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The flavors in this vegan lentil soup will surprise you in a big way! The veggies and the protein-packed lentils are cooked in a rich cherry tomato broth amped up with plenty of aromatic dried herbs.
Healthy, hearty, economical and a complete dinner made in one pot!
From this spicy lentil soup to this lentil tabbouleh, It is no secret that I absolutely love lentils. This terrific affordable pantry staple is a nutritional rockstar packed with lots of protein, fiber, and definitely a great way to get heft and nutrition to your diet.
And today, we’re going for one of my favorite lentil recipes perfect for cooler weather: vegan lentil soup!
With lentils, convenient dried herbs, spices, and canned cherry tomatoes which add richness and a lovely pop of color, you can make this wholesome one-pot vegan meal that is warming and super delicious.
List of the ingredients
- Green or brown lentils
- Canned tomatoes (I used this whole cherry tomatoes)
- Carrot, onion, celery (soffritto)
- Herbs de Provence
- Spices: cumin, paprika, chili flakes
- Olive oil
- Vegetable broth
- Salt & pepper
How to make vegan lentil soup
(Note: this is a quick description with step-by-step photos, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Sauté the veggies in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, the spices and the herbs and stir to combine. These first steps create a flavor base and also add nutrition.
- Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper.
- Cook for about 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
- Using an immersion blender or a stand blender, blend part of the soup and return it to the pot. Although not essential, this step makes this vegan lentil soup deliciously thicker and creamy.
- Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted.
- Add a touch of lemon juice, adjust seasoning and consistency to your liking, and enjoy a bowl of steaming of goodness!
Ingredients for the best lentil soup
Best lentils: either dried brown or green lentils works very well since they hold their shape nicely. Canned will work just fine too. For a vegan red lentil soup, you can use red lentils but keep in mind they cook faster and loose their shape, and you get extra thickening of the broth (but they absorb more liquid, you’ll need to add a bit more water/broth).
Veggies: I start with onion, carrot, celery and garlic sautéed in olive oil (soffritto). This makes the flavor base and at the same time it adds extra nutrition to this vegetable lentil soup recipe.
Canned tomatoes: I recommend buying canned whole cherry tomatoes to make a richer tomato base with cherry tomatoes that add texture and color. But canned whole tomatoes, crushed or diced tomatoes will do too.
Spices: I used paprika to enhance the tomato broth and some ground cumin that works so well with lentils. The spicy kick comes from a dash of chilli flakes, which you can adjust to your taste if you don’t want the soup to be too spicy.
Herbs de Provence: for a more Mediterranean flavor I used this French aromatic mixture which traditionally includes thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, marjoram, oregano, savory, bay leaves. Alternatively, you can make your own mix using the herbs you have on hand.
Broth: I used low sodium vegetable broth as usual, but you’re welcome to use your favourite chicken broth if you don’t keep it vegan. Make sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly since some broth can be quite salty.
Greens: the lentil soup is amped up with spinach for a nutritious and satisfying vegan meal. Either fresh or thawed spinach works fine, and also kale makes a great option.
What to do with vegan lentil soup leftovers
You can make a big batch of this recipe for vegan lentil soup, it keeps in the fridge for about 3-4 days and freezes really well. I suggest dividing the soup into single portions, cooling completely in the refrigerator over night, then transferring to the freezer. When you want to enjoy your soup, simply thaw it and reheat it in a microwave using a microwave-safe container on a stow top.
Serve it with…
This vegan lentil soup is filling on its own, but to leave you truly happy and satisfied don’t forget your crusty Italian bread or warm focaccia to sop up all the soup. I also love to add a delicious refreshing green salad aside for more plant-based goodness.
And if you love lentils…
- Sweet potato lentil soup
- Spicy tomato lentil soup
- Red lentil pasta recipe
- Green lentil soup
- Swiss chard lentil soup
- Lentil kale soup
More vegan soup recipes?
Firstly, have a look at this collection of 30+ vegan soup recipes, they’re easy to put together, packed with plant-based protein and so filling. Here are some of my favorite recipes:
- Vegan garlic chickpea soup
- Italian white bean soup
- Mediterranean chickpea soup
- Vegan split pea soup
- Carrot lentil soup
- Pinto bean soup
- Lima bean soup
- Vegan celeriac soup
If you make this vegan lentil soup recipe 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!
Vegan Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence*
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 can (400gr/14oz) canned cherry tomatoes (or other canned tomatoes)
- 1 ¼ cup (approx 250 grams) dried brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 5 ½ cups (1.3 litres) low-sodium vegetable broth (or your fav broth)
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt, or to taste*
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 2 cups baby spinach (optional)
- 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice, to taste
- Reduce the heat on low, add the garlic, cumin, paprika, chili flakes, herbs and cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 1 minute.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender (25-30 minutes).
- Optional step: scoop out about 1 ½-2 cups of the soup, let it cool slightly, then transfer to a blender, fasten the lid and place a tea towel placed over it to protect you from the steam (careful, it's hot!). Purée the soup until smooth and return it back into the pot. Alternatively, use a stick blender to blend a portion of the soup.
- Add the spinach to the pot and cook just until wilted, it takes a couple of minute. If your soup is too thick, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup more water to reach your desired consistency.
- Turn the heat off, stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasoning with a bit more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice if you wish. Serve with crusty bread!