A Classic Lentil Soup recipe to warm your soul! Hearty and filling, this lentil soup is pure comfort in a bowl! Only 2 fat grams per serve!
Naturally thick and loaded with veggies, this lentil soup is so simple to make! Just dump ingredients into a pot and let the stove do the cooking for you!
Well, here we are again. Another new year, another resolution, and a warm and filling recipe to help us on our way. Because sometimes a classic recipe is all we need to fulfil our hearts and take us back to when things were simple and life was less complicated.
This is THE lentil soup I grew up with. My mother would make this for us at least once a week, and she would add anything to it: pork, chicken or beef. Personally, the pork version is the one I crave til today, but for now, I’m keeping this lentil soup simple and leaving the meat/chicken/pork part up to you! And I’m not kidding when I say this soup is filling. I mean, FILLING. Fully loaded, you don’t need to serve this with anything else!
HOW TO MAKE LENTIL SOUP
One of the easiest soups you will ever make, guaranteed!
Cook your onion, garlic, carrot and celery.
Throw in lentils.
Add in tomatoes and potatoes.
Mix through remaining ingredients.
You can most certainly add it in, like we did here in this Warm Chicken and Pumpkin Lentil Stew! When it comes to poultry in this soup, I prefer the darker meats such as thighs, as breasts tend to dry out. You can of course use breasts if you prefer!
These are my suggestions only, using 1 pound (or 500 grams) for boneless, and 2 pounds (1 kilo) for bone in meats:
- Skinless bone-in chicken thighs
- Diced chicken thigh fillets
- Skinless chicken drumsticks or drumettes (you can either leave bones in once they have cooked in the soup, or remove them and shred the meat back into the soup).
- Pork chops (bone-in ) — my favourite. Once they are cooked in the soup, remove the bones and shred the pork, then mix the meat through the soup. DELICIOUS.
- Pulled pork (use this Carnitas recipe. Once pork is cooked, just add it into the soup.)
- Ground beef
- Chuck steak cut into 1-inch pieces
All of these options can be added after step 1 in this recipe. Allow the meat to brown, then add in the lentils and continue the recipe from there!
DO I HAVE TO SOAK LENTILS?
NO! Personally, I love the texture of this soup made from scratch. Lentil soup is delicious when the lentils are simmered from scratch in all of those flavours and develop a nice, creamy texture from the beans into the soup. You don’t need to pre soak them!
However, like this 10-Minute White Bean Parmesan Spinach Soup where we use canned beans as a time saving solution, you can use canned lentils if that’s all you have on hand. If using canned, add them in during the last 5 minutes of cooking. They don’t need long as they are pre-cooked.
Then of course, dip some bread into it like there’s no tomorrow. I made a batch of these Individual Garlic Breads to serve with ours!
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Best Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped (just over 1/2 cup)
- 2 cups (13-14 ounces or 375-400 grams) dried green or brown lentils,
- 3 large tomatoes (or 4 small tomatoes), diced
- 2 medium-sized potatoes diced into 1-inch pieces, (Yukon gold if possible)
- 2 quarts (litres) or 8 cups low sodium chicken stock (or broth), divided
- 2 teaspoons vegetable stock powder (such as Vegeta) or beef/chicken bullion powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika sweet or mild (or 1 teaspoon smoky)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, plus extra to garnish
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or pot over low-medium heat. Cook onion until transparent. Then add the garlic and cook until fragrant (one minute). Add the carrot and celery and cook until softened (about 8 minutes).(If adding any meats, do so now and brown before continuing next step.)
- Mix the lentils through the flavours in the pot, allowing them to cook for a couple of minutes, while stirring occasionally (add in 1 tablespoon of extra oil if needed).
- Add in the tomatoes and cook until soft, then add the potatoes and allow them to cook for further 4-5 minutes.
- Mix through all remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Increase heat; bring to a simmer while stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom.
- When the soup has been simmering for 2-3 minutes, reduce heat down to low, cover with a lid allow simmer for 40-50 minutes, while occasionally stirring, until lentils and potatoes are soft.
- To thicken soup, use a potato masher, pressing down 3 or 4 times through the soup until reaching your desired thickness or consistency. (You can also use a stick blender: 2-3 quick pulses.)
- Season with salt and pepper, to your tastes. Garnish with a little extra parsley (if you wish) and serve with garlic bread!
One of the best soups I’ve ever made – and I cook a lot! Made some modifications. I added 3 carrots and 2 celery stalks (I love a lot of carrots in my soups!). When the mirepoix was tender I added about 2 tbsp of tomato paste along with the garlic. Instead of fresh tomatoes, added one 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes, and little cayenne along with the other spices. After the lentils had simmered for 45 mins, I took about 3 cups, put in the blender and added back in to make this more creamy. Finished it with about 2 cups of chopped kale that I had on hand. I am going to make this again and again.
Oops, also subbed the yukon potatoes for 1 large sweet potato because its what I had!
Love! I did use canned diced tomatoes and I added frozen corn. The fresh parsley added at the end makes it spectacular! Made it 3 x already in 3 months.
Loved this! Just added half a tube of double strength tomato paste and seasoned the veggies while sautéing. I made it with the pork chops which I seasoned when I browned, it was delicious and hearty! My husband loved it even more the next day once it had thickened over rice.
