It’s true – this really is The Best Lentil Soup you’ll ever make! It’s all whipped up in one pot with simple and inexpensive ingredients like fresh veggies, bold spices, and of course plenty of lentils. It’s a wonderfully thick soup that’s equal parts filling and flavorful!

close up of a bowl of soup

Summer is oh so slowly fading away… Which means it’s time to start whipping out all of the best soup recipes! Cozy up with something warm, delicious, and vegan this fall and winter. Some of the best soup recipes include (but are certainly not limited to) Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Spicy Peanut Soup, and Instant Pot Tomato Soup!

The very best lentil soup

When it comes to Lentil Soups, they don’t get much more satisfying than this one! It’s a bare bones soup, meaning you won’t find any unnecessary frills or complicated steps here. It’s a classic recipe that’s the definition of tried and true!

With that being said, it’s also anything but bland. The medley of mouthwatering spices and mix of fresh veggies keep this thick Lentil Soup plenty flavorful. Oh, and that squeeze of fresh lemon juice right at the end is like the cherry on top!

ladle holding soup from pot

What makes it the best?

  • The ingredients are inexpensive! In fact, you likely already have the majority of these ingredients in your kitchen now. If you don’t, this recipe is a great excuse to start stockpiling all of your inexpensive cooking essentials! 
  • It’s so filling. The amount of protein-packed lentils and nutritious fresh veggies in this thick soup make it wonderfully filling! Trust me, this Lentil Soup always hits the spot and satisfies everyone around the table. 
  • The flavor is truly delicious! Smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, and just a touch of salt create a flavorful medley of spices that make this soup downright delicious. And since you’re making this soup at home, you can alter the spices however you see fit!
big pot of lentil soup with spinach

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • Olive Oil – Avocado oil can be used instead. 
  • Onion – Feel free to use a white or yellow onion, either one will work well.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic will yield the best flavor here. 
  • Carrots – When you chop them up, make sure they’re in small enough pieces to fit onto your spoon with the other ingredients. 
  • Celery – Rinse your celery with water and pat it dry before chopping. That way, there’s no dirt or residue still on it. 
  • Tomatoes – Use a can of either crushed or diced tomatoes. Either one will get the job done. 
  • Lentils – You can use green or brown lentils – whichever you prefer! 
  • Vegetable Broth – Use a low sodium vegetable broth for a less salty taste. 
  • Spices – You’ll need a medley of ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, and just a light sprinkle of salt to make this Lentil Soup supremely flavorful! 
  • Baby Spinach – Slice your spinach into ribbons so it’s easier to eat in your spoonfuls. Also, you can substitute this for kale if you’d like.
  • Lemon – Make sure you’re using freshly squeezed lemon juice only – nothing from concentrate! 
bowl of lentils, dry

How to make lentil soup

Find the complete printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently for about 4-5 minutes.

pot with onion, carrot and celery

Now add the can of tomatoes (with juices), lentils, vegetable broth, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. Stir to incorporate everything.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened. If desired, use an immersion blender to slightly blend and thicken it.

immersion blender in pot with soup

Stir in the spinach and lemon juice. It will only take a minute for the spinach to wilt. Season with salt to taste.

spinach being added to lentil soup

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I change the consistency of Lentil Soup? Yep! For a thinner soup, simply add more water or vegetable broth until the desired consistency is reached. You can also blend it just a few times with an immersion blender for a slightly creamier soup. 
  • Can I freeze Lentil Soup? You sure can – and it freezes so well! In a freezer safe food storage container, your leftover Lentil Soup will stay fresh for up to 3 months. You can keep it in one large container or several small containers for individual portions. 
  • Can I swap the spinach for kale? Yes, just make sure that you cook the kale for about 10 minutes longer than you would the spinach so it’s nice and tender. 

What to serve lentil soup with

I like to serve this hearty soup with some Dutch Oven Bread and perhaps a Vegan Caesar Salad.

two bowls of lentil soup with lemons on white background

Do you love lentils as much as I do?

Here are a few of my favorite recipes using lentils:

square image of a bowl of soup with a spoon in it
4.96 stars (120 ratings)

The Best Lentil Soup

It’s true – this really is The Best Lentil Soup you’ll ever make! It’s all whipped up in one pot with simple and inexpensive ingredients like fresh veggies, bold spices, and of course plenty of lentils.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 14- ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry green or brown lentils
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3 cups baby spinach, sliced into ribbons or kale
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Now add the can of tomatoes (with juices), lentils, vegetable broth, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. Stir to incorporate everything.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened. For a creamier texture, use an immersion blender to blend a few times in the pot. Alternatively, add 1-2 cups of the soup to a regular blender, blend until smooth and then return to the pot.
  • Stir in the spinach and lemon juice. It will only take a minute for the spinach to wilt. Season with salt to taste.

