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. Hi Clare. Thanks for using my lentil soup recipe as your go-to recipe! I appreciate your taking time to share your review and comments!

  1. First time making soup for me, I’m so impressed with how this turned out! Excited to go to work this week knowing I have a pot of this to take for my lunch everyday 🙂 My family all love it too, even dad who’s got an irrational phobia of anything vegan!! Thank you x

    1. I’m thrilled you and your family loved the lentil soup! I have lots of other yummy soups that I hope you’ll check out as well! Thank you for sharing your great review review and comments! Happy cooking!

  2. Dear Nora,

    many thanks for this recipe. I amde it today and it was very delicious.

    My family loved it, too.

    Yours sincerely,

    The Vegetarian Hannibal

  3. I’ve made this once before and it was so delicious! I’m wondering if I could cook it in the crockpot as well?

    1. Yes, that works well. Simply place everything in your crock pot and cook either on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Thanks!

  4. Just made this! Ate some with bread and butter; I found this recipe to be easy and delicious! Thank you!

    1. This soup is so good with bread and butter! I’m glad you found it easy and delicious! Thank you for sharing your review and comments!

  5. Hi, 
    My family and I absolutely love this lentil soup recipe!

    I’m wondering if you have a rough estimate of how much 1 serving is equivalent to (in cups)?

    Thank you! 

    1. Hi Meghan. I’m so glad you guys love the soup! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful review! There are 8 servings total, so about 1 1/2 cups of soup.

  6. Just made this dish. I couldn’t agree more with it being “The best lentil soup”. The texture and the flavours worked so well and it tastes super delicious and also so easy to make. Thankyou

    1. Hi Jennifer! I’m glad you loved the lentil soup! Thanks so much for taking time to share your great review and comments!

  7. I made this before and it’s fabulous. I’d like to make it for a friend who can’t do tomatoes – any suggestion for a substitution?

  8. Made this for dinner today.  I’ve never really eaten lentils before. I’m not Vegan or Vegetarian, but I’m currently in the midst of a lifestyle change and I’m trying new things as often as possible. This soup was delicious. I made it exactly as is, without any changes or substitutions, and I can honestly say I will be making it regularly now.  It was simple to make, inexpensive, and tasted wonderful. Thank you so much for a healthy new recipe! 

    1. Hi Amber! I’m so thrilled that you love the soup and will be making if often! Thanks for taking your time to share your wonderful review! Happy cooking!

  9. During the pandemic I was able to take time and try many different vegetarian lentil soup recipes. This is my favorite by far! The spinach and lemon are perfect additions. Thanks so much! Going to buy your book in my local independent book store.

    1. Thank you so much, I’m glad you love the soup as much as I do! Unfortunately, I don’t have a hardcover cookbook yet. But I hope to one day!

  10. we’re a soup family and this is REALLY GOOD SOUP! Perfect on this dreary, cool day. I didn’t have celery so I added extra carrots & mushrooms in the beginning. Ended up adding a touch of sugar and some tumeric (trying to get my husband to have more in his diet). Once it started boiling, I added some cauliflower pieces (it was going to go bad if I didn’t use it). So good and filling. Ate it at lunch and haven’t even thought about dinner yet.

    1. I’m really glad you guys loved the soup! Thank you for taking your time to share your review and comments!

  11. So yummy!! my partner and I loved it ..going away for weekend and have just made up another lot..

  12.  I was searching for soups to make with lentils that have been soaking overnight. 
    **Lentils can be tricky, I often read only a rinse is necessary but then soaking for 4 hours – overnight is best.

    Am I able to use soaked lentils (they’re green) in this recipe? 

  13. Amazing, all the kids loved it and all bowls emptied. Every single one of your recipes has been really really nice. My favourite recipe website by far!

    I added some butternut squash blended in with the sauce to sneak in some extra veg as they wont have the spinach! Thank you for another delicious recipe.

    1. Hi Laura. I am so thrilled you are loving my recipes! Thank you for taking your time to share your great review!

  14. I absolutely love this soup. I made it for about 14 friends last week who raved about it and asked for it again this week! I obviously have to triple the ingredients. I also grate my carrots instead of chopping them. Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. I’m so glad to read you and your friends are loving the soup! Thanks for taking time to share your wonderful comments!

  15. This recipe is going in my favorites and I’m very critical when it comes to a good lentil recipe. A new fave in my house. The flavors were spot on. The only thing I changed was adding a bay leaf and some pink salt into the  soup while it was simmering. I also took about 3-4 cups of the soup and blended it up in my Vitamix then poured it back in. 
    Perfect soup for a rainy day. 
    Thank you! 

    1. I’m thrilled you love the soup, Laura, and that it’s a new fave! Great idea to blend part of the soup! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review!

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