This lentil soup is thick and hearty, loaded with lentils, vegetables and fresh herbs. A tasty vegan soup recipe that works great for meal prep!
I am a sucker for a hearty, veggie-loaded vegan meal, and this lentil soup is just that! Cozy, filling, and loaded with good for you ingredients.
This recipe was originally published in 2016. The recipe has been improved, rephotographed and republished in 2019 with new recipe tips and a video.
Like my favorite Easy Red Lentil Dal, this lentil soup recipe is thick and filling, and is perfect for lunch!
And while this is a tasty meal on day 1, it’s the kind of soup that tastes infinitely better on day 2. Funny how that happens!
Reasons you’ll ♡ this lentil soup
- it’s vegan, gluten-free and delicious
- it keeps well and tastes even better on day 2
- it’s hearty and healthy
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Which ingredients do we need for this lentil soup recipe?
- lentils– go for brown lentils (not red) for this recipe. They hold their shape and don’t get as mushy as red lentils. Find out the difference between brown, green and red lentils here!
- veggies– we are finely chopping some carrots and celery
- aromatics– onion and garlic help build flavor
- herbs– fresh rosemary and thyme are great in this recipe, and bay leaves also bring some flavor
- tomato paste– add that somethin somethin to this soup.
- lemon– a squeeze at the end brings the acidity that helps bring out all the flavors even more
- stock– vegetable stock or if you are not vegan, homemade bone broth
How to make lentil soup
This soup is all about building the layers of flavors.
- Aromatics– start by sauteeing an onion in olive oil for about 7 minutes (until soft). Add in minced garlic, and cook until fragrant.
- Tomato paste– add the tomato paste, stir up and sautee for a few minutes. This helps get rid of that ‘canned tomato paste’ flavor.
- The rest– add in the lentils, veggies, herbs and stock. Simmer until lentils are soft, 35-40 minutes.
- Remove herbs– pull out the bay leaves and woody thyme and rosemary stems.
- Puree– if you’d like to thicken your soup slightly, use an immersion blender to puree it a tiny bit.
- Lemon juice– last but not least, stir in some lemon juice to brighten up all the flavors.
Can vegan lentil soup be frozen?
Yes! Like many soups, this lentil soup freeze/thaws amazingly well. Freeze for up to 6 months!
- I like to freeze in 1 quart jars (leave 1/4 of the jar empty to account for expansion, and leave the lid ajar until fully frozen).
- Alternatively, these reusable plastic freezer jars work well, too.
Can I cook this soup in the Instant Pot?
I bet you could, however I have not tried. I would guess 10 minutes high pressure with a 10 minute natural pressure release. Let me know in the comments if you try this, and how it goes for you!
Can I use cooked (canned) brown lentils in this soup?
I bet you could, but I can’t say how it would affect the vegan lentil soup’s flavor. You’d probably need to reduce the stock, and I’m unsure if you’d need to reduce herbs etc as well. So I would say do this at your own risk 😉
Tips & equipment for vegan lentil soup
- My go-to pot is a 4L Paderno pot (similar to this one)
- If you open a can of tomato paste for this recipe, freeze your leftovers using this method!
- Looking for more meal tasty soup recipes? Check out this Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup, this Ultra Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and this Lightened Up Broccoli Cheese Soup
Hearty Lentil Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 carrots (finely chopped)
- 2 ribs celery (finely chopped)
- 5 cups stock
- 1 cups brown lentils (dry; uncooked)
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- juice of 1 small lemon
- Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and stir, cooking until translucent, around 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
- Add the tomato paste; stir to coat onions and garlic, then cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, stock, lentils, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and salt.
- Cover, bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until lentils are softened to your liking.
- Remove the herbs and bay leaves, and puree. Stir in lemon juice.
- Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freeze for up to 6 months.