Easy Vegan Lentil Soup

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Easy Vegan Lentil Soup is a satisfying, hearty soup that’s perfect for warming up on a cold evening. This one pot lentil stew will be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!

3 bowls of vegan lentil soup with bread

Vegan Lentil Soup: It’s Not Just for Vegans

If you mention the word vegan in my house you’ll likely either get an eye-roll, a groan, or a grimace from my better half.

It’s not that Will is picky about food. He’s a faithful, willing, and honest taste-tester of pretty much anything that comes out of our kitchen.

He just really enjoys meat. This is a man who would eat bacon wrapped smokies for breakfast every day if he could.

To him, vegan food is a gimmick–a gimmick which foolishly excludes meat.

But here’s the thing. There’s nothing particularly special about vegan food. It’s the same foods we enjoy every day–fresh, whole vegetables, beans, and grains–just without any animal products.

And yes, of course you can mess up vegan food–ummm, we’ve all had gray, limp broccoli, haven’t we?

But you can just as easily screw up a meat filled dish. I’ve had my fair share of burnt bacon and chicken drier than the sands of the Sahara.

two brown bowls filled with vegetarian lentil soup, topped with basil

For me and my kitchen, the test of a truly good dish is not whether it’s vegan, gluten free, keto, insert other diet here. It’s whether or not it tastes good.

And friends? This Vegan Lentil Soup tastes good.

To the surprise of my carnivorous husband, veggies and lentils really can stand on their own in a delicious and unexpectedly hearty way.

In fact, had I not mentioned this was vegan and gluten free, I doubt he would have known the difference. (And we could have avoided that whole groaning business).

spoon dipping into a bowl of vegan lentil soup

Mirepoix: What it is and why it should be a regular part of your cooking

This Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe begins with a mirepoix, which is just fancy a term for a blend of onion, carrots, and celery cooked in oil or butter. Traditional French mirepoix is made with two parts onion to one part carrots and celery. The vegetables are cooked over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent but not browned, forming an amazing flavor base for a variety of dishes. 

Mirepoix (or a variation of it) is used as a base for hundreds of recipes across cultures and cuisines. It’s simple, and made with ingredients that are available year round.

Mirepoix is the key to adding a big punch of flavor, which is particularly important for a vegetarian lentil soup recipe, which doesn’t include any meat.

It also forms the base for meaty tomato sauces like this Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Ragu and soups like 30 Minute Chicken Noodle Soup and Italian Sausage Stew with White Beans.

Basically, if you’re stumped with what to make for dinner, toss some chopped onions, carrots, and celery in a skillet. It’ll make your house smell amazing and something good is bound to happen next.

bowl of healthy lentil soup with basil and a spoon

How to Make Vegan Lentil Soup

  • Alright, grab your dutch oven and let’s make some soup! Heat some olive oil in the pot, and add your mirepoix. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they start to soften, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in some minced garlic and sautรฉ until fragrant, about one minute.
  • Stir in a can of diced tomatoes, salt, lentils, and veggie broth (I really like Better than Bouillon’s broth base).
  • Add a slew of dried spices for flavor–cumin, paprika, coriander, and black pepper. Increase heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, or until lentils have softened.
  • Once the lentils are done, your soup is almost ready! I like the texture of pureeing half the soup, but you can puree all of it if you prefer. An immersion blender is reaaaally handy here, but you can also place 2 cups of the soup in a blender and pulse until smooth. Just be sure to remove the inner cap of the blender and replace it with a folded kitchen towel. This allows steam to escape and prevents a soup-splosion.

bowl of vegan lentil soup with bread dipping into it

What to Serve with Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Because we have kiddos in the house, we serve this healthy lentil soup with goldfish crackers. Let’s be honest, you can sprinkle goldfish crackers on pretty much anything and my kids will eat it. And I have to say, they make a pretty nice soup topping for adults as well.

However, the grown ups usually prefer adding a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a loaf of Rosemary and Olive Oil Focaccia Bread for dunking.

If you’re looking for vegan toppings and breads, I suggest these Vegan CheezIts, 1 Bowl Vegan Gluten Free Crackers, or this No Knead Artisan Bread.