Video

Notes

  1. For a thinner soup, simply add more water or vegetable broth until the desired consistency is reached. 
  2. Leftover soup will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
  3. This soup freezes well. Either freeze in individual containers or a large container for quick future meals.
  4. May substitute kale for the spinach, but you will need to cook the kale in the soup about 10 more minutes to get it tender. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 743mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4333IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Wonderful, hearty, flavorful recipe. The vegans and non-vegans in my household love it and it is sufficient enough to fill up even the big, non-vegan men. First made it on Christmas Eve with my dad and sister, and have made it every Sunday since. I love lentil soup and am ecstatic to be able to make such a delicious one at home. I feel as though I have conquered one corner of my craving world?. I am not a great cook but am discerning enough to identify whether what I made fame out well or not. This is excellent every time. In my latest iteration I didn’t have carrots, but I did add a peeled, chopped potato and it goes very well. Sincere thanks for this recipe.

    1. It would change the recipe quite a bit, as the dry lentils also soak up the broth as they cook. You probably could, just reduce the broth, maybe by half. Thanks!

  2. Hi, Thanks for the recipe. I just wanted to ask if I can use fresh tomatoes instead of the canned ones, Thank you.

  3. Can I put this in a crock pot and have it come out the same? I make all of your recipes from lunch to dessert and have not been disappointed yet!

    1. I don’t see why not, I just don’t have a crock pot currently so I haven’t tested it. Thank you so much, that makes me happy!

  4. This was delicious! I didn’t have veggie broth on hand so I added a little more of the spices and salt and the family loved it! My 15 month old devoured every bit of it! This is a winner for sure.

  5. This is excellent but I have a question. Would a teaspoon or so of turmeric clash in this recipe? I try to get turmeric in my diet whenever possible.

  6. I had lentil soup at a local restaurant here in Las Vegas and wanted to find a recipe that was similar. This was absolutely delicious and tasted just like the restaurant! The rest of the fam that isn’t vegan loved it as well <3 Thank you!

  7. Hello Nora,
    I recently decided to change my diet. After doing a google search for vegan lentil soup recipe, I came across yours. I made it that night and it is by far my favorite lentil soup I’ve ever had. Which is a big deal because my mother is a chef and owns a restaurant and is known for her soups. I gave her some and she said it was the best lentil soup she ever had. I looked it up last weekend and have made it twice alread. I used all high end organic ingredients and not sure if that’s what puts it over the top. But thank you. I was sceptical about changing my diet but I’m now hopeful. I can’t wait to try everything. Lol

  8. This soup is simple, and delicious! It’s now one of my favourite lentil soup recipes. I freeze it for easy dinners or lunches.

  9. Hi Nora,
    I want to try making this, but I cannot have tomatoes.
    Can I just delete the 14 oz can of tomatoes? Or, should I substitute it with something else?
    Thank you!

    1. I would just leave the tomatoes out! Maybe add a little more vegetable broth if it’s too thick. Hope that helps! Enjoy!

  10. I made this today and it is so good! This will be a regular staple for me. Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

  11. Excellent recipe, LOVE the lemon and smoked paprika flavors, we rip up kale in our bowls before serving and it’s perfectly wilted, we’ve made lots of variations and this has become our go-to recipe, thanks Nora! <3

  12. This soup is delicious. My nearly 2 year old loved it. Ive been trying a lot of your recipes and I’m a huge fan! Thank you for your recipes!

  13. Hi, Nora. Just discovered your blog. Wonderful! The list of your recipes I want to try gets longer and longer!

    Could I use chipotle chili powder instead of smoked paprika? I like things spicy.

    Thank you.

  14. My partner made this for our family and we refuse to use another recipe now. Even my super picky kids ate it and loved it!

  15. This is awesome! My first recipe of yours we cooked was lasagna, a now weekly recipe. Just made this tonight and it’s is amazing. Delicious, flavorful, will make again.

  16. I’ve made this a few times now and it’s absolutely delicious!! So comforting and warming. Everyone loves it! Flavor packed and eat to make.

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