Vegetarian Lentil Soup

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"A basic lentil soup recipe which, I try to keep vegetarian. It's full of flavor, and easy to prepare. Perfect for a weeknight; or, a weekend dinner. It's pretty much a mix of 2-3 recipes blended together. From my Moms version, Alton Browns, and a couple of others throws in; and, I suppose my touches as well. I like to serve a bowl,with crusty bread, grilled sandwich; or, a salad on the side. Great for a game or card night with friends as well. Garnish with parmesan cheese; and a drizzle of olive oil."

Original is 7 servings
  • Garnish


  • Serving Size: 1 (423 g)
  • Calories 600.2
  • Total Fat - 12.5 g
  • Saturated Fat - 4 g
  • Cholesterol - 14.2 mg
  • Sodium - 1121.8 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 81 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 29.7 g
  • Sugars - 7.2 g
  • Protein - 42.6 g
  • Calcium - 296.7 mg
  • Iron - 8.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 25.3 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.9 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Base ... Add the olive oil to a large stock pot, and bring to medium heat. Add the celery, onions, carrot, hot pepper, a pinch of both salt and pepper; and, saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. You don't want the vegetables to brown. Add the garlic the last couple of minutes. Note: I know a hot pepper is NOT a common ingredient; but, I love the spice it adds. I don't want anything too spicy; but, just enough to give the soup a kick. You could always just cut a slit in the jalapeno and add it; them remove when the soup is done. It would add a nice mild spice.

Step 2

Broth and Lentils ... Add the thyme sprigs, coriander, cumin, and season with a little salt and pepper; then, cook another minute to combine all the flavors. Add the tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, and lentils; and, bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook 30-40 minutes (according to the package directions on the lentils), until they are tender. Note: I use canned tomatoes for convenience; and, I use more than some people. I like the flavor they offer. You can also use 1-1 1/2 cups of fresh tomatoes if you prefer. It is just personal preference.

Step 3

Finish ...Once the lentils are 'JUST' tender; I like to puree part of the soup. This is optional; but, I love the texture it offers. Make sure to remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf first. I use my immersion blender for this. Just once or twice around the pot; and that is all it needs. You can also scoop a couple of cups to a blender, and pulse a couple of times as well.

Step 4

Once the soup has been blended, add the pesto, spinach, and red wine vinegar; check to see if any salt or pepper is needed. As for the spinach - I use frozen cut leaf spinach (not the chopped); and, you can add it right from the freezer. Add as much as you like. Fresh is always better is possible - a couple of handfuls, again ... as much as you like. Note: If you didn't have pesto; add 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning during cooking when you add the other spices. Then, add the fresh basil at the end of cooking. Simmer the soup a couple of minutes, so everything can heat through.

Step 5

Serve and ENJOY! ... Ladle into bowls, top with a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty bread, a grilled sandwich, or salad. It's a nice hearty soup - which also happens to be vegetarian as well.


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