This low calorie lentil soup is chock full of vegetables, leafy greens, protein rich lentils, and tons of spices. It’s a warm, comforting, heart healthy bowl of goodness.
It’s the time of year to enjoy a hearty bowl of red lentil soup!
You know that time of the year when winter isn’t quite ready to let go, but spring is in the air. It’s what I call the mud season here in the mid-west. The calendar says it’s spring, but the days are still cold. The snow is slowly melting, and the ground is a muddy mess.
On these in-between winter and spring days I crave a warm and hearty bowl of home cooked soup.
I’m not a canned soup kind of gal. I know there are some decent versions of canned soup out there, and when you’re really in a crunch for time, they will do, but nothing compares to a home cooked stew or soup.
The scents and smells of a good soup on the stove fills your home with warmth and comfort. This easy lentil soup recipe fits the bill! It’s the perfect way to warm up on a cold day! It’s a healthy meal the whole family will love!
When my husband came home from work the day I made this soup, he stopped in his tracks and said, “Wow, what is that! It smells amazing!” After he tasted it, he exclaimed, “This is the best lentil soup I’ve ever had!” This has become one of our favorite recipes we come back to again and again.
Whenever I’m able to make a vegan soup recipe that my husband loves, I give myself a little pat on the back. It’s not always easy to please him.
Why This Recipe Works
- Full of Rich Spices
- Kid Friendly
- Easy Recipe
- Quick Weeknight Dinner
- Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
- Good Source of Protein
- Uses Simple Pantry Ingredients
- Budget Friendly Meal
Ingredients and Notes
Vegetable Stock or Water: I prefer to use a low sodium vegetable as the base for this soup, however, you can also use water. You may want to add more spices if you choose to use water.
Diced Tomatoes: You’ll need one 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes. I prefer to get the no salt added tomatoes, that are also free of any additional seasoning.
Vegetables: This soup uses a combination of onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to create a mirepoux. A mirepoux is a combination of vegetables that are cooked on low heat to create a rich base for soup. At the very end of this recipe add the fresh leaf spinach.
Red Lentils: There are many different types of lentils available for purchase. They include brown green, red/yellow, and black. The different types of lentils taste slightly different, and have a different consistency when cooked. Red lentils have a mild flavor. They cook more quickly than brown or green lentils. They also don’t hold their shape as well, but make a delicious addition to this soup.
Spices: All you need to flavor this soup is Italian seasoning, cumin, salt, and black pepper! Italian seasoning is a combination of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, sage, and coriander. If you do not have Italian seasoning substitute it with oregano.
Tools and Equipment
- Cutting Board to chop your vegetables.
- Good Knife to chop the carrots, celery, and onion.
- Large Dutch Oven to prepare the soup
- Ladle for serving.
Sauté Onions and Garlic: Sauté onions and garlic in ¼ cup of vegetable broth until translucent over medium-high heat.
Add Vegetables: Add chopped carrots and celery. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Season with Spices: Add Italian seasoning, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat vegetables in the spices.
Add Stock and Lentils: Add the remainder of the vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, and lentils. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Leaf Spinach: When ready to serve stir in fresh spinach.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup a bit to make it more creamy.
- Use red lentils for a softer texture, and brown or green lentils if you desire your lentils to hold their shape while cooking. Cook time will vary if using a different type of lentil. You will likely need to cook the soup for an additional 10 minutes.
- Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to bring out the natural flavors of the spices and vegetables.
- Top with chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro.
Variations and Substitutions
- Use kale instead of spinach.
- Use green or brown lentils if you don’t have red lentils. Cooking time will vary.
- Throw in any of your favorite vegetables that are in your refrigerator. For example, zucchini, or peas.
- For a spicy variation top with red pepper flakes.
- No diced tomatoes, use a tablespoon of tomato paste, or a small can of tomato sauce.
- Prepare in the slow cooker or Instant Pot!
More healthy vegetable soup recipes!
- Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- Instant Pot Minestrone
- Vegan Pozole
- Hearty Irish Stew
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!