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Lentil Soup (seriously amazing!)

20 mins Cook
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Don’t settle for ordinary Lentil Soup! Get it just right, and you’ll find everyone craving second helpings… and even thirds. This lentil recipe stands out as one of the finest and simplest dishes you can prepare using dried lentils, delivering 100% deliciousness. Whether you opt for green, red, brown lentils, or a lentil soup mix, you’re in for a treat.

Lentil Soup Lentil Soup (seriously amazing!)

All you need is a touch of aromatic spices, bay leaves, and a final flourish of lemon to take this soup to the next level. This straightforward recipe guarantees outstanding results and has earned a stellar 5-star rating, with numerous feedback from enthusiastic readers!

Interested in boosting the protein content? Give the Beef & Lentil Soup a try!

Lentil Soup

Lentil soup might not win any awards for the most enticing-sounding soup out there.

At least, that’s how it goes in my world. Those familiar with my work know that I’m all about bold and vibrant flavors. Spices, herbs, and curry dishes that go kapow, kapow, kapow!

However, let me tell you something. A skillfully crafted Lentil Soup recipe is unbelievably delectable. You won’t be able to resist going back for seconds and thirds. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself packing generous portions for work lunches and eagerly indulging in it for dinner once more.

And here’s the kicker (cue a moment of pride) – numerous readers have proclaimed this to be the ultimate lentil soup they’ve ever experienced!

But what exactly does lentil soup taste like?

Picture savory notes laced with a subtle infusion of spices. Imagine a gentle underlying sweetness derived from the soffrito trio of onion, carrot, and celery. My personal highlight? The texture! Luxuriously dense and soothing, practically begging to be dipped into piping hot, crusty bread!

What goes in Lentil Soup

Here’s the lineup for my lentil soup – no frills, just everyday essentials.

But what’s the secret behind the exceptional nature of this Lentil Soup?

A dash of spices.

Gently sautéing the onion, carrot, and celery until they caramelize, forming a delightful flavor foundation.

And now, for the “hidden” gem – lemon. Believe it or not, this is the game-changer. A small tip I picked up from Ina Garten. A mere hint of zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon turn the soup from good to exceptional!

As for cooking the lentils before adding them to the soup?

Not necessary! Dried lentils cook right in the soup in a mere 35 minutes, and no soaking is required either!

What type of lentils are best for lentil soup?

Opt for dried lentils when making lentil soup. This recipe accommodates a variety of lentil types – brown, green, red, or yellow – although the choice will impact the soup’s color. In the photo below, I’ve utilized green lentils.

However, I would advise against using Puy Lentils (small black French lentils), as they maintain their structure and don’t soften as other lentils do.

Now, what about using canned, pre-cooked lentils?

Absolutely, that’s an option, and you can find instructions in the recipe notes. Nevertheless, the superior choice is dried lentils due to the texture they lend to the soup. The cooking time differs by just 10 minutes, and it’s also a more cost-effective approach!

How to make Lentil Soup from scratch

Gently sauté your onions, garlic, carrots, and celery over low heat for nearly 10 minutes. Embrace the unhurried approach – lower heat and a longer duration work magic, metamorphosing these ingredients into an extraordinary flavor foundation for the soup!

  • Introduce everything else to the pot, except for the lemon.
  • Allow it to simmer for 35 minutes, until the lentils have achieved a tender consistency.
  • Conclude by gracing the soup with a sprinkling of zest and a spritz of lemon.
  • The zest’s lemony earthiness, combined with the invigorating touch of juice, injects a vibrant twist into the soup, elevating it to the next tier of deliciousness!

As the soup simmers, you’ll notice that the lentils mostly disintegrate, naturally imbuing the soup with thickness. Yet, my personal method for attaining a sumptuously creamy texture involves briefly blending the soup with an immersion blender (or transferring a portion to a standard blender). The goal is to puree SOME but not all of the lentils.

