Easy Lentil Soup (Vegan & Spiced)
This flavourful Indian-spiced lentil soup is simple to make and packed with veggies for a filling meal!
The idea for this lentil soup came out of necessity. After recipe testing the broth for my homemade vegetable broth post, I had loads left over. Rather than freezing it, I decided to put it to use by making a soup with ingredients I had on hand in my fridge and pantry—a “clean out the kitchen” kind of soup, if you will. And whoa, it ended up so delicious, I just had to share the recipe with you!
The process for this soup came from my cauliflower soup recipe. I love pureed soups, but I knew I couldn’t blend ALL of these veggies down. I wanted both chunks of veggies and a thick, creamy base. So, why not blend some of the soup? Fortunately my little experiment worked out beautifully and I ended up with a lentil soup loaded with veggies, but the broth wasn’t thin and watery either.
To amp up the flavour in this lentil soup, I added garam masala. It’s the only powdered spice in the whole recipe, but it goes such a long way. It brings out all the flavours, without making this taste like a lentil curry soup. (It will also make your kitchen smell amazing as the soup simmers away on the stove!)
LENTIL SOUP VIDEO:
Notes on Ingredients
Please note that this is important information on the ingredients and instructions and the FULL recipe with amounts and details can be found DOWN BELOW (scroll to it) in the recipe card.
- Olive oil
- Red onion diced – A yellow or white onion will work too!
- Tomatoes – Use fresh or canned.
- Dried brown lentils
- Garam masala
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable broth – Here’s how to make vegetable broth.
- Kale – Use any variety of kale, or swap in spinach or chard.
- Lime juice
Optional Lentil Soup Garnishes and Pairings
- A drizzle of high-quality olive oil
- Red wine or sherry vinegar
- Red pepper flakes
- Parsley or cilantro
- Homemade croutons
- Naan or crusty bread
How to Make Lentil Soup
This is a pretty standard soup recipe as far as the process goes! Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Cook the vegetables. Warm half of the olive oil in a large, deep pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, carrot, and garlic. Stir and let the vegetables cook for about 8 minutes, or until softened.
Add more ingredients. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, garam masala, salt, and pepper, then pour in the broth and add the thyme.
Simmer. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 30 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
Puree. Scoop out two cups of soup with liquid and pour into your blender. If you have a glass blender, ensure it cools down a bit first! Press the soup setting or blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Finish. Stir the pureed soup mixture back into the pot, then add the kale and lime juice; stir to combine. Ladle into bowls and serve with your favourite toppings.
Tips for Success
Here are my best tips for making perfect lentil soup:
- Swapping in different lentil varieties. You can use another type of lentils if you happen to have them on hand. Puy lentils will be a bit firmer, while red lentils will completely break down into the soup. Learn more: How to Cook Lentils
- Using an immersion blender. If you have an immersion blender, you can use that instead of a traditional blender to puree the soup just enough to thicken it.
- Letting the flavours develop. This is the kind of recipe that tastes better after a day or two in the fridge! If you’re planning to make it for dinner, you might just want to make it the night before.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Transfer the soup to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 4 to 5 days. Reheat it in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop.
Can This Be Frozen?
Yes, this lentil soup is great for freezing! Transfer it to a zip-top freezer bag or airtight storage container and freeze it for up to 3 months. You can reheat it from frozen or let it thaw in the refrigerator, then heat it up.
Enjoy friends! If you make this vegan lentil soup recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Indian-Spiced Lentil Soup
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced, or two medium size carrots
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 26 ounces fresh tomatoes, chopped – you can also use a 28oz can diced tomatoes and drain the liquid – (737g)
- 1 cup dried brown lentils, 7.1 ounces/200g, picked over, rinsed and dried
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- salt & pepper to taste, I use 3/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2-3 sprigs thyme, to be removed at the end
- 1 cup kale, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime
- Toppings, Optional: Oil drizzle, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, parsley, and/or sprinkle of zaatar Crusty bread
- In a large, deep pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil to heat.
- Add the onions, celery, carrot and minced garlic. Stir together and allow to sweat for about 8 minutes, to soften and release natural juices from the veggies.
- Add in the tomatoes, brown lentils, garam masala and salt and pepper. Stir together. Pour in the vegetable broth, and add the thyme and stir again.
- Bring to a boil, and then to a simmer for 30 minutes, until lentils are fully cooked.
- Remove the thyme. Scoop out two cups of soup (with liquid) and pour into your blender. If you have a glass blender, ensure it cools down a bit first!
- Press the soup setting or blend until fully blended out. Pour back into soup pot and mix the soup together one more time to combine everything.
- Add in kale and lime juice and stir to combine.
- Serve the soup and top with your favourite toppings and enjoy!
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.
P.S. Here are some of the items I used to make this recipe if you’d like to use them too:
| WHAT YOU’LL NEED // SHOP MY FAVORITE INGREDIENTS & PREP PRODUCTS |
Hi there Kelly, just finally got it on the stove looks and smells great so far. The only thing I changed was the stock, I’m a chicken stock fan, another ? Do I really need to put the red wine vinegar as I have just realised I have none, could I use a tad of Balsamic at the end I have chillies growing would that be ok in the soup.. Cheers and thankyou for the great recipe. Helen
Sorry Jessica I called you Kelly, don’t know what I was thinking
Haha no worries at all! The toppings are just suggestions as to what goes great with it, you definitely don’t have to add it! So you can skip the vinegar all together. Chillies would taste divine in this soup! You’re so welcome and I hope you enjoy!!
Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I love all the flavors..I’m sorry.. I’m not good at following directions so mine didn’t turn out quite like yours..but.. it is still very yummy. Next time I’ll make it YOUR way :-).
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Haha no worries re the directions I’m just glad it turned out for you!
Are the lentils in a tin or are they dried? I’ve never bought lentils before!
And what do you mean when you say to blend two cups of the mixture, add it back to the pot and “blend again”?
The lentils come dried in a bag. I used green/brown lentils for this recipe. If you watch the video (at the top of the page) I scoop out two cups, blend it in a blender, and then pour it back into the soup then I mix again. “Blend again” is an error – I’ll correct that! I hope that helps and I hope you enjoy!!
I made the lentil soup tonight with the addition of chicken pieces. I had never cooked with Garam masala before and I loved the flavor. Delicious and so nutritious!
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed so much!! Thanks so much for your feedback!!
I made this for my lunch today and it was AMAZING. Definitely my new favourite soup recipe, I can see myself making it a lot this winter. Thanks!
Wow! I made this on the first day of fall (in spite of 88 degrees!), and hubby and I loved it!!! No need to freeze any, because it won’t last that long. Thank you for a great recipe!
I am making this a second time. It was a huge hit at our house. Thank you for this greatness!
Great soup. I made it for the first time over the weekend and it came out great. Thanks for sharing your recipes. I find them helpful as I’ve transitioned to meat free over the past 2 months.~ Nadine.
So happy to hear!!
Amazing soup! It became our house favourite, and our guests turned into its huge fans as well! Many thanks 🙂