This soup recipe has been a long time coming! Over the years, I’ve made some lackluster lentil soups that never saw the light of day on this website. No vegetarian food blog would be complete without a proper lentil soup, though, so I’ve been perfecting one of my own lately.
Here it is. My lentil soup is made with mostly pantry ingredients but includes hearty greens and a squeeze of lemon for bright, fresh flavor. It’s seasoned with a few of my favorite spices and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Honestly, it’s the best lentil soup I’ve ever had.
I’ve seriously overindulged over the past couple of weeks here in Austin, Texas. This much-needed soup is helping me balance out all the tacos and tequila (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself).
Whether you’re looking to lighten up or warm up, this healthy lentil soup is for you!
How to Make the Best Lentil Soup
Five reasons to love this recipe:
- The recipe calls for seasonal vegetables and affordable pantry ingredients, but it tastes gourmet.
- This lentil soup has an amazing hearty texture that’s lightly creamy (yet there is no cream). The trick is to blend up a portion of the soup once the lentils are tender, and then pour it back into the pot. It’s like magic.
- This well-balanced soup counts as a meal if you eat a generous portion of it.
- Lentil soup packs well for lunch in a leak-proof container, and it tastes even better the next day.
- This soup freezes and defrosts well. Make soup now and enjoy it later!
Please let me know how this lentil soup turns out for you in the comments. I’m always so eager to hear from you.
Don’t miss my lentil minestrone recipe in my cookbook—if you’re a fan of this soup, you’re going to love it.
Vegan Lentil Soup
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
This simple vegan lentil soup recipe comes together quickly with mostly pantry ingredients. Be sure to have your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking! Recipe yields four large bowls of soup, or six more modest servings.
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
- Juice of ½ to 1 medium lemon, to taste
- Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
- Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
- Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Securely fasten the lid, protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid, and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. (Or, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.)
- Add the chopped greens and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).