This soup recipe was a long time coming! Over the years, I 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 perfected one of my own.
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.
The original title of this recipe was “Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup,” which is accurate, but a mouthful. With over 500 five-star reviews, I think it’s safe to call this the Best Lentil Soup. Period.
Whether you’re looking to lighten up your meals or warm up with a steaming bowl of soup, this healthy lentil soup recipe is for you! It’s one of my all-time favorites and I hope it becomes a staple in your kitchen as well.
How to Make the Best Lentil Soup
Five reasons to love this recipe:
- The recipe calls for seasonal vegetables and affordable pantry ingredients, but 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 nutritious, well-balanced soup counts as a meal if you enjoy a generous portion. Lentils are rich in protein, fiber, iron and folate.
- 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!
Watch how to make lentil soup
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.
Best Lentil Soup
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 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, lightly 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 of red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (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 the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 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 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. For spicier soup, add another pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
- Serve while hot. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).