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It’s cold outside here in London, so I’m sharing this warming smoky chickpea and lentil soup, definitely one of my favorite soup recipes. It’s packed with flavor, plant-based protein, and requires just 1 pot.
This soup is perfect for cozy, cold winter nights when you’re craving something hearty and comforting yet healthy. It’s also vegetarian, vegan and gluten free for all to enjoy.
This recipe starts with a solid flavor base by sautéing onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and spices, then adding legumes, potatoes, and vegetable broth. The addition of a few handfuls of green leaves such as spinach in the last minute of cooking time provides extra texture and nutrients, but it’s optional.
Smoked paprika and curry powder are the secret to making this soup so delicious, they work like a charm providing an amazing depth of flavor.
Enjoy with easy crusty bread or some quick focaccia, and garnish with extra parsley pesto to add more flavor, if you wish. Make a big batch, because like many soups it tastes even better the next day.
What ingredients you need
- Dried lentils (brown or green)
- Canned chickpeas
- Soffritto (onion, garlic, celery)
- Olive oil
- Spices (smoked paprika, chili flakes, curry powder)
- Tomato paste
- Low-sodium vegetable broth
- Spinach (optional)
- Salt & pepper
How to make this chickpea and lentil soup
(Note: the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Saute’ diced onion, carrot and celery in olive oil
- Add garlic, spices and give a good stir
- Then add chickpeas, lentils, potato and tomato paste
- Stir in broth and cook for about 25-30 minutes
- Adjust the seasoning
- Stir in spinach and cook for a couple of minutes
- Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!
Smoky chickpea and lentil soup substitutions
This soup recipe is pretty flexible, as long as you get the spices right, you can play around with your leafy greens and whatever legumes you have in the cupboard:
- Legumes: black beans, white beans, pinto beans (I mean, the canned ones) work just fine. You can also use only lentils, but adjust the amount of broth accordingly.
- Leafy greens: you can swap swiss chard or kale for spinach. Make sure the stems are removed, the leaves chopped, and cook until tender.
- Soffritto: onion, carrot and celery make a flavorsome base called soffritto. If you don’t have these veggies on hand, skip this step and start the recipe with garlic and spices instead.
- Broth: I use this low-sodium vegetable broth, but you can use only hot water or regular vegetable or chicken broth if you wish. But adjust the seasoning accordingly at the end as you never really know how strong the salt from the broth is.
Looking for more lentil soup recipes?
Looking for more chickpea soup recipes?
If you make this smoky chickpea and lentil soup or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it.
I would love to hear from you!
Smoky Chickpea and Lentil Soup
- 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- ¾ Tbsp mild curry powder
- ¼ – ⅛ tsp chili flakes, or to taste
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
- ¾ cup (140 grams) dried lentils, clean and rinsed
- 1 (200 grams) potato, cut into cubes
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste (or ⅓ cup canned diced tomatoes)
- 4 cups (960 ml) low sodium vegetable broth
- fine salt, to taste (see notes)*
- black pepper, to taste
- 4 oz (120 grams) baby spinach, washed (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add diced onion, carrot and celery. Saute' for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic, curry powder, smoked paprika and chili flakes. Cook for about 1 minute stirring constantly.
- Add lentils, chickpeas, potato cubes, tomato paste and give a good stir. Pour the broth over the muxture and stir again to combine.
- Raise the heat, bring to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Stir occasionally.
- After 25-30 minutes, try smash the potato cubes with the back of a spoon to thicken the soup. Add a touch of water if you want to adjust the consistency, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper (see notes).
- At this point, add the spinach, a handful at a time, stirring until wilted. It takes a couple of minutes.
- Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and crusty bread.