Mediterranean Lentil Soup
Sep 19, 2023
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Lentil soup is a classic vegetarian soup recipe. It’s hearty, healthy, delightfully filling (with plant-based protein), and warming on those cold, wintery days. While there are many variations of lentil soup, you can’t go wrong with a simple, delicious Mediterranean version.
When it comes to this lentil soup recipe, let’s remember that simple does not equal boring. Oh no, this recipe is anything but that! It’s packed with rich flavor, it’s hearty enough to be eaten as dinner, and it’s easy enough to whip up with a few pantry staples and fresh vegetables. That’s why it’s the very best.
When I previously showed you how to cook lentils (so they’re not mushy), I also highlighted why lentils are a powerhouse ingredient in vegan and vegetarian meals. They’re high in fiber, carbohydrates, and most importantly, protein. That means this lentil soup is not just an appetizer soup, but it’s a satiating full meal. And a budget-friendly one to boot!
Lentil Soup Ingredients
A cup of green lentils goes a long way in this cozy, chunky soup. But it’s the lentils plus the vegetables that really make your taste buds dance.
- Lentils: Green or brown lentils work best in this soup as they hold their shape better than red lentils.
- Mirepoix Vegetables: Chopped celery, carrots, onions and garlic are the classics that provide cozy flavor.
- Roasted Tomatoes: While you can use regular diced tomatoes, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes really elevates the soup and adds a hint of smokiness.
- Tomato Paste: This is such a simple ingredient, but it definitely intensify the body of the soup. So don’t leave it off.
- Kale: I’m using fresh kale in this recipe to amp up the antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients. But feel free to add another leafy green like baby spinach.
- Herbs: A simple blend of oregano, basil, cumin, and thyme highlights those Mediterranean vibes.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
Which Lentils to Use
Green or brown lentils are the best choice for this soup. They have a mild, earthy flavor that slightly breaks apart when cooked, but still maintain their shape. Red lentils break down the fastest and become mushy. And French lentils (also called Lentils de Puy) are great for being tossed in a lentil salad as they have the firmest texture, but they require more time to cook in a soup.
How To Make The Best Lentil Soup Recipe
Saute the vegetables. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and stir for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent.
Infuse with flavor. Add the tomato paste, minced garlic, dried spices, salt and pepper. Stir and toast the spices for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer. Add the lentils, diced tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, partially cover with a lid, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
Blend the soup. Use an immersion blender to spot-blend for a few seconds. This will break up the chunkiness and give the soup a slightly creamier base.
Finish with flavor. Stir in the kale and lemon juice, and simmer for an additional minute or two to soften the kale. Taste the soup, and add any additional lemon juice, salt, or pepper before serving.
Whether you’re serving this soup to guests or enjoying it as a family meal, it’s always fun to perk it up a bit.
- Fresh herbs: Sprinkle on freshly chopped parsley or cilantro.
- Crispy bits: Quickly whip up crispy shallots for added crunch or crumbled bacon bits if you’re not vegan.
- A touch of creaminess: Drizzle a little coconut cream or sprinkle freshly grated parmesan on top.
- To Store: This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
- To Freeze: Store this in a freezer-safe container or pour into a silicone freezing tray for pre-made servings. It will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- For Reheating: If you’re reheating a single serving, pop it in the microwave for a few minutes until warmed through. If you’re reheating an entire batch, it’s easier if you add it back to a pot and warm it up on the stovetop.
More Fall Soups Recipes
Soups are a winter essential and I think you’ll love these other healthy vegetarian soups! I also have a delicious lemony lentil soup in my cookbook. If you want to add more Mediterranean flair to your weekly meal plan, check out this list of Mediterranean recipes.
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Cabbage Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Sweet Potato Soup
- Or enjoy these other comforting soup recipes!
If you make this lentil soup recipe, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. Your review will help other readers!
Mediterranean Lentil Soup
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
- 2 medium carrots, small diced
- 2 celery ribs, small diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup green or brown lentils
- 3 leaves kale, stemmed and sliced
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons juice)
- Saute the vegetables. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and stir for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent.
- Infuse with flavor. Add the tomato paste, minced garlic, dried spices, salt and pepper. Stir and toast the spices for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Simmer. Add the diced tomatoes, broth, and lentils and stir together. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, partially cover with a lid, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Blend. You can keep the soup chunky, or use an immersion blender to create a more creamy texture, by spot blending for just a few seconds.
- Finish with flavor. Stir in the kale and lemon juice, and simmer for an additional minute or two to soften the kale. Taste the soup, and add any additional lemon juice, salt, or pepper before serving.
- Because vegetable broth usually comes in 32 ounce containers (4 cups), I add 4 cups of broth and 2 cups of water to this recipe. Just so I don’t have a half used container of broth.
- You can substitute 3 teaspoons of Italian seasoning for the oregano, basil, and thyme.
- As the soup sits, the lentils may soak up some of the liquid, thickening up the soup. You can always add more broth or water to thin it out.
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Recipe originally posted November 2020, but updated to include new information.