Healthy + Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Today I made us Vegetarian Lentil Soup and I kinda feel grown up about it. Like when I voted for the first time or bought wine for cooking, instead of for drinking! A healthy and delicious, from-scratch-soup that’s not from a can.

Vegetarian Lentil Soup l

In the past I’ve had bad luck with soups. It always comes down to the chopping. I either chop way too big or too small or I simply find some way to screw it up somehow. But I’m on a roll now, try and stop me now!

I’ve had this sack of lentils in the cupboard all year, it was staring at me you guys. I’ve also had this recipe in a stack of other recipes that are on my to-make-when-Pat-is-hunting-list and I’m crossing those off one by one.

And today’s weather was perfect for a hearty soup!

It was a real toss up on how lentils would go over with my girls, and let’s face it… the color of the soup isn’t the most appealing, I even threw in some white cheddar Cheezit bribery in hopes to win their praises. TRUTH: Lentils + kids could equal take out for dinner. And like wouldn’t you know it the very moment my 8 year old saw this soup, she said “Eww what is that? I’m AM not having any Mom!”. She did try it, I’ll give her that… but I’m betting she’s not a cumin fan {yet} and so it was a grilled cheese for her. My 11-year-old… LOVED IT. It reminded her of chili {her most favorite food} and when I gave her permission to load it with Frank’s and some cheddar cheese… she was in heaven. She had two bowls.

I’m a diehard lentil fan and supporter! My favorite way to consume lentils is in soups and this Vegetarian Lentil Soup was like no other lentil soup I’ve had before. It reminded me of split pea soup meets chili. It was good! I, like my daughter, had two bowls. I crushed the Cheezits over top {because they are one of my vices} and that gave it some texture and cheesy flavor.

Oh and a big shout-out to Simply Organic for shipping me all those spices! I was totally out of cumin and you saved the day!

The recipe calls for a pound of lentils, which most bags commonly are… and I don’t believe it really matters what color lentil {maybe not small lentils i.e. red lentils}. My grocery store only carried this boring color… but oh the possibilities!

I like to pour them into a two-small-of-bowl {naturally} and sort through them looking for any weird-um-anything I guess. I do this with beans too and then give them a quick rinse.

Then bring a medium sauce pan to a rapid boil and get a large bowl full of ice water. In this recipe it calls for peeled tomatoes, and since it’d be an utter disaster to use a vegetable peeler… this is the easiest method of all! It also works on ripe peaches too!

Scrub 3 Roma tomatoes after removing those annoying stickers, BTW I still have one stuck to my sleeve, and then marked an X on the bottom.

Then, one at a time, submerge the tomato into the boiling water, only for like 30 seconds.

Bam. Splitty-splits goes the skin.

Right after lifting the tomatoes out of the water, dunk them into the awaiting ice bath to stop any cooking and instantly cool them down.

Then peel. Honestly it just melts off… so easy.

Then dice it up! I kinda went a little big. Next time I’d dice smaller but the soup wasn’t ruined by any means, it just had some odd large chunks of tomato throughout. But to tell you the truth… I really didn’t care.

Now moving on to the onion. The above shots are pretty basic steps to chop and onion. Lob, halve, slice, chop… Ugh and I weep like a baby every time.

Next just peeled two medium carrots, cut them in half. Then cut the halves in half, lengthwise. And then each of those into 3 sticks.

Then just ran my knife across those to make a “fine dice”. Totally not uniform… but I’ll take it.

Do the same to two celery stalks. Thirds… fine dice… should be about a half cup.

In a large Dutch oven, add in two tablespoons of olive oil. I love this pot… It’s made in the USA and it’s so manly.

Once the oil is hot add in the finely diced vegg.

Measure and add two teaspoons of kosher salt, stir and let sweat. You don’t want these to brown.

Now these veggies are now nice and sweaty. I was thinking… maybe add some garlic next time?

Dump in the pound of lentils or little buttons of protein.

The diced maters.

And pour in the two quarts of vegetable broth. Chicken broth could be substituted… but I wanted to keep this vegetarian thing going.

Then spice it up with a half teaspoon of ground coriander, cumin and black pepper. Stir, cover and bring to a boil. Once bubbling I reduced the heat to low and cooked at a low simmer for 40 minutes.

I tasted the lentils to make sure they were tender… and they were.

Then I scooped out about a third of the soup and put it into my blender.

And pulsed it a few times to thicken it a little. Doing this will give you a creamier consistency to the Vegetarian Lentil Soup, but by any means is not necessary.

Vegetarian Lentil Soup l


Vegetarian Lentil Soup l

A little chopped flat leaf parsley…

And a lot of white cheddar Cheezits, because in a way I’m still a kid in a grownups body.

Vegetarian Lentil Soup l

This vegetarian lentil soup is so warm and comforting and delicious. The lentils sure pack a lot of nutrients and protein that kept me full, which I like… and it is a healthy meal that I’m sure your family will love! Maybe not your 8 year old, but heck, it’s worth a shot.


