Vegan Lentil Soup

A hearty soup recipe is like an oversized, well-worn sweater: something you turn to time and time again whenever you crave some warmth and coziness. This easy vegan lentil soup recipe is exactly what you need in your back pocket for those incredibly comfy days.

This dish is packed with good-for-you veggies, protein-rich lentils, and easy pantry staples you probably have in your kitchen as we speak. Since this soup gets even better as it sits, it's perfect for meal prep and work-from-home lunches. (You can freeze it, too!) And although it's great on its own, we love to dress it up with cubed avocado, tortilla crisps, sourdough croutons, and fresh herbs.

Now, grab your apron, because Alexandra Shytsman of plant-based blog The New Baguette is here to show how it's done.

Gather your ingredients to make vegan lentil soup

To start this recipe, get your ingredients ready. You'll need onions, carrots, celery, shiitake mushrooms, a russet potato, lentils, vegetable broth, and fire-roasted canned tomatoes.

Think of this lentil soup as more of a template than a set-in-stone recipe, since there are many variations to play around with. For instance, instead of shiitake mushrooms, you can use regular cremini. For a fall-friendly version, replace the russet potato with a sweet potato. And in place of green lentils, feel free to sub in red ones, which will cut the soup cooking time by about ten minutes.

Sweat the vegetables for your vegan lentil soup

To start, heat some oil in a medium pot and add the onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms, along with some salt. Salt will help draw out moisture from the vegetables, so the goal at this point is just to "sweat" them. You want to cook these vegetables gently, while stirring frequently, to avoid any browning.

Onion, carrots, and celery form a widely-used foundation known as "mirepoix" in French cuisine. Mirepoix creates the subtly-sweet, earthy base flavor in this soup (among many other dishes). We've also added shiitake mushrooms here to give this soup a more savory "meaty" flavor.

Add the rest of the ingredients for vegan lentil soup

While the mirepoix cooks, prep your lentils. Spread them out in a fine-mesh strainer, and quickly sort through with your fingers — very rarely, you may stumble upon a small stone or some debris, which you should get rid of. After sorting the lentils, rinse them under running water.

After about ten minutes, when the vegetables are nice and soft, add the lentils to the pot, along with the broth and tomatoes. At this point, cover the pot with a lid, increase the heat, and bring this mixture to a boil.

Simmer the vegan lentil soup

After the mixture starts boiling, add the potatoes. Then, turn the heat down to low and gently simmer the soup — with the lid slightly ajar — until the lentils and potatoes are cooked through. Hold off on seasoning the broth until after the soup is done, since too much salt can make lentil skins tough.

For a variation on this recipe, you can also wilt in some greens — like spinach or kale — at the very end of cooking. Like most soups, this lentil version will thicken and become more flavorful with time.

Vegan Lentil Soup
5 from 23 ratings
This easy vegan lentil soup recipe is exactly what you need in your back pocket for when you're craving a warm and cozy meal.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
3
quarts
vegan lentil soup
Ready in 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 cup green lentils, picked through for stones and rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • fine sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the diced carrots, diced onion, diced celery, and sliced mushrooms with ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent, about seven to ten minutes.
  2. Stir in the minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, and cook for one minute more.
  3. Add 1 cup of green lentils, 6 cups of vegetable broth, and the can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes. Cover tightly with a lid and bring to a boil. Then, add the potatoes.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid ajar until the lentils and potatoes are cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 52
Total Fat 1.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 1.2 g
Sodium 237.1 mg
Protein 2.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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