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Meet my favorite green lentil soup! This comforting budget-friendly one-pot meal is a hit with the entire family. It’s vegan, healthy, loaded with plant-based protein, and absolutely delicious.
This is another terrific vegetarian staple I grew up eating. It requires mainly cupboard ingredients, minimal effort, and turns green lentils into a thick flavorsome soup.
Inspired by my Italian pasta with lentils, this delicious green lentils soup is jazzed up with the addition of ginger, cumin, and coriander. These convenient ground spices are not popular in Italian cuisine, but they work so well with lentils and pack a deliciously warm spicy flavor. Serve with crusty panini bread, and you’ll have the whole family begging for seconds!
Watch how to make it
What ingredients you need
- Green lentils or brown lentils
- Soffritto mix (onion, carrots, celery)
- Olive oil
- Vegetable broth
- Tomato paste
- Ground ginger, cumin, coriander
- Bay leaves
- Salt & Pepper
Follow these simple steps
Note: full recipe and quantities at the bottom of the page
- Saute’ the soffritto mix in olive oil
- Stir in garlic and spices
- Add lentils and the rest of the ingredients
- Cook for about 30-35 minutes
- Scoop out half of the soup, blend and return it to the pot
- Serve with black pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and crusty bread!
Recipe notes & tips
Why is this green lentil soup so good?
Method, spices, hearty lentils and good broth make all the magic.
- Soffritto: if you’re a bit familiar with my recipes, you know soffritto is an essential flavor base to any Italian soup. It’s basically a mixture of diced carrots, celery, and onion sauteed in olive oil until translucent. Then add garlic, and cook just until fragrant before adding the main ingredients. This is the same method used for this iconic pasta e fagioli or pasta with chickpeas. Soffritto is a must and brings plenty of flavors.
- Lentils: lentils are nutrition powerhouses, flavorful, inexpensive, and make an essential kitchen staple. They also add a creamy hearty texture to the soup. Green lentils are very popular in Italy, but you can substitute with brown lentils, they work just fine.
- Spices: although cumin, coriander, and ginger are not popular ingredients in Italian recipes, I absolutely love how they work with lentils. I love big flavors, and this combination delivers a flavor punch without being overpowering. Even my husband, not the biggest fan of ginger, he loves this green lentil soup.
- Liquid: you can use vegetable or chicken broth, or even water. The addition of tomato paste and bay leaves make the broth richer and flavorsome.
- Texture: simply scoop out half of the soup, blend, and return it into the pot. You might also add a small potato cut into chunks to the lentils, it’s optional, but it gives you a silky texture when you blend it!
Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (pls, don’t skip it!), ground black pepper, and crusty bread to dunk in. So GOOD!
How to store this green lentil soup?
This soup tastes even better when made in advance and keeps well in the fridge, stored in an airtight container, for up to 3-4 days.
It’s also freezable: divide among airtight containers (leaving 1-inch space at the top), and freeze up to 2 months.
Looking for more protein-packed soups?
- Best white bean soup
- White bean & kale soup
- Italian white bean soup
- Spicy red lentil soup
- Chickpea soup with butternut squash
- Mediterranean chickpea soup
- Vegan lentil soup
If you make this delicious green lentil soup or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!
Green Lentil Soup
- 1½ Tbsp olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
- 1 medium-sized onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 large celery rib, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 2 cups (400 grams) green lentils or brown lentils
- 6 cups vegetable broth, or chicken broth (low-sodium)
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste, or 1/3 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp fine salt, or according to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper, plus more to serve
- 1 small potato, cut into chunks (it's optional, add it if you prefer a thicker texture)
- In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook for 5-6 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Then add garlic, spices, and cook for one minute, stirring continuously.
- Add the remaining ingredients, bring the mixture up to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium low and put the lid on. Simmer for about 30-35 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
- Turn the heat off, let it cool slightly, and remove the bay leaves. Then transfer half of the soup to a blender, blend, return the soup into the pot and give a good stir. Alternatively, you can use a hand blender to whizz only part of the soup.
- Now taste and make sure you're happy with seasoning and consistency, you might want to add more salt and pepper according to your taste. And add a little bit of water if you prefer a thinner soup. ¼
- Serve it warm, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, black pepper, and crusty bread. Enjoy!
- Lentils: green lentils, French lentils, brown lentils are fine. I’ve never tried this recipe with red lentils, but I think they should be fine.
- Storage instructions: keep in the fridge, stored in an airtight container, for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezable: divide among airtight containers (leaving 1-inch space at the top), and freeze up to 2 months
- I either make my own vegetable broth cooking vegetable scraps and herbs or I use hot water and vegan low salt vegetable broth cubes.
- Seasoning: If you don’t use low sodium vegetable broth, add only 1/4 tsp of salt and then adjust the seasoning at the end as you never really know how strong the salt from the broth is.
My kids ate it!!! One of them even loved it. Unfortunately it doesn’t look very appealing but it was served with some fresh bread and an episode of Miss Marple, so I had no complaints after the initial high-brows. One to add to our healthy meal options.
I’m so happy to hear the kids liked it, Claudia!
Thanks so much for the amazing feedback. : )
Loved this soup! Added fresh ground Turmeric and lots of the slightly peel ends of Broccoli together ( I try to throw nothing out especially if they increase the fibre in a dish) with a little wine vinegar and small amount of tomato paste.. No potatoes (I am on low carbs). My soups are often what I have left in the refrigerator just before a shopping day.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback, Lynn!
I love how you made the soup, I’m sure it was delicious. : )
This soup is amazing! I added leeks because I love them and throw them in almost every soup I make, and doubled the potato so it was a bit heartier, but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Super great flavor!
Thanks for sharing your lovely feedback, Heather! I’m so pleased to hear you loved it, thanks again : )
Needed to add a bit of lemon juice, but otherwise fantastic.
I’m so pleased to hear that, Taylor! Thanks for sharing your feedback. Cheers
Love this soup!! I used already cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s so I didn’t have to simmer as long. Blending at least half is key : )
I’m so pleased you loved it, Alicia! Thanks for sharing your lovely feedback.
Such good and easy soup! Perfect!
Thank you for sharing your feedback, Claire! : )
Prep time five minutes? I’d say at least 15 or 20!
Hi Ursula, thanks for the feedback, I’m so glad you liked the recipe! 😊
Btw, just to avoid any misunderstanding, when I say “prep time” I mean warming the olive oil and cutting carrot, onion and celery.x