Lentil Soup is a filling flavor packed dish that won’t break the bank. This recipe features brown lentils enhanced with the perfect blend of seasonings all simmered together until the flavors combine and the lentils are tender. Serve a steamy bowl with a side of crusty bread on the side for dipping in the flavorful broth.
Easy Lentil Soup Recipe
Lentils are something that was regularly served in our household growing up. We loved them, and my Mom always seasoned them to transform them into a steaming bowl of comfort food. My love for lentils birthed this soup recipe and although the ingredient list may look longer, you likely have the seasonings already in your pantry. How do you may lentil soup? To make lentil soup, sauté diced onion, carrots and celery in olive oil just until softened. Add the rinsed lentils and seasonings along with bay leaves and fresh thyme. Mix in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and chicken stock, then cover and simmer until tender. At the end of cooking, add a splash of fresh lemon juice for added flavor.
How to Make the Best Lentil Soup Recipe
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Lentil Soup: 2 cups dry lentils, onion, celery, carrots, fennel seed. bay leaves, crushed tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, olive oil, low sodium chicken or vegetable stock, salt, paprika, lemon pepper or black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme sprigs, ground coriander or curry powder, turmeric, ground cumin and chopped parsley or thyme for garnishing.
- Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A large soup pot or Dutch oven with a lid, sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons and spoon for stirring.
- If preferred, you can use black pepper for this soup. You’ll need around 2 tablespoon of lemon juice or more, if that’s your preference. Add fresh lemon juice at the end of cooking to prevent oxidation of the lentils and add a brightness to the flavor.
- You can thin or thicken this soup to your personal taste. To thin, add more stock. To thicken, remove around 1/2 cup of lentils and mash or puree in a blender then add back to the pot. Repeat until your preferred thickness is reached.
- To keep this vegetarian, use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.
- If you like, you can add 2 cups of frozen chopped collards or fresh baby spinach based on your personal preference. Both will cook rather quickly and need to really just heat through at the end of cooking. Fresh collards would have to cook much longer so frozen is best.
- The best lentils to use are the ones you can find the easiest. I have used green lentils in this recipe from time to time but please note, they all cook a bit differently. Monitor the softness of the lentils and they’ll work fine.
- Store lentil soup in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop or in single servings in the microwave.
- Freeze Lentil Soup for up to 2 months.
More Southern Style Soup Recipes to Make
More easy soup recipes you may also like to make:
- Fully Loaded Smashed Potato Soup is creamy deliciousness.
- French Onion Soup topped with a cheesy slice of bread is like dining at a bistro at home.
- Creamy Tomato Cheese Tortellini Soup is super simple to make thanks to using refrigerated tortellini.
- Skip the buns and enjoy Cheeseburger Soup for supper.
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is like a feast on a chilly day.
- Downhome Hamburger Soup is the ideal way to clean out that vegetable bin.
- Butternut Squash Soup is a fall favorite topped with toasted seasoned butternut squash seeds.
- Gazpacho Soup from Food Network.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup cubed or sliced baby carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 medium sweet onion finely diced
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 3 medium cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups dry brown lentils rinsed and picked over
- 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock plus additional as needed to thin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper or lemon pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric or curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tdsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- chopped parsley or additional thyme for garnishing
- Heat oil in a large 6 quart Dutch oven or similar over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown. Add garlic and fennel seed, cook for 2 minutes longer.
- To the pot add lentils, crushed and diced tomatoes, stock, salt, paprika, lemon pepper, coriander, turmeric (or curry powder), cumin, red pepper flakes and bay leaves. Stir well, then reduce heat to medium low and cover.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes or just until lentils have softened. Check halfway through and skim any froth from the top.
- Once lentils are tender, uncover and add lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes uncovered.
- To thicken: Scoop 1/2 cup lentils into a stand blender or a bowl and puree. Add back to the pot to thicken. Repeat until desired consistency is reached. Mix well. To thin: Add additional chicken stock or vegetable stock 1/2 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve hot with a side of bread garnished with chopped parsley or thyme.