This is the best lentil soup recipe I think you will love. I learned about lentils from a reader (a friend named Janet). She held my hand on how to use them. I was actually a little nervous about trying to cook with them. But, then I bought every flavor/color of lentils I could find. I was hooked and I’ll start sharing more recipes in the near future using lentils.
And did I say, very inexpensive lentils? Yes, they are very affordable and a really easy way to stretch your budget! Of course, as you may know already, the recipe has to be easy for me to make as many of my meals as possible. Today, I’m using my slow cooker to make dinner while I work and of course, pet my dog, Izzy.
I’m trying really hard to add more vegetables and try new spices in new recipes. Is it January and I’m trying to eat healthier, you guessed it! I consider this to be a healthy vegetarian soup recipe with few calories that all families can enjoy. We’ll all benefit from eating this soup based on the wonderful ingredients and desired consistency you get with veggies.
My goal is to hopefully be ready to publish a cookbook by the end of the year with all the great recipes I’ve shared with my readers.
The Best Lentil Soup Recipe
Items You May Need In The Kitchen:
- Slow Cooker (I used my 3-1/2 quart one)
- 6-Quart Soup Pot
- Cutting Boards
- A Good Knife
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Lemon Squeezer
- Garlic Roller and Garlic Mincer
Ingredients – The Best Lentil Soup
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: An oil made from pure, cold-pressed olives. It’s a less processed oil compared to regular olive oil. Loaded with antioxidants and heart-healthy fat.
- White or Yellow Onion: Both onions have a very distinct spicy flavor that adds a lot to a savory soup, casserole, or another dish. White onions tend to be a bit stronger and pungent in flavor than yellow onions. Mark had a few tears roll down his cheeks as he cut them up.
- Garlic: Provides delicious flavor; may also aid in health benefits due to antiviral and antibacterial properties.
- Carrots: A root vegetable that is typically orange in color. Has a delicious crunch and is high in beta-carotene, which is known as a great vitamin for eye health.
- Celery: Refreshingly crisp, light, and delicious! High in antioxidants and the fiber contained within is great for the digestive and cardiovascular systems.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are starchy, root vegetables that are high in many vitamins/minerals, and fiber. Yams are more cylindrical than sweet potatoes with dark thick skin. A yam is a tuber and a sweet potato is a root.
- Lentils: The star of the show in this soup! Similar to beans, as they too come from the edamame family. They grow in pods that usually consist of 2 seeds in each. They come in a variety of colors and are packed with tons of protein.
- Garbanzo Beans: Legumes, also known as chickpeas, are high in protein and an excellent meat replacement. They are a complete protein due to containing all 9 essential amino acids.
Ingredients – Spices
- Turmeric: A spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It tastes very similar to curry, but maybe not as strong. It provides powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Cumin (ground): A spice with a unique flavor due to its peppery and nutty taste. It is most often used in chili, stews, soups, and curry dishes. It has lots of vitamin E, iron, potassium, manganese, and zinc, all nutrients we need to stay healthy.
- Cayenne Pepper: A spice that adds a hot yet fruity kick to any casserole, soup, or entree. It is made by drying and grinding the capsicum fruit into a fine substance.
- Cinnamon: Adds a little spice and warmth to the soup.
- Salt: Salt is used to help enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Vegetable Broth: A broth that is created from simmering water with a variety of vegetables for a short length of time. It has a light luscious savory flavor that works perfectly in soups and casseroles.
- Lemon Juice: Helps to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients in the soup; gives the soup an extra boost of flavor we all love! It helps to lock in the moisture in this lentil soup and adds a little tartness.
Lentil Soup Recipe
Gather the ingredients so you’re ready to make this yummy soup.
Step One: Add Oil, Chopped Onions, and Garlic
Add the olive oil to your slow cooker, the chopped onions, and freshly minced garlic.
Step Two: Add Carrots and Celery
Top that layer with the chopped or sliced carrots and chopped celery as well.
Step Three: Add the Sweet Potatoes and Lentils
Now place the peeled or unpeeled bite-size pieces of the sweet potatoes into the slow cooker. Rinse the lentils, let them drain, and look for any debris if there is any. Add these to the slow cooker now.
Step Four: Drain Garbanzo Beans
Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans and layer those on top of the lentils in the slow cooker.
Step Five: Add the Spices
Now sprinkle the spices into the slow cooker. This recipe has turmeric, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and salt. Oh, I wish you could smell this soup right now! The cayenne pepper gives it a little kick, so it’s optional.
Step Six: Add the Vegetable Broth
Add the vegetable broth right now. I would start with 1-1/2 quarts of broth and then add the leftover vegetable broth as the soup cooks, if needed. Oops! I need to move the ingredients to a soup pot. Sometimes this happens when I cut up too many veggies. No worries, now bring the soup to a boil in the soup pot and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Step Seven: Wash and Chop Kale
Wash the kale, remove the “spine” and chop it into bite-sized pieces.
