Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe

This hearty vegetarian lentil soup is a comforting bowl of goodness. Packed with lentils, fresh vegetables, and a blend of spices, it's a delicious and healthy meal that's perfect for meal prep and cozy weeknight dinners. It's an easy one-pot recipe that doesn't require any fancy equipment or complicated techniques.

Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe

All the ingredients used in this recipe are easily available, but dried green lentils can sometimes be overlooked. They're usually found in the grains or health food section in supermarkets. They're an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and add a hearty texture to the soup. Vegetarian stock powder is another ingredient to watch out for. It provides a depth of flavor that cannot be achieved with just salt.

Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup Ingredients

Olive oil: It adds a depth of flavor and helps in sautéing the vegetables.

Yellow onion: It forms the base of the soup and adds sweetness.

Garlic cloves: They give an aromatic and warm flavor.

Carrot: It’s a great source of vitamins and gives a sweet taste.

Celery stalk: It adds a nice crunch and freshness.

Green lentils: They're high in protein and fiber, and give a hearty texture.

Tomatoes: They add a tangy flavor and beautiful color.

Potatoes: They add creaminess and thickness to the soup.

Vegetable stock powder: It enhances the overall taste of the soup.

Spices (Paprika, Cumin, Thyme): They add a depth of flavor and warmth.

Fresh parsley: It adds a fresh and vibrant taste.

One reader, Darin Chaves says:

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This hearty vegetarian lentil soup recipe is a game-changer! The blend of flavors is simply divine, and it's incredibly filling. The combination of lentils, vegetables, and spices creates a comforting and satisfying meal. It's a must-try for anyone looking for a wholesome and delicious vegetarian option.

Darin Chaves

Key Techniques for Delicious Lentil Soup

How to sauté vegetables: Sauté the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery in a large saucepan over low-medium heat until they are softened and fragrant.

How to cook lentils: Mix the lentils with the sautéed vegetables and allow them to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

How to simmer soup: After adding all the remaining ingredients, bring the soup to a simmer over increased heat. Then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and allow it to simmer for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and potatoes are soft.

How to season the soup: Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with garlic bread.

How To Make Vegetarian Lentil Soup

It’s time for a healthy meal! Learn how to make this lentil soup that is purely vegetarian and highly delicious. Grab those green lentils and let’s cook!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1tbspolive oil
  • 1yellow onion,chopped
  • 4garlic cloves,minced
  • 1largecarrot,chopped
  • 1celery stalk,chopped
  • 2cupsdried green lentils
  • 3largetomatoes,diced
  • 2mediumpotatoes,diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 8cupschicken stock
  • 2tspvegetable stock powder
  • 2tsppaprika
  • 1tspcumin,ground
  • 1tbspthyme,fresh chopped, optional
  • ¼cupfresh parsley,plus extra to garnish
  • Salt and pepper,to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or pot over low-medium heat. Cook onion until transparent.

  2. Then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the carrot and celery and cook until softened for about 8 minutes.

  3. Mix the lentils through the flavours in the pot, allowing them to cook for a couple of minutes while stirring occasionally.

  4. Add in the tomatoes and cook until soft, then add the potatoes and allow them to cook for a further 4 to 5 minutes.

  5. Mix through all remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Increase heat; bring to a simmer while stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom.

  6. When the soup has been simmering for 2 to 3 minutes, reduce heat down to Low, cover with a lid allow simmer for 40 to 50 minutes, while occasionally stirring, until lentils and potatoes are soft.

  7. Season with salt and pepper, to your tastes. Garnish with a little extra parsley and serve with garlic bread!

Recipe Notes

To thicken the soup, use a potato masher, pressing down 3 or 4 times through the soup until reaching your desired thickness or consistency.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 341.51kcal
  • Fat: 5.49g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.16g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.81g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.10g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.85g
  • Fiber: 8.29g
  • Sugar: 7.96g
  • Protein: 20.18g
  • Cholesterol: 7.20mg
  • Sodium: 1016.75mg
  • Calcium: 61.26mg
  • Potassium: 1056.02mg
  • Iron: 4.90mg
  • Vitamin A: 127.16µg
  • Vitamin C: 26.34mg

Crucial Technique for Perfect Lentil Soup

To ensure your lentils cook evenly and thoroughly, it's important to sort and rinse them before adding to the soup. Spread them out on a light-colored plate or baking sheet to easily spot and remove any small stones or debris. Then, rinse them under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any dust or dirt. This not only improves the texture and flavor of your lentil soup, but also prevents any unexpected crunch from a tiny stone.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all your vegetables and ingredients in advance to save time during the cooking process.

Use a pressure cooker: Utilize a pressure cooker to significantly reduce the cooking time for the lentils and vegetables, allowing you to enjoy your soup much faster.

One-pot wonder: Opt for a one-pot cooking method to minimize the number of dishes and utensils used, making the cleanup process quicker and more efficient.

