Lentil soup is the quintessential plant-based-yet-normal soup. All types of eaters will like it, and meat is not missed because it’s comforting, hearty, flavorful and protein-y from the lentils.
I didn’t base this one off any other lentil soup recipe, I just made a very vegetable-heavy lentil soup and used lots of herbs that are both yummy and beneficial for your health. (Did you know thyme boosts your immune system and is helpful for curing respiratory infections?)
A simple soup like this is perfect to cook up for lunch or dinner. You can even put it in the Instant Pot ahead of time. I love that it doesn’t require any special ingredients that I have to shop for. I usually always have these ingredients on hand, which is one of the best parts of this recipe.
The garlic and onion in this soup are particularly good for cold and flu season. Eat up!
A simple, cheap and delicious soup that is bursting with nutrition and flavor.
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, sliced or chopped
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cups cubed potatoes
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 c vegetable broth
- 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes (or 5 TBSP tomato paste)
- 1 cup lentils
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional, at the end)
- handful of fresh spinach, optional
- balsamic vinegar, pesto, chopped fresh basil, or hot sauce
Saute onion, carrots, and celery in a splash of water over medium-high heat in a large pot for about 5-8 minutes, until onions start to look transparent. Add garlic, potatoes, spices and salt and cook another minute.
Add all other ingredients (canned tomatoes, lentils, and vegetable broth). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let gently simmer about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. A gentle simmer helps the lentils not get too jostled and become mushy.
Add spinach, if desired, and stir in until wilted. Add frozen peas, if using, to help it cool off.
Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Chopped fresh basil, pesto, a blip of balsamic vinegar or hot sauce on top is also delicious.
This soup keeps in the fridge for about 5 days, and freezes very well.
Set the Instant Pot to the saute function and saute onion, carrots, and celery for a few minutes until onions appear translucent. Add a bit of water if needed.
Add the garlic and spices and saute another minute.
Add the canned tomatoes, lentils, and vegetable broth and stir well. Cancel the saute function and set to high pressure for 15 minutes. Let it naturally relase another 10 minutes at least before releasing pressure.
Open the lid and stir. Add spinach and peas if desired.
Recipe was updated September 2022.
I had never even heard of lentils until a few years ago, and now I use them all the time. This is a great, simple soup for which you probably have all the ingredients in your house right now. We loved it.
It’s becoming a favorite! Such a great meal for cooler weather!
I loved this soup. Served it with hot cornbread. Only change I’d make is to leave the Cumin out because it tasted too much like a taco soup. Otherwise very good and easy.
Thank you for the comment, Camille!!