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 (162 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 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
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 prepared the lentil soup recipe precisely as instructed without making any alterations. The result was absolutely delicious! Undoubtedly, it is the best lentil soup I have ever made or tasted. Nora, thank you once again for sharing this exceptional recipe!

    1. You are welcome, Denise! I’m thrilled you love the soup! Lentil soup is fabulous! I appreciate your wonderful review and feedback! Thank you!

  2. Made this last night and both my hubby and I loved it! I think adding the lemon is crucial for the best flavor, it really brightens it up! Thanks for your sharing your amazing recipes with us.

  3. I love the spices they really added flavour and the lemon juice is something I never would have thought of adding. Everyone in our family loved it.

  4. Delicious and tastes even better the next day! Only slight modifications – I soaked my lentils for a few hours so only needed 6 cups of broth, and used kale instead of spinach.

  5. Loved this recipe except a teaspoon was way to much salt. I ended up adding a cup more water and a few more carrots to counter to saltiness. Next time I’ll only put in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Otherwise, delicious!!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, the salt content of your broth makes a huge difference here. Perhaps just add to taste at the end.

  6. Excellent soup Nora, the best I have made. Is it possible to use metric measurements in addition to the ones you are using? I find using a scale gives you more accuracy. Also, if I were to cook this in the instant pot, what would you suggest? Thank you

    1. I have a metric button, not sure if you saw that or not. Thank you for the suggestion. You can make this in an Instant Pot. Use the saute feature for the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Add everything else (except the spinach and lemon juice) and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining. Stir in the lemon juice and spinach until it wilts.

    1. You are welcome, Meghan! I’m glad you and your family are loving the soup! Thanks for your fabulous review and feedback!

  7. This is the best lentil soup I’ve ever had…and as someone who is not so great in the kitchen, I’m in awe that I made it. Nora is the only reason I’ve ever made anything that tastes great, no exaggeration!!! If you follow the recipe exactly as written, it’s already a homerun but I added a large cubed Russett potato and some cayenne and a little Tapatio hot sauce because the spice must flow.

    Served it alongside her cornbread recipe, also to die for.

    1. I am so glad my recipes encourage you to make delicious food! Your kind words are encouraging! Thank you for sharing you awesome review and comments! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  8. Very nice recipe. Well spiced. I think one thing that makes it special is she doubled the amount of diced tomatoes, which gives it a very juicy mouth feel.

  9. After researching 30 lentil recipes online I decided this one looked like what I wanted to go with because I wanted to find one that I could modify. It appears that if you follow some basic ingredients there are endless ways to make Lentil Soup.

    I scaled it up in a large pot by 6 times, I like to make frozen meals, this one made about 20 portions.

    As a meatatarian I decided to add ground chicken and from another recipe added a bunch of cut up potatoes as well. I also followed another recipe by cooking the onions and garlic together in the olive oil for about 30 minutes until the onion caramelized. I highly suggest doing this first. It adds another dimension of flavor.

    I would not recommend making something like this in a crockpot because you cannot get the flavors required out of following the directions, throwing everything into a crockpot would make it come out totally different, there is a reason you need to bring the soup to a boil before simmering, you cant do this in a crockpot.

  10. Working on my first batch this afternoon to have at dinner tonight. Absolutely love it and I’m still waiting to add the lemon and spinach just before we sit down to eat! Wondering if anyone has tried adding a can of coconut cream? I’m tempted but also want to try the recipe in it’s original state before getting experimental with variations. It smell and tastes like it would be great with coconut.

    1. Hi Jen. Adding coconut cream would work well! Just adjust the broth amount so it’s not too watery. I’m glad you are loving the recipe! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review. Enjoy!

      1. Thanks, Nora! I made this recipe today and it is absolutely delicious! I subbed rotel for the tomatoes and added turkey sausage. Yummy! Such a bonus that it is so easy to make!

  11. I’ve never made lentil soup, but let me tell you this is absolutely delicious will be making often. The only thing I did was use a IP for about 15-20 minutes yum yum it was

  12. This is my go to lentil soup. Easy dinner night? Nora’s lentil soup. Got a bag of stock scraps in the freezer? An excuse to make broth to make Nora’s lentil soup. We eat it at least twice a month. We love it so much we put it in our notebook of favorite recipes, so we can still cook it when the power goes out and we can’t get online to look it up 💕

  13. Have you converted this recipe to WW points? If so how many points is a serving ? Thank you.

    1. You can plug all of the ingredients into the WW points calculator yourself, very easy ive done it before! 😊 good luck

  14. Looks good. What I really like are the printing options on your site, so few sites let you choose if you want notes or nutritional information and servings.
    Thank you.

  15. My favorite lentil soup!! I’ve made many lentil soups, both red and green/brown and this one is perfect. I like my soup extra brothy, so I add 1-2 more cups of vegetable broth or veg “chicken” broth. Thank you for this recipe!!

    1. Yes, it works in the IP. You can sauté the vegetables in the IP using the sauté feature. Then add everything else, except the spinach and lemon juice. Stir, seal and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, about 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove the lid, stir in the spinach and lemon juice and enjoy. Hope that helps!

    1. Yes, you can. I would sauté the onion and garlic first in a pan on the stove, then transfer to a crock pot. Add everything except the spinach and lemon juice and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the lentils are cooked. Then add the spinach and lemon juice until the spinach wilts. Thank you, I’m glad you’re enjoying my recipes!

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