I just made the soup it it has turned out amazing, I highly recommend this receipt. I did add a little twist in the end by adding apple cider vinegar and it gives it that cutting boast.
Amateur top chef says
Amateur cook here,
When do you add the chicken broth?
It doesn’t say in the directions
Andre Lindemann says
Number 4 I would assume
Step #4, when it says.. Mix through all remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper.
Raye Duran says
This recipe is so delicious! I made it for dinner tonight and it’s so simple to follow. Thanks for sharing.
Joan Kusich says
I adore this recipe , only change instead of fresh tomatoes I use fire roasted canned tomatoes from Aldis.
Amanda M Baker says
how many cans did you use????
I made this tonight, pretty much the way the recipe was written.. . It sounded so incredible and I had everything in my pantry so I thought “why not”?… I was so happy with the result that this is an instant classic in my kitchen! Thank you for the recipe. I look forward to making it again, maybe some tweaks the next time…. maybe ?
Raquel Lynch says
This was amazing! It’s a keeper for sure! Thanks for sharing.
The best lentil soup ever!! Growing up in the West Indies I’m familiar with lentils. I was a little skeptical about this recipe and when I was cooking it, I wasn’t sure it would reduce. However it came out perfectly and tastes delicious. I ate it for 5 days straight and did not miss meat.
Christopher A says
Tried it, very nice and healthy. I used less water, added thyme powder instead of thyme and I used all Vegetarian stock instead of mixing with chicken stock. Cannot recommend enough. Thank you.
Sandra Amos says
Have just made this soup, it is really delicious!! I did add a few extras, half a red pepper and a chunk of celeriac along with the others as in the recipe. I used both dark lentils and butter beans, about 75 g of each, uncooked, lentils in with the soup to cook but soaked and precooked the butter beans before adding in once soup was cooked thru’. Spices, smoked paprika, ground cumin along with Italian seasoning. Once soup was cooked I drained about half of veggies, lentils and beans before blitzing the rest then put remainder back and just warmed thru gently before eating. The potatoes and beans make for a lovely creamy soup. Truly delicious. So nutritious too and wonderful ingredients.
OMG I made this soup but instead of vegetable bouillon i put sazon, I added 1/2 teaspoon of coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom and ginger. It is AMAZING. The flavor is so full and beautiful. This recipe is wonderful I cannot wait to try more of yours.
Deb S says
This looks wonderful! I also love your tips for add-ins, thank you. I can’t eat tomatoes, is there anything that could be substituted for tomatoes? I hope so because I’d love to give this a try!
How about red peppers Deb?
Sheila Beam says
Hi, this recipe looks good. I have a question, you say 8 cups broth, divided, but I am not sure why as the recipe doesn’t say. I would typically add the broth after sautéing the veggies, but not sure why dividing the broth, is it done in two stages while cooking? Thanks so much! sheila
I tried this recipe. It was so good! I just lessened the cumin a little. I would definitely keep this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!
We made this a few months ago and decided it would be good to make for Christmas Eve dinner with crusty bread!
Added one diced Anaheim pepper and used 1 fat tomato. Love it! I didn’t make the garlic bread this evening, but I plan to try it with my leftovers tomorrow. Also loved the suggestion of adding pork carnitas.
That sounds great! I am so glad that you made it your own. Thank you for sharing! XO
I substituted one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and 1/3 cup of water for the fresh tomatoes. Turned out great!
Judith Mayes says
I am looking at your recipe for lentil soup and the nutritional information says it has 38 gr of carbs per serving. However, there is nothing to tell us the size of the serving. I have seen soup serving sizes as small as a half a cup. My husband is diabetic and I need to know this information to judge the wisdom of making this for him. Lentils are a good thing for diabetics but I need the serving size please.
Sabrina Mastrangelo says
It says it makes 8 portions so if you measure the final weight or volume of the soup and divide it by 8 you will get the serving size.
Helen Kozikowski says
I can not use bullion because of allergies. What should I use instead
Don’t know what you’re allergic to in bullion but you might want to check out the product Better Than Bouillon. It’s rich and flavorful and is available in chicken, beef and vegetable flavors.
Make bone broth. It’s so good for you with no gluten or chemicals. It’s very easy to do.
Hi Karina, love the idea of this recipe! Do you know how/if it would change if I used dried red lentils, rather than the green or brown you specified?
Yes, of course! That sounds great! Thanks for sharing!
Would this still be good without potatoes, or with sweet potatoes instead of regular?
I am not sure about the sweet potatoes since they are a little bit softer than a regular potato. You can omit the potatoes if that is better for you. You are always welcome to change the recipes to your liking. Hope you enjoy your soup!
I used sweet potatoes. It was delicious.
This was delicious! I used a little less broth in mine and served it over a little bit of rice (with garlic bread on the side of course!) and it was so filling and satisfying!
Yes you can. That’s what the recipe actually calls for :
2 cups(13-14 oz.or375-400grams)dried green or brown lentils.
Becca Hensel says
Is it possible to substitute canned tomatoes when fresh tomatoes are not in season?
Can I use dried red lentils?
So amazing. Just didn’t add parsley because I never have been a fan. No meat added but next time I will add some meat either pork or bacon. Maybe both lol.
My husband and toddler ate it up! I’m stuffed. We served with homemade corn bread.