Step Eight: Stir in Kale
When the soup is finished, lift the lid and stir in the chopped kale.
Step Nine: Prepare The Lemon For Squeezing
Squeeze a lemon on top of the kale and add more salt, if needed. Enjoy! This is my favorite lemon squeezer. Lemon Squeezer
Step Ten: Squeeze The Lemon Over the Soup
Squeeze the Lemon Juice Over Soup.
Lentil Soup Recipe
Lentil Soup Recipe
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3-4 cloves freshly minced garlic
- 4 carrots, sliced or chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, diced or chopped
- 2 small sweet potatoes peeled or unpeeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1-1/2 cups dry lentils, rinse and drained
- 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 quarts vegetable broth
- 1 bunch of fresh kale with stems/spine removed and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Add the olive oil to your slow cooker, the chopped onions, and freshly minced garlic.
- Top that layer with the chopped or sliced carrots and chopped celery as well.
- Now place the peeled or unpeeled bite-size pieces of the sweet potatoes into the slow cooker.
- Rinse the lentils, let them drain, and look for any debris, if there is any. Add these to the slow cooker now.
- Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans and layer those on top of the lentils in the slow cooker.
- Now sprinkle the spices into the slow cooker. This recipe has turmeric, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and salt. Oh, I wish you could smell this soup right now! The cayenne pepper gives it a little kick, so it's optional.
- Add the vegetable broth right now. I would start with 1-1/2 quarts of broth and then add the leftover vegetable broth as the soup cooks if needed.
- Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours or until vegetables are tender. If your slow cooker is too small, use a soup pot. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
- When the soup is finished, lift the lid and stir in the chopped kale, squeeze a lemon on top of the kale and add more salt if needed. Enjoy!
What is the best way to store leftover soup?
I recommend storing any leftover soup in an airtight container. If properly stored in the fridge, the soup should last 3-5 days.
Can I cook this soup on the stove instead of in a crockpot?
What I love about this soup is how easy it is to add all of the ingredients into a crockpot and let the crockpot do all of the cooking for me. If you’re interested in cooking this lentil soup on the stove instead of a crockpot, I recommend the following:
In a large pot, heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil on medium heat to medium-high heat, and saute the chopped onions and garlic. Once tender, add the vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Add all of the veggies and spices, except the chopped kale. Turn the heat down to medium-low heat and allow to simmer for about 35 minutes. Before serving, add the chopped kale and lemon juice to the soup. Add more salt if needed. Allow to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve warm in individual bowls. Yummm!
Are there any variations that can be made to this lentil soup?
I really love this lentil recipe as is. It is so good! If you’re interested in making any changes, I would recommend swapping out other spices with thyme, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, or curry powder. It may also be fun to add in additional vegetables, such as diced tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, and butternut squash, and even top with a little parmesan cheese.
Some may like the flavor of chicken broth vs vegetable broth. It’s all personal preference. I like the taste of the vegetable broth because it tends to be a little milder and blends well with the added vegetables.
Is this lentil vegetable soup vegan?
Yes! As long as you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, the soup would remain vegan.
Which lentils are best to use in this recipe?
Lentils come in a variety of colors and flavors. You’re welcome to use whatever lentil variety that you like and prefer. I used yellow and brown lentils in my recipe today.
- Black (Beluga) Lentils: Of all the lentils, the black lentil is the healthiest choice. They are firmer in texture and have an earthy flavor. Black lentils pair nicely with chicken, fish, and other meats. Black Lentils
- Yellow Lentils: Yellow lentils come bright yellow in color, but other than that, they are quite similar to red lentils. They are nutty and sweeter in flavor and cook in very little time. Yellow Lentils
- Red Lentils: The red lentil is most often found in Mediterranean, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Their texture is soft, once they’ve been cooked, and they are a bit smaller. Red lentils go great with soups, stews, and purees. Red Lentils
- Green Lentils: Green lentils are another very popular variety. You’ll notice that they have a peppery taste, and a firm texture, but they take the longest to cook of all the lentil varieties (around 40 minutes). These are the ones I have. Green Lentils
- Brown Lentils: Brown lentils are amongst the most common types of lentils, while having an earthy and mild flavor. They are great at thickening soups, as well as burgers. Brown Lentils
What can be served with lentil soup?
Love making soups? Check out these other delicious recipes!
- The Best Sixteen-Bean Soup
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 4-Ingredient Potato Soup Recipe
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
Let me know if you decide to try this delicious vegetarian soup! It really is the best lentil soup recipe out there. This recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients and is full of healthy & savory flavors. Get ready for a culinary experience like none other and enjoy the rich taste of this comforting dish without compromising on nutrition. Whether it’s for lunch, dinner, or a cozy night in, this lentil soup will be sure to satisfy your cravings! God Bless this World, Linda.