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Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup Recipe

by Jeanette on January 10, 2011 · 14 Comments
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This Lentil Vegetable Soup is so easy to make, it will become a staple in your house. This recipe includes many variations on at theme, so you can change things up with this lentil soup. 
Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup - so easy to make and it makes a lot that freezes well. Lots of add-in options too
While I was picking up groceries for today’s class, I overheard two elderly women talking about making lentil soup. It became apparent that what might appear to be a simple recipe to me was actually not so easy for these two ladies (they were trying to read a recipe on the back of a package of lentils). I couldn’t help but ask if I could offer some suggestions, hoping to allay any anxiety they were having over making their lentil soup. I explained that they didn’t have to worry about following the recipe exactly as written (they were debating whether or not to add celery even though the recipe didn’t call for it).I’m teaching a series of soup classes to a group of seniors at our local community center starting this week, and my first recipe will be this Easy Lentil Soup. The goal of this soup series is to encourage seniors to cook healthily at home, rather than buy processed or prepared foods which can be high in sodium and fat.

Based on talking to the community director (and from reader feedback), simple recipes are a must for seniors. Any recipe with more than 5 to 6 ingredients can be overwhelming, so I thought it might be helpful to come up with a simple lentil soup recipe, with no more than 6 ingredients, but with optional add-ins, in case anyone wants to be a bit adventurous. This recipe is great for anyone who just wants to make a simple, but healthy and delicious lentil soup.

I tend to like lots of flavors, deep flavors, spicy flavors, and lots of herbs, so sometimes my soup recipes have long ingredient lists. However, since everyone’s taste preferences are different, and it’s always nice to have an easy soup recipe, the lentil soup I decided to make is very simple, a basic recipe that can be added onto. I love to play around with ingredients, so the add-ins were fun for me to put together. Soup is the perfect playground for experimenting with ingredients as it is so forgiving. You can add just about anything to soup and it will always come out delicious.

Here’s the Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup recipe, along with a list of optional add-in ingredients:

Easy Lentil Soup Ingredients
Just a few simple ingredients make a delicious Lentil Soup

Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup

Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
You can use any kind of lentils - red, green, yellow, pink. Just adjust the cooking time as some lentils take longer to soften.
Serves: 12 cups
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over for small stones
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks or 3 celery hearts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12 cups (or three 32-ounce boxes) vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
Optional Add-In's:
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup brown rice, barley, farro or other whole grain
  • 1½ cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, swiss chard, kale or collard greens, cut into thin slivers
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
  1. Place all ingredients in a large soup pot (except any leafy green vegetables, fresh parsley, or basil). Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, and cook, covered, for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. If you're using any of the add-ins (except for the spinach or other leafy green vegetables, fresh parsley or basil), just add them into the pot along with the other ingredients. The spinach or other leafy green vegetables, and fresh parsley/basil should be added after the soup has cooked for one hour. Just stir in the vegetables, fresh parsley/basil and cook until they are just tender (spinach takes about a minute; kale and collard greens take longer).
  3. This soup can easily be frozen.

More Lentil Soups:
Curried Tomato Soup with Lentils and Spinach
French Lentil Soup with Barley and Rainbow Chard
Red Lentil Vegetable Soup
French Lentil Soup with Cilantro
Thai Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
Easy Crockpot Lentil Chili

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  1. After talking with my guy's grandmother simple wins every time. I love the simplicity of this soup and being able to have the optional additions. Looks delicious! I'll have to save this recipe for her and pass it along.

  2. I will be making this one! Beautiful soup!

  3. Thanks! Glad you all like this simple and pretty soup.

  4. This sounds delicious but I love anything with lentils so I'm biased!

  5. Your soup looks amazing.

    Do pop blog over and say hello at my blog.

  6. None of you buisness says:

    This soup was delicious!

  7. This recipe is a nice base to work off of but I found it to be too liquidy, even after I added 1/4 cup of barley

    • Seth – thanks for your feedback. The consistency of this soup changes depending on what you add to it and how long it sits. As it sits, more liquid is absorbed. This is definitely not a thick soup, so if you like it thicker, just use less broth.

  8. I love lentils! This looks delicious, and easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

  9. This soup is amazing! Turns out yummy and perfect!

  10. I am going to make this right now! :) it looks yummy!!

  11. I make this recipe every time make lentil soup!!

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