Homemade Lentil Soup is a hearty, budget-friendly meal that practically cooks itself. Lentils and spices are simmered in a flavorful broth with carrots, celery, onions and tomatoes for a beautiful healthy soup recipe.

This recipe can be made ahead of time and reheats and freezes well.

Lentil Soup in a bowl with parsley

What is Lentil Soup?

Lentils are tiny disc-shaped legumes that are purchased in dried form. Typically grocers stock brown version, but you can find other varieties and colors too (any will work in this recipe). They may seem like pebbles when dried, they soften fast with no presoaking required.

Lentils are also very filling, thanks to their abundant healthy fiber and this soup is not only delicious but very healthy!

Ingredients for Homemade Lentil Soup in a pot

How to Make Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is as easy as 1, 2, 3, especially since you don’t have to presoak the lentils.

  1. In a soup pot, sauté onion and garlic.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (per recipe below).
  3. Simmer until lentils are soft, but still, hold their shape (don’t overcook or you’ll lose the broth and your soup will turn into a thick mush).

Lentil soup will accommodate lots of variations. Instead of curry spices, you could try an Italian blend of basil, oregano and bay leaf. Any of your favorite vegetables will work too: green beans, peppers, corn or peas all work well here.

This versatile soup makes an excellent vehicle to use up or stretch leftover meat from the night before. Diced ham, chicken breast, or beef can be tossed in the pot with the rest of the ingredients.

Lentil Soup in a pot with a bay leaf

Variations

Meat: Add 1 lb of lean ground beef or bone-in chicken to this recipe as it simmers.

Potatoes: Add a couple of cubed potatoes, sweet potatoes or even leftover roasted potatoes to this soup as it simmers.

Seasonings:  Not a fan of curry? Leave out the curry and cumin and replace it with Italian seasoning.

Veggies: Much like a vegetable soup, anything goes here! Leftovers, favorites… add them all into the pot!

Leftovers?

  • To store, cool and refrigerate. Lentil soup will keep for up to four days.
  • To freeze, transfer to freezer containers, leaving an inch of headspace for expansion. The soup will keep for up to four months. No need to thaw before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Lentil Soup in a pot and bowls

Delicious Belly-Warming Soups

Easy Meatless Soups – Italian Bean Soup and this quick Cabbage Soup are some of my favorite meatless main dishes! While still hearty, they are made with pantry staples that are perfect for weeks when you haven’t had a chance to visit the grocery store.

Creamy Filling Soups –  Creamy Potato Soup and Creamy Sausage & Cabbage Soup are my go-to comfort soup. Made with hearty and filling ingredients this soup is a family favorite. Just like this Ham and Corn Chowder which is ready in under 30 mins!

Hearty Meaty Soups – Taco Soup and Beef Barley Soup are incredibly easy & delicious options for a meatier soup! Filled with hearty options, this soup is perfect for cold weather, warming you up from the inside out!

Serve with a slice of homemade garlic bread or biscuits to soak up every last drop of these yummy soups!

Lentil Soup in a pot with a bay leaf
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Homemade Lentil Soup

Nourishing, comforting and flavorful lentil soup is a simple one pot meal that is warming and satisfying.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 28 ounces whole tomatoes with juice, or diced
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped, or parsley

Instructions 

  • Cook onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in olive oil in a large pot until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in spices and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  • Add remaining ingredients, breaking up tomatoes, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, adding more broth if needed.
  • Discard bay leaf and add cilantro to taste.

Video

Notes

For a thicker soup, remove 1 to 2 cups of the soup and blend until smooth. Stir back into the pot. An immersion blender can also be used in pulses until the desired thickness is achieved.
For a Mediterranean flair, substitute Italian seasoning for the curry and cumin.
Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. 
5 from 16 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 304 | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 815mg | Potassium: 1060mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5352IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Hi Holly,
    I suggest adding a note to add salt to taste. Or to salt the onion/celery/carrot while sautéing at the beginning.
    PS Thanks for all of the great recipes!

  2. hello holly
    thanks for barley soup recipe its in the slow cooker now
    as for the barley i simmered it in a pan with water 20 mins from boiling
    rinsed it and will add 30 mins before end maybe this way will stop barley from going mushy
    we will see
    many thanks harvey

    1. I think that would work just fine but you’ll likely need to reduce the cook time (and perhaps the amount of liquid a little bit).

      Simmer all ingredients except the lentils until tender to allow flavors to blend. I would suggest rinsing the lentils (they’re salty) before adding and adding them in the last 20-30 minutes or so so they don’t overcook.

  3. This Lentil Soup recipe is amazing! Even the teenage grandkids loved it.
    I have to divulge that I used a quart of tomatoes canned from our garden last summer, I used broth reserved from our Christmas ham, I added 1 very finely chopped fresh jalapeno (removed the seeds) and 1 container of sliced white mushrooms. Oh heavens!! This is so good with cornbread and a simple green salad.5 stars

  4. It was rich and filling
    I added 1 lb. browned ground beef and since my curry powder was old and stale, I added some homemade Italian seasoning (recipe from your web site) as well.
    This is now the only recipe for lentil soup I’ll use5 stars

  5. Check out the lentil cooking tips from “The Kitchn.com.” Then, apply it to this recipe. I found it very informative.5 stars