Frozen vegetables: Consider using frozen vegetables as they are already prepped and can be added directly to the soup, eliminating the need for chopping and preparation.

Substitute Ingredients For Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe

  • olive oil – Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar smoke point and mild flavor, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • yellow onion – Substitute with white onion: White onions can be used as a substitute for yellow onions, providing a slightly milder flavor while still adding depth to the soup.

  • garlic cloves – Substitute with garlic powder: If fresh garlic cloves are not available, garlic powder can be used as a substitute, although the flavor profile may be slightly different.

  • carrot – Substitute with parsnip: Parsnips can be used as a substitute for carrots, offering a similar earthy sweetness and texture to the soup.

  • celery stalk – Substitute with fennel bulb: Fennel bulb can be used as a substitute for celery, providing a hint of anise flavor and a similar crunchy texture to the soup.

  • dried green lentils – Substitute with brown lentils: Brown lentils can be used as a substitute for green lentils, as they hold their shape well when cooked and provide a similar earthy flavor.

  • tomatoes – Substitute with canned diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes can be used as a substitute for fresh tomatoes, providing the same rich tomato flavor and texture to the soup.

  • potatoes – Substitute with sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes can be used as a substitute for regular potatoes, adding a touch of sweetness and a creamy texture to the soup.

  • chicken stock – Substitute with vegetable stock: Vegetable stock can be used as a substitute for chicken stock, providing a flavorful base for the soup while keeping it vegetarian.

  • vegetable stock powder – Substitute with mushroom stock powder: Mushroom stock powder can be used as a substitute for vegetable stock powder, adding a rich umami flavor to the soup.

  • paprika – Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can be used as a substitute for paprika, adding a deeper, smoky flavor to the soup.

  • cumin – Substitute with coriander: Coriander can be used as a substitute for cumin, providing a similar warm and earthy flavor to the soup.

  • thyme – Substitute with rosemary: Rosemary can be used as a substitute for thyme, adding a slightly piney and peppery flavor to the soup.

  • fresh parsley – Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can be used as a substitute for fresh parsley, providing a bright and fresh flavor to the soup.

Presentation Tips for Serving Lentil Soup

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the lentil soup, focus on creating a visually appealing arrangement. Use a wide-rimmed bowl to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the soup.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a delicate arrangement of freshly chopped parsley on top of the soup just before serving. This adds a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor to the dish.

  3. Accompany with artisanal bread: Serve the lentil soup with a side of warm, crusty artisanal bread. Consider offering a variety of bread options, such as sourdough or multigrain, to complement the hearty flavors of the soup.

  4. Incorporate elegant serving ware: Opt for sophisticated, high-quality serving ware to present the lentil soup. Consider using elegant ceramic or porcelain bowls to enhance the dining experience.

  5. Emphasize precision in portioning: Pay attention to portion sizes and ensure that each serving is meticulously presented with an equal amount of lentils, vegetables, and broth. Consistency in portioning is key to achieving a professional presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Lentil Soup

  • Large saucepan or pot: A large saucepan or pot is essential for cooking the soup and allowing enough space for all the ingredients to simmer together.

  • Chopping board and knife: A chopping board and knife are necessary for preparing the vegetables, such as the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and potatoes.

  • Wooden spoon or spatula: A wooden spoon or spatula is useful for stirring the soup while it simmers and ensuring that the ingredients cook evenly.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are important for accurately measuring the lentils, stock, and spices to ensure the right balance of flavors in the soup.

  • Ladle: A ladle is essential for serving the soup once it's ready to be enjoyed.

  • Lid: A lid for the saucepan or pot is necessary to cover the soup while it simmers, allowing the flavors to meld and the ingredients to cook through.

Storing and Freezing Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup

  • Allow the lentil soup to cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent the formation of condensation, which can lead to spoilage and freezer burn.

  • For short-term storage, transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. The flavors will continue to develop over time, making the soup even more delicious.

  • When reheating refrigerated soup, bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating and prevent sticking.

  • To freeze the vegetarian lentil soup for longer storage, follow these steps:

    • Portion the cooled soup into freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, leaving about an inch of headspace to allow for expansion during freezing.
    • Label the containers or bags with the date and contents for easy identification.
    • Place the containers or bags in the freezer, ensuring they lie flat for even freezing and efficient storage.
    • Frozen lentil soup can be stored for up to 6 months.
  • To reheat frozen soup, you have two options:

    • Thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator, then transfer it to a pot and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature.
    • For a quicker method, place the frozen soup directly into a pot and reheat over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and ensure even thawing. Once thawed, increase the heat to medium and continue heating until the soup is hot throughout.
  • When reheating, you may need to add a little water or vegetable broth to adjust the consistency, as the lentils and vegetables may absorb more liquid during storage.

  • Enjoy your reheated hearty vegetarian lentil soup, garnished with fresh parsley and served with crusty bread for a comforting and satisfying meal.

