You'll love this easy Lentil Soup! It's ready in no time - no soaking lentils, and has a delicious flavor with tons of nutrients!
Lentils are naturally low-fat and cholesterol-free, so if you're tired of "creamy" soups, make this light and healthy soup in about 30-minutes!
This light, hearty soup is perfect anytime of the year, but it's particularly good in the middle of the winter, when you've had too many creamy soups and need to push back on the fat.
What's a lentil?
A lentil is a legume (in the same family as beans and peas.) They are lens shaped beans that grow in pods, are naturally high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol.
Unlike pinto or kidney beans, they do not require soaking and are often found in soups and salads or served as a side dish.
There are three varieties of lentils: brown, red and green
This recipe uses brown lentils, which have a mild flavor and are most common.
Red lentils, commonly found in curries, are the sweetest tasting.
Green lentils are a bit more peppery and require more cooking time.
You'll most often find dried lentils on the rice and bean aisle in the grocery store.
You'll love this recipe!
- Quick and easy - lentils don't require soaking; soup is ready in about 40-minutes!
- Heart healthy - Lentils are legumes, which are naturally vegan, low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-fat and gluten-free
- Affordable - this hearty and easy lentil soup makes about 8 cups for less than $10
- Flavorful - the carrots, bay leaves and nutmeg give this soup a delicious flavor! A little sweetness from the carrots with a nice savory addition from the bay leaves and nutmeg
I usually serve this with homemade cornbread!
One cup of dried lentils yields about 2 ½ cups of cooked, so keep this in mind if you're cooking for two or twenty!
Here's what you'll need:
I forgot to include the bay leaves and nutmeg in the picture!
You can use chicken broth if you don't have vegetable. As for the tomatoes, I've used both diced and crushed and they both work well.
Here's how to make it:
Super simple! Combine carrots, onion and celery in stockpot with a little oil; add broth, tomatoes, lentils, nutmeg and bay leaf.
Bring the soup to a boil so the carrots will get tender. Once they're semi-soft, turn the heat to medium-high and add the lentils. Cook for 25-30 minutes and serve.
Add tomatoes and chicken broth..toss in the bay leaves..
Add in the lentils; allow to cook on medium until they're tender; remove bay leaves and enjoy!
What color lentils do I use?
There are three types of lentils: brown, red and green. This recipe uses brown lentils, which have a mild flavor and are most common.
Red lentils, commonly found in curries, are the sweetest tasting. Green lentils are a bit more peppery and require more cooking time.
Can I make this in a slow cooker?
If you want to make this recipe in a slow cooker, use green lentils. They work best in slow cookers and salads because they tend to hold their shape.
Keep in mind, green lentils have a bit of peppery flavor to them, so you may need to adjust your seasonings.
Brown and red lentils do not work well in slow cookers-they turn to mush.
Lentils absorb liquid:
You may need to add a little more water or broth during the cooking process as lentils absorb liquid. This applies to both stovetop and slow cooker methods.
Good for weight loss:
Lentil soup is an ideal "filler-food" for lunch or dinner and perfect if you're watching your weight or just trying to manage your overall health.
The lentils are naturally filling, have a relatively low glycemic index rating and full of vitamin B6 and dietary fiber...all good stuff!
Reheating and storage:
Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Lentil soup thickens upon storage; you may need to add more water. Reheat on stovetop for best results.
What to serve with it:
You can serve this easy lentil soup as an appetizer, side dish or entrée. I usually just serve it with a side of homemade cornbread
It also pairs well with fish - salmon, baked tilapia or salmon croquettes !
If you're looking for a light meal, try this easy lentil soup with a slice of Spinach Feta pie (Spanakopita)!
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If you make this recipe, please leave a rating and comment below! I love to hear from you!
Easy Lentil Soup
- 2 cups lentils , brown; dried
- 1 cup yellow onion ,chopped
- 2 cups carrots ,sliced ,(about 3 large carrots)
- ½ cup celery (about 2 stalks) ,chopped,(about 2 stalks)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 28 ounces tomatoes ,diced with juice or crushed
- 32 ounces broth ,chicken or vegetable; (See Recipe Notes)
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a dutch oven, add oil, onion, carrot and celery; cook on medium-high until onions are translucent (5-8 minutes)1 cup yellow onion, 2 cups carrots, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ cup celery (about 2 stalks)
- Add tomatoes (with their juice), broth, lentils, nutmeg and bay leaves; bring to boil; cook 10-15 minutes, or until carrots are tender28 ounces tomatoes, 32 ounces broth, 3 bay leaves, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, 2 cups lentils
- Reduce heat to low; add lentils; cover and let simmer about 25 minutes, till lentils are tender
- Remove bay leaves prior to serving; salt & pepper to tastesalt and pepper to taste
- Lentils do not need to be soaked--just rinsed prior to adding them to the liquid
- Lentils absorb liquid, so check on them occasionally; you may need to add more broth or water
- If you want to heighten the nutrition of lentil soup, add 3 cups of chopped kale about 5 minutes before serving
Debra Drake says
This is wonderful! I added our garden squash and zucchini. It has such a fresh and clean taste. We’re transitioning to a low sodium diet, so we used No Salt as our substitute and it was very doable. Since the lentils are high in protein the soup was filling and we didn’t feel like we over ate!! Try it!
Thank you so much, Debra! I love your idea of adding zucchini and yellow squash! That really "amps" up the nutrient content. Typically, my recipes are seemingly "low sodium," but when your really watching your sodium content, No Salt is a great substitute! Thank you for inspiring me to create more healthy recipes. BTW, did you half the recipe since it was just you two? Curious if I might add that comment, as the original recipe does "swell" and make enough to feed an army...curious?
Going to make this ASAP!!
I thought of you when I posted it!