I stayed home sick from work the other day, and, because it was freezing cold out, I decided to make myself a soup with whatever I had on hand. The soup was easy, filling and delicious -- plus I didn't have to leave my house to make it.
Try making this at home, then storing the lentil soup (pre-tomato addition) in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick, re-heated weeknight meal. You can also use this as a base for adding onions or other vegetables or fresh herbs.
- 1½ cup dried organic lentils, picked through and rinsed
- Low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (or water), plus more if needed
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of ground cumin
- Pinch of dried oregano, plus more for the tomatoes
- Pinch of dried red chile flakes, plus more for the tomatoes
- Good-quality salt, preferably a sel gris
- Fresh black pepper
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, poked with a knife or fork
- Olive oil
- ½ cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Add the lentils to a saucepot and cover with enough broth or water by about 1 inch and cook over high heat. Add the bay leaf, spices and herbs and stir. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook for about 45-55 minutes. Check occasionally, stir and add more broth or water if it looks like it's absorbed and the lentils are still firm. You can cover at the end if you'd like to hurry the process up a little and steam the lentils.
About 20 minutes before the soup is ready, heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a foil-lined baking sheet, mix the pierced tomatoes with a pinch of the oregano and chile flakes, then season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are plump and have released some of their juices. (If the tomatoes are done before the soup, then turn the oven off and keep them warm in there, maybe opening the oven door a little at first).
10 minutes before the lentils have reached your desired level of softness, add in the beans. Adjust seasoning as needed and finish cooking.
When the soup is ready, divide between three bowls or save the leftovers in the fridge. Top each bowl with the tomatoes, drizzling some of the pan juices over the lentils. Top with the grated cheese and serve.
Best Ever Lentil Soup
Are you on the lentil train? Lentils are low in calories, high in nutrition, and budget friendly. And, they make 40 times less greenhouse gases than a burger. Impressive, right? So here’s our favorite new way to eat them: our Best Ever Lentil Soup. Yes, Alex and I are pulling out the superlatives because this one is so delicious, you’ll feel like you’re wrapped in a cozy hug. Did we mention it’s a plant based dinner recipe, too? This vegan lentil soup is ready to amaze you.
Got an Instant Pot? Make this recipe using Instant Pot Lentil Soup
RED LENTILS IN SOUP
Scottish lentil soup is made with red lentils, also known as masoor dal.
The melting and thickening properties of this lentil are why it's the perfect lentil for this soup.
As well as thickening soups, red lentils are great because they don't need to be pre-cooked, you can just rinse them, then throw them in. They don't take long to cook either.
They are also low in fat and calories, high in fibre and protein and they contain iron, potassium, folate and manganese.
All these qualities make it a good option when making a soup.
All about red lentils!
Red lentils named for their beautiful orange-pink color, though they turn yellow when cooked. Of any of the lentil varieties, the texture of red lentils breaks down the quickest. Because they cook faster than regular brown and green lentils, we love adding them into our soups and stews like this lentil stew.
If your store doesn’t carry red lentils, what to substitute? This lentil and kale soup also works with green or brown lentils. Just keep in mind that using different types of lentils affects the cook time! You may need to cook brown and green lentils a tad longer than the red variety. Red lentils break down very quickly, so make sure not to overcook them.
More red lentil recipes? Masoor Dal is cozy and nuanced, Mediterranean-style Creamy Red Lentil Soup is spiced with cumin and paprika. Or, check out more of our Best Lentil Recipes.
- 1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 yellow bell pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 orange bell pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 4 canned roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chile oil, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or to taste
Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heating element in your oven and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Arrange red bell pepper halves, yellow bell pepper halves, and orange bell pepper halves onto prepared baking sheet with cut sides down.
Roast peppers under the preheated broiler until the skin of the peppers has blackened and blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. Place the blackened peppers into a bowl and tightly seal with plastic wrap. Steam as they cool until the skin has loosened completely, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard skins. Cut peppers into small dice.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat cook and stir onion and carrot in hot oil until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, tarragon, thyme, and paprika continue to cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Stir roasted peppers, tomatoes, water, and hot sauce into the peppers mixture, place a cover on the pot, and cook until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes.