How To Reheat Lentil Soup Leftovers

  • To reheat leftover hearty vegetarian lentil soup, start by transferring the desired portion into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel or a microwave-safe lid, leaving a small gap for steam to escape. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the soup is heated through and steaming.

  • For a stovetop method, pour the leftover soup into a saucepan and heat it over medium-low heat. Stir the soup occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If the soup appears too thick, add a splash of vegetable broth or water to thin it out. Heat the soup until it reaches your desired temperature, which should take about 5-7 minutes.

  • If you have frozen your leftover lentil soup, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Once thawed, follow either the microwave or stovetop method mentioned above to reheat the soup.

  • To add a fresh twist to your reheated soup, consider garnishing it with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs like parsley or cilantro, or a squeeze of lemon juice. These toppings can brighten up the flavors and make your leftover soup taste like a brand new meal.

  • When reheating, always ensure that the soup reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to kill any potential bacteria that may have grown during storage. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature before serving.

Interesting Fact About Lentil Soup

The lentil soup recipe is a nutritious and delicious option for vegetarians. Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and are high in fiber, making this soup a hearty and filling meal. Additionally, the combination of vegetables and spices in this recipe provides a rich and satisfying flavor. This soup is a perfect choice for anyone looking for a comforting and nutritious dish. Enjoy a warm bowl of this hearty vegetarian lentil soup on a chilly day for a satisfying and wholesome meal.

Is Making Lentil Soup at Home Cost-Effective?

This hearty vegetarian lentil soup recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. With affordable ingredients like dried green lentils, carrots, and potatoes, it offers a budget-friendly meal option. The use of chicken stock may increase the cost slightly, but the recipe can be adapted with vegetable stock for a more economical option. The total approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15. The hearty and nutritious nature of this soup makes it a great value for money. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Is This Lentil Soup Healthy?

The hearty vegetarian lentil soup recipe is a nutritious and well-balanced dish that offers a variety of health benefits. Here's why:

  • Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential nutrients like iron, folate, and potassium.
  • Vegetables like onion, garlic, carrot, celery, tomatoes, and potatoes provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health and well-being.
  • The use of olive oil as a healthy fat source helps to promote heart health and reduce inflammation.
  • Herbs and spices like paprika, cumin, thyme, and parsley not only add flavor but also offer additional health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

However, there are a few aspects of the recipe that could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Replace the chicken stock with a low-sodium vegetable stock to make the soup truly vegetarian and reduce the overall sodium content.
  • Increase the variety of vegetables by adding leafy greens like spinach or kale, which are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium and iron.
  • Experiment with different types of lentils, such as red or black lentils, to add variety and slightly different nutrient profiles to the soup.
  • Consider adding a squeeze of lemon juice or a dollop of plain Greek yogurt when serving to boost the vitamin C content and provide a source of probiotics, respectively.

By incorporating these suggestions, you can elevate the already healthy vegetarian lentil soup recipe to an even more nutrient-dense and delicious meal that supports a balanced, plant-based diet.

Editor's Take on This Lentil Soup Recipe

This hearty vegetarian lentil soup recipe is a wholesome and flavorful dish that's perfect for a comforting meal. The combination of lentils, vegetables, and aromatic herbs creates a rich and satisfying soup. The use of chicken stock and vegetable stock powder adds depth of flavor, while the addition of paprika and cumin provides a subtle warmth. The final touch of fresh parsley adds a burst of freshness to the dish. Overall, this recipe is a delightful and nourishing option for anyone looking for a hearty and nutritious vegetarian meal.

Why trust this Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe:

This hearty vegetarian lentil soup recipe offers a satisfying and nutritious meal. The combination of lentils, vegetables, and aromatic spices creates a flavorful and wholesome dish. With a balanced blend of protein and fiber, this soup promotes a healthy lifestyle. The step-by-step instructions ensure a successful cooking experience, making it accessible for all skill levels. Trust in the quality and taste of this hearty vegetarian lentil soup recipe to elevate your dining experience.

Share your thoughts on this delicious Vegetarian Lentil Soup recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make it even better!
FAQ:
Can I use red lentils instead of green lentils in this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute red lentils for green lentils in this recipe. Keep in mind that red lentils tend to cook faster and may become mushier than green lentils, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Can I use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock for a vegetarian version?
Absolutely! You can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock to make this recipe vegetarian. It will still provide a rich and flavorful base for the soup.
Can I add other vegetables to this lentil soup?
Of course! Feel free to customize this recipe by adding your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, spinach, or kale. Just be mindful of the cooking time for the additional vegetables.
How can I make this lentil soup spicier?
If you prefer a spicier lentil soup, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the soup while it’s simmering. Adjust the amount to suit your taste.
Can I freeze the leftover lentil soup?
Yes, you can freeze the leftover lentil soup for future meals. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop.

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