February 27, 2021

Easy Vegan Recipes

Eat Vegan – Eat Well

Classic Lentil Soup

4 min read

This lentil soup is packed with savory flavor and guaranteed to warm you up! Hearty enough to make a meal of and easy enough for a weeknight.

Table Set with a Bowl of Lentil Soup, Blue Pot and Water Glass

This blog certainly has no shortage of lentil soup recipes! I’ve shared many versions with lots of twists over the years, from Mediterranean lentil soup to curried lentil soup to taco-inspired lentil soup.

But every once in a while I crave classic lentil soup. You know what I mean? The simple but really savory stuff. A big bowl of that is exactly what I need when it’s cold outside!

Brown Lentils

Blue Pot of Lentil Soup with Wooden Spoon

This recipe, unlike some of my other lentils soup recipes, uses plain old brown lentils. Brown lentils are quite versatile and easy to obtain. They also go great with savory seasonings.

How can you identify brown lentils? Usually if you see bags of lentils at the store with no indication of what type they are, they’re brown lentils. Brown lentils are on the larger side (as far as lentil sizes go) and have a brownish-greyish color.

With that in mind, you can substitute most other varieties of lentils in this recipe. You just might need to adjust the cook-time a bit, as some types (like red) cook faster, while others (like green) take longer to soften up.

How to Make Lentil Soup

Collage Showing Steps for Making Lentil Soup: Sweat Veggies, Add Broth and Lentils, Simmer and Add Tomatoes

Start by heating up some olive oil in a large pot. Once the oil is hot, add some onion, carrots, and celery. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes to get them to soften up. Now add some garlic and cook it for just about a minute, until it becomes very fragrant.

Now add broth, lentils and some dried herbs: rosemary, thyme, and a bay leaf. Raise the heat, bring the liquid to a boil, and let everything simmer until the lentils are almost fully cooked. At this point you can stir in some diced tomatoes. Now let the soup continue to simmer until it’s done!

Season the soup with salt (if needed) and add a splash of red wine vinegar before serving.

Pot of Lentil Soup with Tea Towel in the Background

Grab a bowl!

Lentil Soup FAQ & Tips

  • Is this soup gluten-free? It is!
  • Leftovers of this soup keep very well. Just store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It may thicken up during storage — you can thin it with some water during reheating if needed.
  • My lentils have been simmering for a long time but aren’t softening. What’s the deal? First, did you add the tomatoes or vinegar too early? Acidic ingredients like these will prevent lentils from softening, which is why they both go in towards the end. The other common culprit is old lentils that have sat in your pantry (or on the store shelf) for a long time.
  • Can I use any varieties of lentils other than brown? I think just about any type of lentil would work, but I haven’t tested other varieties, so no promises! Also keep in mind that the soup may need more or less cook time depending on what type of lentils you use.

Bowl of Lentil Soup with Water Glass and Napkin in the Background

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Table Set with a Bowl of Lentil Soup, Blue Pot and Water Glass

Classic Lentil Soup

This lentil soup is packed with savory flavor and guaranteed to warm you up! Hearty enough to make a meal of and easy enough for a weeknight.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 50 minutes

Servings 6

Calories 314 kcal

Author Alissa Saenz


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups dried brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves (or 2 tablespoons fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (14 ounce or 400 ml) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with the oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots and celery. Sweat the veggies for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until they begin to soften up.

  3. Add the garlic and cook it with the veggies for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.

  4. Stir in the broth, lentils, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.

  5. Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are almost fully cooked but just a bit on the firm side. You can add water while the soup simmers if it becomes too dry.

  6. Stir in the tomatoes and let the soup continue simmering for 5 to 10 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

  7. Remove the pot from heat and remove the bay leaf. Stir in the vinegar and season the soup with salt to taste.

  8. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Classic Lentil Soup

Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)

Calories 314 Calories from Fat 50

% Daily Value*

Fat 5.6g9%

Saturated Fat 0.8g4%

Sodium 423mg18%

Potassium 878mg25%

Carbohydrates 49.8g17%

Fiber 21.6g86%

Sugar 5.7g6%

Calcium 5mg1%

Iron 31mg172%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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