Easy Vegetable Lentil Soup
This easy vegetable lentil soup is light, healthy and packed full of good-for-you ingredients. It’s easy to customize and makes a great main dish or a side.
We absolutely love making lentil soup, especially this recipe. Not only is it easy to make but it’s even easier to customize! This soup is light and hearty, and best of all, healthy! It’s loaded with big chunks of carrots and celery and has a kick to it thanks to red pepper flakes. Of course, if you don’t want the added heat, you can certainly omit that ingredient. Sometimes we like to add ground sausage or pulled rotisserie chicken to bulk it up a bit. You can add just about anything to it and it always turns out delicious!
This lentil vegetable soup can be made in 45 minutes on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. The time will be about the same- just with the Instant Pot you have the option of letting it “keep warm” for several hours if you plan on making it ahead of time. I’m a nap time dinner maker, so this option is always appealing to me.
If you’ve never cooked with lentils, they’re pretty easy to work with. You’ll need to rinse them thoroughly to remove dirt and small rocks before using them.
WHAT ARE LENTILS?
Lentils are mini legumes that are packed full of nutrients like protein, fiber and minerals. They’re basically little superfoods. While there are several varieties of lentils, the most common types are: brown, red, green, French green, and black.
The cook time for lentils varies depending on the variety. They can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes! For this recipe you will want to choose, brown, green or French green. These lentils tend to hold their shape more when cooked for longer periods of time. To prevent them from splitting, we’re going to saute them and use a little bit of acid in the form of vinegar and tomato. The lentils will cook as the soup simmers.
HOW TO MAKE LENTIL SOUP
This soup is incredibly simple and can be enjoyed all year long. Here is what you need to do to make it…
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, saute the vegetables until tender, about 8-10 minutes, add the seasonings and lentils. Cook for 5 minutes, then pour in the broth.
Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are throughly cooked. Serve warm with a garnish of fresh parsley if desired. My kids like adding some freshly grated parmesan cheese. They also dip big “cheese toasts” as they call them, into the soup. I’m sure that takes away from the health factor this recipe has going for it, but hey, they’re eating it without complaining. #momwin
WHAT TO SERVE WITH LENTIL SOUP
Like I mentioned above, you can eat this with just about anything. Here are some of our favorites:
HOW TO STORE LENTIL SOUP AND FREEZE LENTIL SOUP:
Place in an air-tight container and keep in fridge for up to 5 days. To freeze, place in a freezer-safe container and freeze. You can keep this soup in the freezer for 4-5 months.
HOW TO REHEAT FROZEN LENTIL SOUP:
If frozen, place in fridge to thaw overnight. To reheat, place in pot and cook on low-medium heat until heated through and ready to serve.
This soup can be kept warm and served later or refrigerated and reheated throughout the week for lunch (meal prep!) or for dinner on a busy weeknight.
If you try this soup leave a comment below. I love reading your comments!
LOOKING FOR MORE DELICIOUS LENTIL SOUP RECIPES? TRY THESE:
- Tuscan Lentil Soup
- Instant Pot Smoked Sausage and Lentil Soup
- Lentil White Bean Chili
- Veggie Loaded Lentil Soup
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- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 4 stalks celery cut into 1/2-inch chucks
- 4 carrots peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups brown, green, French green lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp parsley freshly chopped
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion, celery, and carrots, saute for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in salt, pepper, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, and lentils. Stir frequently, cooking for 5 minutes.
- Add bay leaf and pour in broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked.
- Stir in chopped parsley (optional) and serve warm.
-If adding sausage, cook in the pan first, remove from pan and set on a place. DO NOT ADD THE OLIVE OIL. Saute the vegetables in the oil from the sausage, then return the sausage to the pot after adding the lentils.
-If adding chicken, add the pulled rotisserie chicken (about 2 cups) during the last 10 minutes of cook time.