Enjoy! And if you give this Vegetarian Lentil Soup recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Vegetarian Lentil Soup l

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 6-8 servings

Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup
A healthy and soul warming soup! Tender vegetables with hearty lentils in a fresh tomato broth. Delicious!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced (about a 1/2 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced (about a 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 16 ounces (1 pound) lentils, rinsed
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • minced fresh parsley, for garnish
  • white cheddar crackers or cracker of your choice, for serving (optional)


  1. Bring a medium sauce pan of water to a rapid boil. And get ready a large bowl of ice water.
  2. Score an X on the bottom of each tomato. One at a time, with a slotted spoon, drop a tomato into the water for about 30 seconds. Remove immediately to the ice water and repeat with the remaining tomatoes.
  3. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and dice the tomatoes. Discard the skin and any goopy seeds.
  4. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add in the two tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Once hot, add in the onions, celery, carrots and two teaspoons kosher salt. Stir and let the vegetables sweat for 6-8 minutes.
  6. Add in the rinsed lentils, the tomatoes, vegetable broth, coriander, cumin and black pepper. Stir, cover and bring to a boil before reducing to low and simmering for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove 1/3 of the soup into a blender and pulse two to three times. Transfer back to the pot, stir and serve.

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25 Responses to “Healthy + Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup”

  1. #
    Muna Kenny — November 16, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Beautiful photos and delicious looking dish. Your presentation made it look amazingly yummy 🙂

  2. #
    Antonia @ Health Inspirations — November 16, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Half of my family loves lentils, the other half not so much. I could probably eat them everyday. I usually make them into a loaf with celery and carrots and bits of fried bacon but next time I’ll try this recipe. It looks comforting, creamy and delicious!!!

  3. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — November 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I love this idea! What a pretty soup!

  4. #
    Kay @ The Church Cook — November 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Absolutely beautiful and scrumptious! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful fam, Laurie!

  5. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — November 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    confession laurie! i’ve never made lentil soup before! i (gasp!) always eat it from a box/can. I know, I am so shameful! It’s so creamy, comforting, and hearty. I’m ready to tackle it! thank you for reminding me to do so 🙂

  6. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — November 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    What a great recipe! I have been looking for a solid lentil soup recipe since I came back from living in Spain–it was one of the best lunches my host mother prepared. Definitely making this soon!

  7. #
    Elena — November 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Delicious! I’ve bookmarked this to try after Thanksgiving! 🙂

  8. #
    Julia — November 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    This recipe looks great- I can’t wait to try. One question- do you have a dutch oven? (it looks like that is what you are using) What kind do you have and do you like it? I am thinking about buying one and going through the process of “do I spend a ton on a good one or go for a more middle of the road.”

  9. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — November 17, 2012 at 3:00 am

    I LOVE lentils!! They’re so filling and they’re so versatile with what spices you can throw in with them. I love the way you prepared this and how much you threw in there!!

  10. #
    Joan Mohn — November 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Looks delish! Hey, try chopping onions on the stovetop with the exhaust fan on, works for me!

  11. #
    Antonia @ Health Inspirations — November 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Just thought I’d let you know that I made this soup over the weekend. Unfortunately most people in my family aren’t the biggest lentils fans so I had to sneak in some bacon cubes. Other than that I followed your recipe and it was a huge it. I loved it!

  12. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — November 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I need to cook with more lentils!

  13. #
    Nichole Bertucci — January 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Made this for the family on a cold day and everyone loved it! from my 1.5 year old to the hubby!

    thanks for another great staple.

  14. #
    Raquel — January 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    This recipe looks amazing! I am trying it tonight! =)

  15. #
    Bo — January 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    This sounds truly delicious, and I’m always looking for new lentils recipes. If you are interested, I have one that is very close to a traditional German lentil soup, and qualifies as comfort food. To be honest, I use the soup as part of my diet plan, pairing it with fruit, cheese, whatever, depending on what meal I’m having..and yes, I have it for breakfast too, which kinda makes up for not being egg tolerant. Love lentils!!!

  16. #
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — January 29, 2013 at 3:30 am

    I made this tonight for dinner. David wasn’t feeling well and it was pretty cold out. It’s soooo delicious! Definitely a soup I’ll keep in my arsenal.

  17. #
    Fritzie — January 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Been cooking my lentil concoction for 45 minutes and still nowhere near soft. Have never found lentils that would cook in 1/2 hour! These are Crimson Lentils, very small. 🙁

  18. #
    gipsyrunner — January 9, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I am so hungry! Pictures are stunning and procedure is just amazing. You play with colors a lot. Love it.

  19. #
    Gigi — October 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    This is the best lentil soup I’ve ever made. I highly recommend blending 1/3 of it. It makes it”souper” creamy. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  20. #
    Tabitha — December 20, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I made this tonight and it is SO delicious. It is actually the FIRST soup I’ve ever made, so cheers to me for successfully making it and you for teaching me something new … and easy!

    I eat a plant-based diet and needed something warm and filling, especially during the colder months. You hit the nail on the head with this one! I’d like to add that I’ve never made a recipe on this site that I didn’t LOVE and my hubby eats it all up. Cheers!

  21. #
    MarcLorence — April 10, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Omg this post was so hilarious I had to make it on the spot, hahaha.

    Simmering now and smells grrrrrreat! XD

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — April 13th, 2017 @ 8:11 am

      Ha! I’m so glad! I hope you enjoyed the soup!

  22. #
    Cyndee — February 22, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Can this all get thrown in the crock pot and left for the day rather than cooking in Dutch oven?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — February 24th, 2018 @ 9:58 am

      Hi Cyndee! I haven’t tested it out but I don’t see why not. I’d love to know how it turns out for you!

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