It's soup season! There is no better way to warm up when temperatures start dropping than with a hot bowl of soup. This comforting lentil soup is packed with nourishing plant-based ingredients that will soothe your body and soul. It's easy to make and requires only a few simple ingredients and one pot! This soup is perfect for dipping your favorite bread or scooping up with a cracker. You'll definitely want this recipe in your meal rotation this season!
Lentil Soup Ingredients
This recipe was adapted from a lentil soup recipe I saw recently in Forks Over Knives Magazine. I decided to change it up a bit and add in some personal touches that I think make the soup taste even better. Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this hearty soup:
- Green or Brown Lentils- they have an earthy rich flavor and cook fairly quickly without any need for presoaking.
- Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes- are super creamy and really make this soup satisfying.
- Olive Oil- for sautéing the aromatics.
- Onions and Garlic- are sautéed before adding the lentils and are key flavor elemenst of the soup.
- Carrots- perk up the soup by adding a naturally sweet flavor.
- Spinach or Kale- these leafy greens not only add flavor and texture but they are such a great way to bump up the nutritional level of the soup.
- Bay Leaves- this herb is a MUST (the soup would not taste the same without them)!
- Seasonings- you'll need salt and pepper of course, but you can also use additional fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary.
How To Make Lentil Soup
For this soup, I did not use any vegetable or chicken stock, just water (and I actually preferred it). I find that most store bought stocks can often have a funny aftertaste. The aromatics, herbs, lentils and vegetables I used in this soup were enough to create their own delicious broth. As the soups simmers, the flavors and become rich and fragrant.
Here are the steps to follow when making this tasty soup:
- Start by sautéing the onion and garlic.
- Next add the lentils, bay leaves and water and cover to simmer until the lentils have softened.
- Then add the carrots, potatoes and season with salt and pepper (since we are not using any pre-made stock which is generally high in sodium, this soup will require proper seasoning with salt).
- Once the veggies and lentils are cooked through, you can add the spinach off the heat since it will wilt instantly. If using kale add it 5 minutes prior to turning off the heat, as the leaves need a bit more time to cook.
Nutrition Notes About Lentils
- Lentils are packed with minerals, including calcium and iron.
- They're an excellent source of protein (one cup = 18gms/protein), without any of cholesterol found in meat-based protein sources.
- Lentils are high in fiber and are therefore a healthy source of carbohydrate, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- They're shelf stable so they're great to have in your pantry during winter months.
- Super versatile and come in so many different varieties.
- They're great for adding to salads, soups, rice dishes and delicious in vegetarian meatballs or meatloaf!
- 1 cup green or brown lentils rinsed
- 1 onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups carrots peeled and sliced into ½ thick coins
- 4 cups Yukon Gold (baby yellow) potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 cups spinach or kale leaves
- fresh thyme
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 3-4 cups water
- Heat oil in a medium size soup pot and sauté onion with a pinch of salt until translucent and about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the lentils, 2 cups water and bay leaves cover and bring to a boil.
- Simmer lentils for about 20 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, another cup to a cup and a half of water and a generous pinch of salt and simmer covered another 20 minutes until vegetables are cooked through.
- Turn off the heat and add in the spinach leaves, stirring until they wilt (this will take a minute or two). If using kale, these leaves are tougher and will need to be put in the soup the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Season to taste with additional salt and some freshly ground pepper. Add in some fresh thyme if desired.