Pour vegetable broth into the pot add lentils, bay leaves, salt, and black pepper bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
Pour soup into a blender or food processor no more than half full. Cover and hold lid down pulse several time to get the soup to be only slightly chunky. Repeat processing until all soup has been blended.
- soup basics &ndash onion, garlic, celery and carrots
- lentils &ndash look for dry red lentils
- broth &ndash any vegetable broth, stock, store-bought or homemade works great&hellipbouillon cubes work too!
- diced tomatoes &ndash choose organic when possible and if you can find them, choose fire-roasted for the best flavor
- herbs and spices &ndash you&rsquoll need bay leaves, ground thyme , dried oregano , dried basil , red pepper flakes , salt and pepper
Step 1. Start by chopping the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Once you&rsquove prepped everything, start sauteeing the onions, garlic and carrot. Cook them over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until soft and fragrant.
Step 2. Next, add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a light simmer and cook uncovered until the lentils are tender. This should take about 20-25 minutes.
How to make Lentil Soup from scratch
Sauté your onion, garlic, carrots and celery over over low heat for almost 10 minutes. Take your time here – the lower the heat, the longer you take, the more these will transform to create an incredible flavour base for the soup!
Add everything else other than the lemon
Simmer 35 minutes until lentils are soft and
Finish with a dusting of zest and spritz of lemon.
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!
You’ll find that the lentils mostly breakdown and naturally thicken the soup. But what I like to do to get a really luscious creamy texture is to give the soup a quick whizz with a blender stick (or transfer a couple of cups to the blender) to puree SOME but not all the lentils.
That way you get the benefit of both worlds – creamy soup with soft bits of lentils. YES!
Lentil Vegetable Soup
This simple Lentil Vegetable Soup is packed with plant-based nutrients and hearty lentils. Plus it's super customizable - follow the recipe below or swap in your own favorite vegetables and additions.
We make at least one big batch of soup or chili every week, and this recipe is a family favorite. (My daughter even loves sprinkling garbanzo beans in hers.)
This recipe is a bit similar to my beloved Lentil Spinach Soup but with a wider variety of vegetables and a different flavor profile (using dried basil instead of cumin & smoked paprika).
Plus you can also try it with fire-roasted tomatoes for a nice, smoky addition. It's a great meal to make for quick & easy leftovers throughout the week. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!
- 1 tsp rapeseed oil
- 1 small onion (75g/2½oz peeled weight), finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 30g/1oz red lentils
- 200g/7oz tinned chopped tomatoes
- 100ml/3½fl oz vegetable stock
- pinch smoked paprika (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients, including black pepper to taste, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve immediately or leave to cool and store in the fridge or freezer for lunches.
Lentil Tomato Soup
I’m a firm believer in eating foods that symbolize good luck and expanding fortune at the beginning of the year. Usually I stick with my black-eyed peas salad. But I’ve always been curious about how people in other countries usher in the New Year. Lentils and raisins are present on Italian tables because they resemble coins and swell when cooked. They’re usually accompanied by pork, a symbol of prosperity and abundance. This is an easy, robust vegetarian soup that tastes almost meaty. The rosemary in the bouquet garni contributes a savory, earthy flavor.
For the lentil tomato soup
- 1 cup lentils, washed and picked over
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- Salt to taste
- 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 5 cups water
- A bouquet garni made with 2 sprigs rosemary and 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan or Gruyère for serving
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)
For the lentil tomato soup
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrot and celery, and a generous pinch of salt, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until tender. Add the tomatoes and bouquet garni, and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat and smell fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the lentils, water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently one hour. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove the bouquet garni, and stir in the parsley. Serve, garnishing each bowl with Parmesan or Gruyère.
Advance preparation: This soup will improve overnight, and keeps well for three or four days, though you will probably finish it sooner. It can be frozen for a couple of months.