In this way, you reap the rewards of both worlds – a velvety soup adorned with tender lentil morsels. Absolutely delightful!

How to store lentil soup

Lentil Soup remains effortlessly fresh for up to 5 days when stored in the refrigerator, making it a splendid choice for weekend preparation that can effortlessly stretch through the week. What’s more, this soup boasts impeccable freezer-friendly qualities, maintaining its integrity for a remarkable 3 months, and possibly even longer!

Each instance I craft this recipe, I find myself questioning why it doesn’t grace my table more frequently. It’s a medley of healthfulness, satisfying substance, budget-friendly appeal, and freezer compatibility, all wrapped up in an exceptionally delectable package.

Presenting this soup alongside a slice of warm, crusty bread for the delightful art of dipping isn’t merely a suggestion; it’s a quintessential aspect of the Lentil Soup experience.

However, the choice is yours whether you choose to adorn that bread with a layer of butter or take it up a notch by grilling it with a layer of cheese! A plethora of options awaits, and among them is the opportunity to effortlessly craft your own ultra-simple version.

Lentil Soup (seriously amazing!)

Lentil Soup (seriously amazing!)

Don't settle for ordinary Lentil Soup! Get it just right, and you'll find everyone craving second helpings... and even thirds. This lentil recipe stands out as one of the finest and simplest dishes you can prepare using dried lentils, delivering 100% deliciousness. Whether you opt for green, red, brown lentils, or a lentil soup mix, you're in for a treat.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
30 mins



  • 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


Begin by heating oil in a large pot over medium heat. Toss in the garlic and onion, allowing them to sauté for a brief 2 minutes.
Incorporate the celery and carrot. Continue cooking this aromatic duo for a span of 7 to 10 minutes, or until they have softened and the onion has acquired a pleasant sweetness. It's worth noting that this step shouldn't be rushed – it forms the essential cornerstone of the soup's flavor.
Introduce all the remaining ingredients, except for the lemon and salt. Give everything a good stir to ensure a harmonious blend.
Elevate the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. As it simmers, be attentive to any scum that surfaces – promptly skim it off and discard. Feel free to repeat this step during the cooking process if necessary. Afterward, place the lid onto the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the ingredients to simmer for a duration of 35 to 40 minutes, until the lentils have achieved a tender state.
Bid farewell to the bay leaves, removing them from the pot.
Time to thicken the soup: Employ an immersion blender for a swift 2 or 3 rounds of blending, imparting a luscious thickness to the soup (visual guidance can be found in the accompanying video). Alternatively, you can transfer 2 cups of the soup to a conventional blender. Allow it to cool slightly, then grasp the blender's lid with a tea towel for safety, blend, and subsequently reintroduce the puree to the pot.
Should you desire an adjustment in the soup's consistency, add a touch of water. Season the brew to your taste using salt and pepper. Just before serving, zest the lemon over the pot, followed by a squeeze of its juice. If desired, a sprinkling of parsley makes for a suitable garnish. Present the soup alongside warm, crusty bread lavishly adorned with butter.


Lentils: Most varieties of lentils will do the trick, except for Puy Lentils (also known as French lentils, the small dark brown/black kind that retains its shape). Whether you choose red, yellow, brown, or green lentils, the soup's appearance may subtly shift in color. Cooking times might slightly differ, so it's wise to start checking for lentil tenderness around the 30-minute mark. I strongly recommend opting for dried lentils, if possible. They offer an improved texture and flavor profile compared to their canned counterparts. However, for those using canned lentils, the substitution involves using 2 x 400g/14oz cans of drained and rinsed lentils and reducing the broth by 1 cup. Let the liquid simmer for 20 minutes before adding the lentils, then continue cooking with the lentils for an additional 15 minutes (it's important not to overcook canned lentils, as they can become overly soft). Storage: Freezing this soup is a resounding success! Alternatively, it holds up well in the refrigerator for a span of 3 to 5 days. Nutrition per serving
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