Warm up with a bowl of this Easy Lentil Soup on a cold day! This hearty vegan lentil soup recipe is packed with delicious flavors and healthy vegetables.
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It's actually feeling like fall here in Dallas ... it was 50 degrees last Friday. Brr!
I grew up in the Midwest, so I realize that doesn't sound too bad. It was in the 80's the week before though, so it felt pretty darn cold in comparison.
It feels great to finally wear a sweater and a jacket, and of course, I'm cooking my favorite cold weather recipes. I'm all about soups and casseroles right now.
This Easy Lentil Soup is exactly what I've been craving. It's classic comfort food, and the perfect meal for chilly fall and winter days!
Easy Lentil Soup
I know lentils don't sound like the most exciting ingredient, but I've always loved them. They're hearty, full of protein, and fast-cooking compared to dried beans.
Plus, they make a rich, delicious soup!
This Easy Lentil Soup recipe is packed with healthy vegetables and warm, comforting flavors. It's also super filling, but doesn't have a lot of calories, not to mention vegetarian (vegan, actually!) and gluten free ... the perfect combination in my book!
Have I convinced you that you're going to love this lentil soup, yet?
How to Make Lentil Vegetable Soup
Another reason to love this recipe for vegetarian lentil soup? It's so simple to make.
Plus, unlike soups made with dried beans, lentils require no soaking and cook fast. Yet, another reason to adore lentils!
You'll start by sauteing a mix of onions, carrots, and celery in a large soup pot (I love my Calphalon Dutch Oven ... it's perfect for everything from pasta to stews!). Make sure to season the vegetables generously with salt and pepper, because this will flavor your soup as it cooks.
If you've never used smoked paprika before, then you are in for a tasty surprise. It's a super versatile spice (use it in stews, to season roasted veggies or potatoes, etc.), and along with the cumin, it gives this Easy Lentil Soup recipe a subtle smokey flavor that's so delicious.
You'll cook the spices and garlic for a minute, then add a bay leaf, the lentils, a can of tomatoes, and vegetable broth.
Make sure to use green or brown lentils for this recipe, because they'll keep their shape as your soup cooks.
Simmer everything until the lentils are tender, but not mushy. Then, stir in the spinach and cook just until it's wilted.
The finishing touch is fresh lemon juice, chopped parsley, and more salt and pepper to taste (be generous). I love how the lemon juice and parsley brighten the flavors in the finished soup.
Customizing Your Lentil Soup
Now that you know how to make this Easy Lentil Soup recipe, have fun experimenting with the flavors!
This recipe is versatile, so try other spices, like thyme or rosemary, or play up the smokiness and substitute chipotle peppers for the crushed red pepper flakes.
You could also use other greens, like kale or swiss chard, in place of the spinach. Just keep in mind that they'll need extra cooking time (add them with the lentils).
However you make it, this easy vegan soup recipe is one you'll want to enjoy all fall and winter long!
This Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup is classic comfort food: flavorful, healthy, and hearty ... you are sure to return to this recipe again and again.
Easy Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ cups dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups spinach (packed), chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery to oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent and veggies are starting to get tender (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle paprika, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and garlic over veggies. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add bay leaf, lentils, and diced tomatoes to veggies; cover with broth and mix well.
- Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils and veggies are tender, stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes).
- Stir in spinach and cook for a few minutes or until wilted.
- Add lemon juice to taste and stir in parsley. Season soup generously with salt and pepper.
- Serve soup hot, sprinkled with additional parsley, if desired. Enjoy!
Love this Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup Recipe?
If you enjoyed this vegan lentil soup, make sure to check out all my favorite vegetarian and vegan soup recipes here.
I think you'd especially love my 15 Bean Soup, easy Vegetable Soup, Vegetable Barley Soup, or my Kale and Chickpea Soup ... but there is something for everyone, from Minestrone to Beer Cheese to Tomato!
What is your favorite fall / winter soup?