Don’t settle for bland Lentil Soup! Make it right and you’ll have everyone begging for seconds….and thirds… This lentil soup recipe is seriously amazing!
All it takes is a hint of spice flavourings, bay leaves and finishing it off with a touch of lemon. This is a simple recipe that delivers terrific results, a 5 star reader favourite with over 550 comments!
Lentil Soup – made delicious!
Lentil soup is quite possibly the least sexy sounding soup on the planet.
At least, in my world. Regular readers know that I’m all about big flavours. Spicy, herby, curries – kapow, kapow, kapow!
But you know what? A well made Lentil Soup recipe is can’t-stop-eating-it good. You’ll go back for seconds and thirds, then you’ll be taking big tubs of it to work for lunch and happily have it for dinner again.
And – I’m going to say it (*head swell*) – plenty of readers have said this is the best lentil soup they’ve ever had!
What does lentil soup taste like?
My lentil soup tastes savoury and has a flavour boost from a hint of spices. There’s an undertone of natural sweetness from the soffrito flavour base of onion, carrot and celery. My favourite part is the texture! It’s thick and comforting, and just made for dunking in hot crusty bread!
What goes in Lentil Soup
Here’s what goes in my lentil soup. Nothing fancy, just everyday ingredients.
So what makes this Lentil Soup so good?
- A touch of spices.
- Cooking the onion, carrot and celery slowly so they sweeten and make a beautiful flavour base.
- Lemon – The “secret” ingredient. Yes really. Little tip I picked up from Ina Garten. Just a bit of zest and squeeze of fresh lemon makes all the difference which takes it from really good to great!
Do you cook lentils before adding to soup?
Nope! Dried lentils cook in 35 minutes in the soup, and there’s no need to soak them either!
Which lentils to use for Lentil Soup
Dried lentils are best for lentil soup. You can use most types of lentils for this recipe – brown, green, red or yellow, though it will affect the colour of the soup. I’ve used green lentils, pictured below.
The only type of lentil I do not recommend is Puy Lentils (little black French lentils) because they hold their shape and don’t soften like other lentils.
Can you used canned cooked lentils?
Yes you sure can, and directions are provided in the recipe notes. But it’s better made with dried lentils because of the texture in the soup, there’s only 10 minutes difference in cook time and it’s more economical!
How to make Lentil Soup
I start off my soup by sautéing onion, garlic, carrots and celery over low heat for almost 10 minutes. Take your time here – the lower the heat, the longer you take, the better the flavour base for the soup!
Then simply add everything else in other than the lemon. Give it a mix, then simmer until the lentils are soft (but not mushy!).
This lentil soup is thickened naturally by whizzing up the soup just a little bit. It’s quick and easy to do using a blender stick, but if you don’t have one, just transfer some into a blender then add it back.
And the perfect finishing touch – a little lemon zest and drizzle of lemon juice. A hint of lemon earthiness from the zest and touch of freshness from the juice just jazzes up the soup and takes it to that next level!
Do this just before serving into the pot, or in individual bowls.
Lentil Soup will easily keep for 5 days in the fridge, making it ideal for cooking on the weekend and serving throughout the week. And it also freezes 100% perfectly for 3 months – even longer!
Every time I make Lentil Soup, I always wonder why I don’t make it more often. It’s healthy, filling, super economical, freezes perfectly, versatile and it’s seriously good.
Serving this with some sort of warm crusty bread for dunking is not optional. It’s an essential part of the Lentil Soup experience.
But it is optional whether you slather said bread with butter, or grill it with cheese! – Nagi xx
Watch how to make it
And my favourite lentil recipes
- Sexy Lentil Salad – try it, then you’ll get the name….
- Dal – Indian lentil curry. The highest and best use of lentils, full stop!
- Coconut Lentil Curry – outrageously addictive, and easy (I make this for a curry fix when I don’t have time for dal)
- Mejadra (Middle Eastern Spiced Lentil Rice) – so good you can eat it plain, seriously!
- Browse all Beans and Lentil recipes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped (white, brown, yellow)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large 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 / 14 oz crushed tomato
- 1.5 litres / 1.5 quarts (6 cups) vegetable or chicken stock / broth, low sodium
- 1/2 tsp each cumin and coriander powder
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika powder
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 lemon (zest + juice)
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, each
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Warm bread, to serve
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add celery and carrot. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes or until softened and the onion is sweet. Don't rush this step, it is key to the flavour base of the soup.
- Add all remaining ingredients except the lemon and salt. Stir.
- Increase heat and bring to simmer. Scoop scum on the surface off and discard (do this again during cooking if required). Place lid on and turn heat down to medium low. Simmer for 35 - 40 minutes or until lentils are soft.
- Thicken Soup: Using a stick blender, do 2 or 3 quick whizzes to thicken the soup (see video below). Or transfer 2 cups to a blender, let it cool slightly, then hold lid with tea towel and blend then transfer back into pot.
- Add a touch of water if you want to adjust soup consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grate over the zest of the lemon then add a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve with warm crusty bread slathered liberally with butter!
Lentil Soup recipe originally published March 2017, spruced up with new pics, new video and fresh new writing. Absolutely no change to recipe – it’s been a firm reader favourite from day 1, so I wouldn’t dare touch it!
Life of Dozer
He contributes less than nothing to this household, he actually contributes negative. Dropping fur everywhere, shaking vigorously so it flies everywhere along with an inordinate amount of sand, constantly sprawling out in my path so I’m forced to step over him (remember, I’m vertically challenged = giant steps).
Giant 💩 all over the backyard. Barks furiously at tree branches swaying in the breeze but I swear, he would happily show a robber where my jewellery box is in exchange for a pat.
Useless!!! (And yet we love them so much, don’t we?☺️)
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.