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Colder weather means a cozy and warming soup is the perfect way to fuel your family. This traditional lentil soup recipe is brimming with nourishing ingredients that will fill everyone up with every bowl. It’s a recipe my husband and kids always request when they come in from the cold!

Best Lentil Soup Recipe

A bounty of fresh veggies and herbs come together with dried lentils that need no soaking time, giving you the best lentil soup recipe in no time. Stop buying those cans of processed lentil soup and see how much better it is when you make it from scratch!

Easy Lentil Soup Recipe

While it looks like LOTS of ingredients, this easy lentil soup is a simple way to add warming nutrition to any meal. It can even BE the meal with some crusty bread and a salad. It takes only 15 minutes to put together and the rest is all simmering.

Lentil Soup Ingredients

  • Olive oil – You’ll use this to sauté your veggies first.
  • Garlic – Mince it with your garlic press and add the freshest flavor to your soup.
  • Carrots and celery – Chop them both to add more flavor and nutrition to this hearty lentil vegetable soup.
  • Lentils – For traditional lentil soup use brown lentils. You only need to rinse and then drain them. They don’t need to soak. If you want to make a red lentil soup recipe, you can substitute red lentils into this recipe as well.
  • Crushed tomatoes – The only canned item on this list.
  • Chicken stock – To help make the broth. For those of you that want a vegan lentil soup recipe, you can simply use vegetable broth to make this vegan or vegetarian-friendly.
  • Lemon juice – Adds that umami.
  • Lemon zest – Trust in this, it’s going to be amazing!
  • Seasonings – You’ll need bay leaves, crushed red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Fresh parsley – This will be added at the end as a garnish.

How do you Make Lentil Soup from Scratch

To make homemade lentil soup, pull out your large stock pot and heat it over medium, then add olive oil. When it’s heated, add the garlic and onion, then the celery and carrots. Cook it all until softened, then add the rest of the ingredients except the lemon juice, zest, and salt. Let the whole thing simmer fully, then cover with a lid and let it simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. The lentils should be cooked through, then you remove the bay leaves and add the lemon juice, zest, and salt. Finish with a garnish of parsley when serving.

Enjoy the lentil things in life.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Lentil Soup Every Time

  • Always choose broth. Lentil soup will feel like it’s missing something if you just use water. If you want to keep this vegetarian or vegan, swap the chicken stock for veggie broth.
  • Add meat if you like. This is a great chance to use up leftover ham or sausage!
  • Don’t worry about soaking the lentils. Lentils do not require any soaking. But do remember to rinse and drain them well to remove any bits of dirt.

Do you soak lentils for soup?

No, lentils are great for soups because there is no soaking time required. You should rinse and drain them though.

Is lentil soup good for weight loss?

Yes, lentil soup is great for weight loss because lentils are filled with nutrients. With loads of protein and good carbs, you’ll feel fuller and satisfied for longer.

Is homemade lentil soup good for you?

It’s so good for you because of the fresh veggies and lentils in it. Canned varieties have too much sodium but this recipe relies on seasonings and fresh flavors that taste way better.

How to Cook Lentil Soup?

Lentil soup cooks on the stove-top in one pot. You will want to sauté your veggies first to bring out the best flavors. If you want to put it in your slow cooker, you can. Just be sure to sauté those veggies before throwing them in.

What can I add to lentil soup for flavor?

Lemon, lemon zest, garlic, onions, bay leaves, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and coriander powder are just a few of the things that make this lentil soup recipe burst with flavor.

How do you thicken lentil soup?

Lentils naturally thicken up the soup. If you feel like you’d like it thicker, let it reduce some more. If that doesn’t work, you can add a little cornstarch and water slurry.

How do you make lentil soup creamier?

You can use the back of your spoon to blend the lentils into the soup more. A better way is to use an immersion blender to make the consistency creamier.

What goes well with Lentil Soup?

Lentil soup is so filling but I love serving it with a nice crusty bread. I’ll usually heat it up so it’s nice and warm, perfect for dunking. I also have served a garden salad with it and meat skewers are a nice addition if you want a little meat to go with your meal but don’t want it in the soup.

How to Store Lentil Soup?

Once it cools down, you’ll want to store your lentil soup in airtight containers and put it in the fridge.

How Long Does Lentil Soup Last?

In your fridge, lentil soup is good for 5 days. That means making a big batch for the week is a smart idea that will help you round out your meals or make for a tasty lunch on a busy workday!

Can You Freeze Lentil Soup?

Yes, lentil soup freezes so beautifully, it’s like it was made for meal prep. You can keep it frozen for up to 3 months.

How to Reheat Lentil Soup?

If it’s frozen, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. From there, you can gently warm it on the stove until it is heated through.

Watch How To Make Lentil Soup (Video)

Homemade Lentil Soup Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 437
This easy lentil soup recipe blends so many unique flavors together that are perfectly balanced and come out delicious every time! When the weather starts to get chilly this is the perfect soup to warm up the family and makes great leftovers.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 2 large carrots (chopped)
  • 3 celery ribs (chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups brown lentils (rinsed and drained)
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon
  • salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • fresh parsley (chopped for garnish)


  • In a large pot on medium to medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Once heated through, add the garlic and onion until fragrant. Next, add in the celery and carrot and cook until softened. Once the celery and carrot have softened, add in remaining ingredients except for the lemon juice, zest, and salt. Bring the entire pot to a full simmer. Cover the pot with lid and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through. Once the lentils are cooked through, be sure to remove the bay leaves. Add in the lemon juice, zest, and salt. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread.
Calories: 437kcal
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American


Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 513mg | Potassium: 1250mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3967IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 7mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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