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
4.97 stars (126 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. I have to say this is delish! Can you tell me on the nutrition list it says 7g of sugar where does the sugar come from?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Ann, so glad you loved the soup! It’s likely the 7g of sugar comes from the natural sugars found in the tomatoes and carrots.

  2. Another great and easy recipe from Nora! For my taste buds the spices were too strong for the soup but next time I will cut back. I like the effect that lemon had on the soup.
    I appreciate the calorie count per serving you show on the recipes but you don’t tell us how many ounces is in a portion.

    Next recipe I will try will be your Vegan mushroom risotto. How many ounces in a serving size?
    Thanks,
    Bob

  3. Excellent!

    I converted it slightly for the Instant Pot pressure cooking.

    1) Reduced the 7 cups of broth to 6.
    2) Doubled the spices, smoked paprika, Cumin and Coriander.
    3) Cooked it on high pressure for 35 minutes and did a quick release.

    Added spinach and lemon juice and it was perfect!

    1. Hi Mark. I’m happy to hear that you loved the lentil soup! Thanks for taking your time to share your feedback and ideas!

  4. I made this soup yesterday. It was WONDERFUL! Perfect flavorings and it was amazing the difference the lemon juice added at the end made to the taste profile. Mind blown!

  5. Seriously the BEST soup! My hubby absolutely loved it! I added a bit more cumin. So easy and fun to make! 

    1. Hi Stephanie. I’m thrilled you guys loved the soup, and that you had fun making it! Thanks for sharing your amazing feedback and review!

  6. As a new vegan, this is pretty good. I’m a pretty picky eater and I was able to eat this and like it. I added more broth and some potatoes and my family and I like it. I’ve never had lentils, but this was a good way to introduce myself to them. Hello Lentil Soup!!! You are a very filling dish! Very good 🙂

    1. Hi there. I am glad that you enjoyed the lentil soup! Thank you for sharing your feedback and ideas! Enjoy your journey and I wish you happy cooking!

  7. You’re right, Nora- BEST lentil soup ever!!! All of your recipes (that I’ve tried so far) have been absolutely delicious!!! Thank you!!!

    1. You are welcome! I’m so glad you love the soup! I love this soup as well! Thank you for sharing your great feedback!

  8. What an amazing AND easy, healthy soup! I am thrilled to find it! I switched to a plant based (low fat, vegan) way of eating 6 months ago and have turned my health around and returned to a weight I haven’t seen since high school! This recipe is one of my all time faves. I used Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis (it was all I had) and it has a real spunk to it. Even my meat eating husband loved it. I’ll be researching more of your recipes, Nora! Thanks a million! ☘️☘️☘️

    1. I’m so glad you and your husband loved the soup! Thanks for using my recipe, and for sharing your review and feedback! Happy cooking!

  9. I am starting a vegan diet “again” thinking how I should not fail at it this time. Oh my gosh!! This lentil soup is fabulous I ate it myself all week. It’s so easy to make, it tastes delicious and I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner – lol it is that good. I know I am getting the protein I need too. I am going to try other of your recipes thank you so much!!

    1. I’m so glad you loved the lentil soup! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! I hope you enjoy your journey through my recipes! Happy cooking!

  10. I usually don’t comment on recipes I find on the internet, but I just HAD to comment after I made this. Sooooo delicious! Flavors are on point. I blended some of the soup as mentioned in the recipe for a more creamy texture. DON’T skip that part or you’ll regret it! My Latin palette thanks you for this recipe! 

  11. We have been switching to a plant based diet and I was looking for a good lentil soup. I made this recipe mostly as written but I did use half broth/half water and added a tablespoon of garlic and herb spice.   I like things a little more spicy than my husband so I add some crushed red pepper or siracha to my individual serving – it is wonderful! 

  12. I’m guessing that you reserved some of the lentils rather than stick blending the whole lot or did the blender not cut the lentils when you whizzed through the soup?

    1. I do not blend all of the soup. I use an immersion blender and just blend a few times, not until it’s totally smooth. You want to leave a lot of texture. You can blend just 1-2 cups of the soup in a blender, then bring it back to the pot, but do not blend the whole thing. Hope that helps!

  13. Ive never seen a lentil soup recipe without balsamic or apple cider or white vinegar at the end with the chopped spinach so I do that ..gives a nice tang I guess the lemin is the tang. They are very expensive here so I use vinegar

  14. I’m new to vegan cooking and am looking forward to trying all your soups Nora. I am prediabetic, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome. My diabetic clinic is encouraging me to go vegan…the best way to manage ones glucose levels. So I’m off on a new adventure and will be visiting Nora’s site often. I have to cut salt, fats and the poor carb foods too but I have a feeling it can be done and still taste wonderful, just like this Lentil Soup. You’ll be hearing more from me in the future. Thanks for your help.

  15. Delicious! Iam making for a 2nd time. I followed recipe exact but did not add salt bc my broth was salty and did not add spinach bc I didn’t have any. This is a great, easy, recipe and recommended.
    Thank you.

  16. Amazing recipe! I made this for the 1st time today. Delicious! Don’t skip the lemon. It makes all the difference. Brightens all the flavors of everything. Will definitely make again (and again!) Great recipe. Can’t wait to make some others from your site. Great job!

    1. Hi Lance! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and comments! I’m so glad you loved the soup recipe! Welcome to my site, and enjoy your journey through my recipes! Let me know if you have questions about any of my recipes! Happy cooking!

  17. Love this soup! I kept it thick so it’s almost like a stew.  Delicious! Even my non-vegan husband loves it. Perfect for this cold dreary weather!
    Today I was preparing the leftovers and added baked chunks of sweet potato. It added a nice sweet twist!

    1. Your additions sound delicious! I am glad you are loving the soup! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!

  18. This is one of the best soups I’ve ever made! I upped the spices a bit, and used kale. We had pardina lentils on hand and they were perfect for this soup. Shared it with a vegan friend who agreed it’s one of the best soups she’s ever had. Perfect for November in the PNW, thanks!

    1. This is a great soup for the PNW fall weather! I am so thrilled that you and your friend loved it! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful review and comments!

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