soup is a dinner favorite that also makes for delicious lunch leftovers. Serve with my 3-Ingredient Pesto Star Bread or Easy Vegan Cornbread for dunking. This soup also pairs well with simple salads like this Kale Apple Walnut Salad or Kale & Cranberry Salad with Tahini Cider Dressing.

If you’re looking for more cozy vegan soup recipes, you’ll love this Roasted Tomato Soup, One-Pot Vegan Lasagna Soup, Coconut Curry Lentil Soup, and this Feel Good Red Lentil Soup

How to Store Lentil Soup

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Before freezing, allow the soup to cool completely to room temperature. If the soup is stored while still warm, condensation will build up inside your container and cause freezer burn. 

Reheat any leftover soup in the microwave or a small saucepan. If frozen, allow the lentil soup to thaw for 1-2 days in the fridge, then reheat as usual.

a zoomed-in image of lentil soup served in a white bowl with a spoon inside

Recipe FAQs

Are lentils a legume or grain?

Lentils are a legume, same as beans like black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, soy beans, etc.

Do you have to soak lentils before making soup?

Nope! Lentils are hearty, but quick cooking, meaning they’ll be nice and tender from dry with just about 20 to 30 minutes of simmering.

Which color lentils are the healthiest?

Technically black lentils are the healthiest, but all lentils are a great source of nutrition and part of a balanced vegan diet.

How do I make lentil soup thicker?

This lentil soup should be fairly thick, but if you prefer a thicker soup, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Add this cornstarch slurry into the soup and simmer until thickened to your desired consistency. Keep in mind, the soup will continue to thicken as it cools as well.

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊

Classic Lentil Soup

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
This Lentil Soup is made with a classic mirepoix, hearty lentils, savory broth and the perfect combination of spices. Enjoy a bowl of this warm vegan soup with bread for dunking. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free.

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 2 stalks celery sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups dry brown or green lentils sorted and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 ounce crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Aromatics: Warm the olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for 1 minute, then add the tomato paste to the vegetables and mix until evenly distributed. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Spices: Add the garlic, italian seasoning, paprika, cumin, bay leaves, and black pepper to the pot. Mix well and sauté for 1 minute, to toast the spices.
  • Simmer: Add the lentils, tomatoes, vegetable broth, and 3 cups (700 ml) of water to the pot and stir well. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender. If the soup gets too thick for your liking add the additional cup of water as necessary.
  • Finishing Touches: Remove the bay leaves from the soup and discard. Add the lemon juice and mix well; season with salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
  • Serve: Serve warm, topped with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Recipe Notes

  • Oil-Free: Replace the oil with ¼ cup of water and sauté the vegetables according to the recipe instructions, adding more water as necessary if things start to stick.

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 19gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 152mgPotassium: 1018mgFiber: 23gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 5620IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 7mg
Keyword: healthy lentil soup, vegan lentil soup
Course: Soup
Method: Stovetop
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

    1. about 8-10 minutes on high pressure will do, just make sure you use the sauté function for the first few steps to maximize the flavor of the aromatics and spices. 🙂