Lentil soup (really amazing!) | RecipeTin Eats


Don’t settle for bland lentil soup! Get it right and everyone will be asking you for seconds…and thirds… This lentil recipe is one of the best nutritious and simple dishes you can make with dried lentils that are 100% delicious. Use green lentils, red lentils, brown lentils or lentil soup mix.

All it takes is a hint of spice aromas, bay leaves and a hint of lemon to elevate this soup. This is an easy recipe that yields terrific results, a 5-star reader favorite with hundreds of reader reviews!

Want to add protein? Try this beef and lentil soup!

Close up of bread dipped in lentil soup

Lentil soup

Lentil soup is probably the sexiest soup on the planet.

At least, in my world. Regular readers know I’m all about big flavors. Spicy, herbal, curry – kapow, kapow, kapow!

But you know what? A good lentil soup recipe done right is not to be missed. You’ll come back for seconds and thirds, then take big jars of it to work for lunch and happily eat it again for dinner.

And – I’ll say it (*swollen head*) – many readers said it was the best lentil soup they never had!

A good lentil soup recipe done right is not to be missed.

Close up of ladle scooping up lentil soup from a white pot, fresh from the stove

Is lentil soup good for you?

If you’re wondering if lentil soup is good for you, the answer is Yes! Lentils are nutritious, high in minerals, protein, low in fat, high in fiber (digestive health). They are a super vegetarian source of protein 25% of lentil calories are from protein.

Lentils are carbs, but they burn slowly, which means they keep you full longer. Studies also suggest that lentils are good for heart health.

The added bonus is that they’re low in calories with 116 calories in 1 cup of cooked lentils (which is about the amount per serving of this lentil soup).

Why settle for a bland lentil soup when you're making one that stands out?  Just a hint of spice and finishing it off with a squeeze of lemon makes all the difference!

What does lentil soup taste like?

It tastes savory and has a flavor boost from a hint of spice. There is an undertone of natural sweetness to the soffitto flavor base of onion, carrot and celery. My favorite part is the texture! It’s thick and comforting, and just made for dipping in hot crusty bread!

What goes in lentil soup

Here’s what goes into my lentil soup. Nothing fancy, just everyday ingredients.

So what makes this lentil soup so good?

  • A touch of spice.

  • Slow cook the onion, carrot and celery so they are sweet and form a nice flavor base.

  • Lemon – The “secret” ingredient. Yes really. Little tip I picked up from Ina Garten. Just a little zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon makes all the difference which makes it go from very good to awesome!

Lentil soup ingredients

Do you cook the lentils before adding them to the soup?

Nope! Dried lentils cook in 35 minutes in soup, and no need to soak them either!

What kind of lentils are best for lentil soup?

Dried lentils are ideal for lentil soup. You can use most types of lentils for this recipe – brown, green, red or yellow, although this will affect the color of the soup. I used green lentils, pictured below.

The only type of lens I have do not recommend is Puy Lenses (small French black lentils) because they keep their shape and do not soften like other lentils.

Can you use canned cooked lentils?

Yes, of course you can, and instructions are provided in the recipe notes. But it’s best done with dry lentils because of the texture of the soup, there’s only a 10 minute difference in cooking time and it’s more economical!

Green lentils

How to make lentil soup from scratch

  • Brown your onions, garlic, carrots and celery over low heat for about 10 minutes. take your time here – the lower the heat, the longer you take, the more these will transform to create an amazing flavor base for the soup!

  • Add everything else except the lemon;

  • Simmer 35 minutes until lentils are tender; and

  • Finish with a dusting of zest and a pinch of lemon.

A hint of earthy lemon zest and touch of freshness juice brightens up the soup and takes it to the next level!

You will find that the lentils naturally break down and thicken the soup. But what I like to do to achieve a really luscious creamy texture is give the soup a quick hit with a blender (or transfer a few cups to the blender) to puree SOME but not all of the lentils.

This way you get both worlds – a creamy soup with fluffy lentil pieces. YES!