I love making this soup for company, because it can fit a variety of diets and allergies. And, if you need an awesome vegan dessert to pair it with,  you’ve got this wonderful Gluten Free Berry Crisp!

white hand dipping bread into a bowl of lentil stew

Alright guys, it’s time to dig that half bag of lentils out of the back of your cupboard (c’mon, I know I’m not the only one who leaves half bags of lentils hanging out in dark corners of the pantry), and give your tummy a satisfying dish that’s a as good for your body as it is for your taste buds.

two brown bowls filled with vegetarian lentil soup, topped with basil

Vegan Lentil Soup

This Vegan Lentil Soup is a hearty one pot soup recipe that's full of flavor and perfect for cold winter nights. This gluten free soup is a winner with vegetarians and meat eaters a like!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 327kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
  • 3 hefty pinches Kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 oz. lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese (for serving)

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. Add celery, onion, and carrots and cook over medium heat until they start to sizzle, about 6 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
  • Add diced tomatoes, salt, lentils, veggie broth, cumin, paprika, coriander, and black pepper. Increase heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, or until lentils have softened.
  • Place 2 cups of the soup in a blender and pulse until smooth. (Be sure to remove the inner cap and hold a towel over the hole in order to allow steam to escape). Return mixture to the remaining soup and stir. Alternately, use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Serve immediately with chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese (optional), crackers, or bread.

Notes

  • While this is a great option for vegans and contains a lot of protein, you can always add cooked sausage or chicken to your bowl.
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy lentil soup, lentil stew, vegan lentil soup, vegetarian lentil soup recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 1520mg | Potassium: 953mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 6332IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 6mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a review, Mention @NeighborFoodie, or tag #neighborfoodies!

77 Comments

  1. We made this tonight and it was delicious! My whole family (husband & 4 kids) ate it up with no complaints! It was so flavorful, even without meat!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Have made this soup 4 times now and I Love it ! Had never used cumin or coriander before so it was a new taste sensation. Warms me up on a cool day and makes me feel more energetic. Thanks for helping me overcome my anti-vegetarian mindset.

  3. Our hubbies would be best friends! Mine is anti-vegan and “doesn’t like soup”, but I bet he would love this.

  4. Hi Courtney! =)

    Yes I know what you mean, my husband isn’t any better. It’s all about meat otherwise he won’t even bother to try it out. But you know what, I make the same stew in my house (nearly the same ingredients) and my mister likes it if I add a sausage while cooking. The meat flavors cover the beans and he is happily finnishing his plate. However I love your vegan version and I would certainly enjoy a bowl now.

  5. We absolutely love lentil soup in my house. I have about 5 different recipes that I make every year. Your version looks like a great addition.

  6. I love lentil soup…but have never made it. That’s going to change with this great healthy and hearty recipe! Thanks for sharing

  7. My husband is a HUGE carnivore and I’m a vegetarian when cooking for myself at home. So I get A LOT of groans. But we both love lentil soup!

  8. I just bought a bag of lentils so I’m definitely making this gorgeous, thick, hearty soup soon. You made me laugh with your descriptions of your husband’s groans. My husband does the same thing when I lecture…er, I mean, educate him on the health benefits of lentils, quinoa and vegetables. And I totally agree with you – so long as it tastes good, who cares if its meat-full or meat-free.

  9. Love the soup! I wonder if my Husband would like it since he’s a big meat eater! Have to give it a try!!

  10. How did you know I have that half bag of lentils in my pantry? It won’t be there for long since I have this recipe to make.

  11. Mmmmm this sounds wonderful. We’ve been trying to eat more vegan and vegetarian foods and this soup sounds delicious!

  12. I love all kinds of lentil soup or stew, and though I usually add bacon and chorizo (!), this kind of recipe is great for those times when I want something lighter! Really great for a winter lunch.

  13. I think I have more than one half bag of lentils in my pantry ๐Ÿ™‚ This soup looks perfect for a cold winter day. Yum!

  14. I love the look of this soup. I make lentil soup often, and I have to say that this soup looks hearty and satisfying. Kudos!

  15. This looks as hearty as any stew I have prepared! I can not wait to try this out. I have been looking to add more lentils to our diets. Thanks for sharing!

5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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