See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Lentil Soup is filled with warm spices, hearty lentils, vegetables and fire roasted tomatoes. It’s a healthy, full-flavored soup recipe that’s as easy to make as it is delicious.
You can’t beat a warm bowl of soup on a cold day. Especially when that soup is this flavorful, nourishing lentil soup!
Ever since I shared my favorite Instant Pot Lentil Soup recipe, I’ve wanted to create a stove top version of this classic soup recipe. I tested and adapted this lentil soup recipe until it was just perfect, and I hope you’ll love it as much as we do. This healthy soup is brimming with flavor. It’s filled with warm spices, tender lentils and veggies for a mouthwatering meal that you’ll feel good about eating.
Lentils are tiny legumes that pack a big punch of nutrition. They’re a good source of plant-based protein and fiber, making them an ideal base for hearty, satisfying vegetarian recipes. For this recipe you’ll need brown or green lentils, which hold their shape well while cooking. For more tasty lentil recipes, try these Lentil Tacos and Lentil Sloppy Joes.
Lentil Soup Recipe Ingredients
This soup is filled with nourishing, wholesome ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive Oil: For sautéing the vegetables. The olive oil also adds healthy fats and richness.
- Onion, Carrots & Celery: This trio of vegetables is the flavor base for many soup recipes, including this one.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic adds flavor.
- Vegetable Broth: I use vegetable broth in this recipe to keep the soup vegetarian. If you don’t need it to be vegetarian, you can substitute chicken broth. It is best to use low sodium broth or the soup may taste too salty. If you can’t find low sodium broth, reduce the added salt in the recipe.
- Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes: The diced tomatoes add depth of flavor. I love using fire roasted diced tomatoes because their sweet-smoky flavor really enhances the taste of this lentil soup.
- Seasonings: Cumin, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper combine to make this soup exceptionally delicious. Fresh and dried thyme both work well here.
- Lentils: Use dry green or brown lentils. French green lentils work well here. I don’t recommend using red lentils as they are very delicate and would turn to mush in the soup.
- Spinach: Stirring fresh spinach into the soup after it simmers adds a pop of color.
Chopped sweet potatoes would be a delicious addition to this lentil soup. Just like in my go-to Vegetable Soup recipe, I’d recommend peeling and chopping the sweet potato into 3/4-inch pieces. Add them to the pot along with the garlic.
How to Make Lentil Soup
Prepping this lentil soup is as easy as chopping some veggies, a bit of sautéing, and then waiting for the soup to simmer while you enjoy the delicious aromas that fill your kitchen.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onion, carrots and celery in olive oil.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, seasonings and lentils.
- Simmer the soup for 20-25 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
- Remove the thyme stems and bay leaves.
- Stir in the spinach. Serve and enjoy!
Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
You can serve this lentil soup as is, or add one of these flavor boosters:
- Lemon Juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens up the flavors.
- Parmesan Cheese: Grated Parmesan adds a pop of cheesy, salty flavor.
- Red Pepper Flakes: For an extra dose of spicy heat. Start with just a pinch, and add to taste.
On the side, serve some crusty bread for dunking. Or make a batch of homemade Dinner Rolls or Garlic Knots. Both pair well with this comforting soup recipe. If you’d like to add a salad to the meal, I suggest a simple Green Salad or Kale Salad.
Storage and Reheating Tips
This lentil soup keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer for quick meals later on. It’s even more flavorful on the second day.
- Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: Let soup cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To Reheat: Reheat in a covered pot on the stove over medium-low heat, or reheat individual bowls of soup in the microwave. Stir the soup occasionally to help it heat evenly.
More Delicious Soup Recipes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 medium carrots (chopped into ¼-inch thick rounds or half-rounds)
- 2 ribs celery (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth*
- 15 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes (or fire roasted crushed tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 12 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1½ teaspoons dried thyme)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ cups dry green or brown lentils (picked over and rinsed)
- 2 cups loosely packed chopped fresh spinach
- Optional, for serving: squeeze of fresh lemon juice and/or grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large Dutch oven or other heavy duty pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Once hot, add the onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, cumin, salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and lentils. Stir.
- Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a medium simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
- Use a fork to remove the thyme stems (most of the leaves will have fallen off) and bay leaves.
- Stir in the spinach.
- Serve. If desired, you can stir a squeeze of fresh lemon juice into bowls of soup, or top with grated Parmesan cheese.
- If not using a low sodium broth, reduce the added salt in the recipe, to taste.
- Leftover soup may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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