How to make easy lentil soup

Close up of cheesy garlic bread dipped in lentil soup

How to store lentil soup

Lentil soup keeps easily for 5 days in the refrigerator, making it ideal for cooking on the weekend and serving throughout the week. And it freezes perfectly 100% for 3 months or even longer!

Every time I do it, I always wonder why I don’t do it more often. It’s healthy, hearty, super economical, freezes perfectly, versatile and it’s seriously good.

Serving this with some kind of hot crusty bread for dipping is not optional. It is an essential part of the lentil soup experience.

But he East optional, whether you brush said bread with butter or grill it with cheese! Here are some options – including making your own super easy homemade bread WITHOUT YEAST:

– Nagi xx

Lentil soup
Watch how to do it

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The BEST lentil soup in the world!

Lentil soup


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VIDEO recipe above. Don’t settle for bland lentil soup. Get it right, and everyone will be asking for seconds…and thirds! The hint of spice and finishing with lemon really takes this soup to the next level.


  • 2 soup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (white, brown, yellow)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 big carrot chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 celery ribs chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 cups / 400g dried lentils green or brown, rinsed (Note 1)
  • 400g / 14oz crushed tomato
  • 1.5 liters / 1.5 pints (6 cups) vegetable or chicken stock/broth, low sodium
  • 1/2 teaspoon each cumin and coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 lemon (zest + juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, each


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook 2 minutes.

  • Add celery and carrot. Cook 7 to 10 minutes or until softened and onion is sweet. Don’t rush this step, it’s key to the base flavor of the soup.

  • Add all remaining ingredients except lemon and salt. Stir.

  • Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Skim off the scum on the surface and discard (do this again during cooking if necessary). Put the lid on and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer 35 to 40 minutes or until lentils are tender.

  • Remove the bay leaves.

  • Thicken the soup: Using a hand blender, make 2-3 quick strokes to thicken the soup (see video below). Or transfer 2 cups to a blender, let it cool slightly, then hold the lid with a tea towel and blend, then return it to the pot.

  • Add a little water if you want to adjust the consistency of the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grate the lemon zest then add a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve with warm crusty bread brushed generously with butter!

Recipe Notes:

1. Lenses: This should work with any type of lentils except Le Puy lentils (French lentils, small dark brown/black as they hold their shape). Red, yellow, brown, green. The color of the soup will be just a little different.
Cooking times also vary slightly, so just start checking to see if the lentils are done at around 30 minutes.
I really recommend doing it with dry lentils if you can. Better texture and flavor compared to canned. However, to do this with canned lentils, use 2 cans of 400 g lentils (drained and rinsed) and reduce the stock by 1 cup. Simmer the liquid for 20 minutes before adding the lentils then cook with the lentils for another 15 minutes (don’t want to cook canned lentils too long or they will turn to mush).
2. Storage: It freezes extremely well! Or keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.
3. Food per serving.

Nutrition Information:

Portion: 421gcalories: 311callus (16%)Carbohydrates: 48g (16%)Protein: 18g (36%)Fat: 5g (8%)Sodium: 111mg (5%)Potassium: 925mg (26%)Fiber: 22g (92%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 1930UI (39%)Vitamin C: 11.5mg (14%)Calcium: 73mg (7%)The iron: 6mg (33%)

Recipe originally posted March 2017, enhanced with new photos, new video and fresh new writing. Absolutely no changes to the recipe – it’s been a reader favorite since day one so I wouldn’t dare touch it!

More totally delicious lentil recipes:

The life of the bulldozer

He contributes less than nothing to this household, he really contributes negative. Dropping fur everywhere, shaking vigorously so it flies everywhere with an inordinate amount of sand, constantly spreading in my path so I have to step over it (remember, I’m challenged vertically = no giant).

Giant 💩 all over the yard. Barks furiously at the tree branches swaying in the breeze but I swear he would gladly show a thief where my jewelry box is in exchange for a slap.

Useless!!! (And yet we love them so much, right? 🙂)

PS Another example of his uselessness – he spends 22 hours a day doing this. The other 2 hours are spent a) eating b) hoping to eat c) playing.

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