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Lentil Soup Recipe

This one-pot healthy lentil soup recipe is so delicious, it’s sure to become a staple in your home!

Lentil Soup Recipe

Voted The #1 Best Lentil Soup

This classic recipe is ultra thick, hearty, and made with just nine ingredients!

While you can find thousands of recipes for how to make lentil soup from scratch, this is the hands-down winner of anything I’ve ever tried, and it’s thanks to a secret cooking trick that makes all the difference.

If you want a lentil soup that will quickly become a family favorite, I highly recommend giving it a try. The original recipe was my grandmother’s, and it actually won first prize when she entered it at a country fair!

The soup has been on regular rotation in my family for years, and I’ve adapted the original version to make it my own.

If you’re browsing online trying to decide which lentil soup recipe to make, this one will not let you down.

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Soup Ingredients

Nine Wholesome Ingredients

The recipe is so delicious and easy to make, you will never go back to canned soup again.

One of my favorite parts about this soup is that it freezes well, so you can portion it out and freeze the leftovers for a rainy day – I use these BPA-Free Glass Meal Prep Containers.

It’s full of nutrition, protein, fiber, and so much flavor, and it is pure healthy comfort food in a bowl!

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Watch the video how to make lentil soup, above.

The Easy Lentil Soup Recipe

Trick #1: Pulverize the base ingredients <— This trick makes all the difference!

So many lentil soup recipes skip this step, which is a huge mistake! Blending the base ingredients not only lets you thicken the soup without adding flour or cornstarch, it also adds so much depth of flavor. The trick is to pulverize before adding the lentils so you get all the benefits of the extra flavor without having to sacrifice texture.

Trick #2: Keep it simple.

While ingredients such as kale, sweet potato, cumin, paprika, garlic, spinach, or lemon zest all might make nice additions, this classic lentil soup is so good on its own that there’s honestly no need for extra add-ins or spices. By keeping it simple, you allow the main ingredients to really shine.

Trick #3: Cook until carrots are soft.

You’ll often see carrots as an ingredient in soup recipes, and for good reason. As long as you add them at the right time, their natural sweetness will transfer to the broth while cooking and balance the flavor of the soup.

This particular recipe calls for the carrots to be added in the middle of the cooking process, ensuring they’re perfectly soft without being overcooked.

While you can definitely serve the soup the day it’s made, the taste is even better if you wait 24 hours, because doing so gives the individual flavors a chance to come together and intensify. There’s actually a long scientific explanation for why leftovers always seem to taste better the next day; it’s not just in your head!

Serving Suggestions: Banana Muffins or Keto Muffins

Easy Homemade Lentil Soup
Easy Lentil Soup Recipe

The soup is especially good with homemade English muffins from the Hello Breakfast ebook.

Can I Double The Recipe?

The recipe as written yields about five cups, and it can easily be doubled to feed a larger family or if you want enough leftovers to freeze. The soup is also great for meal prep.

Do You Have To Soak The Lentils First?

Nope! Unlike other dried legumes or beans, lentils can safely be cooked without soaking. (Split peas and mung beans also do not require soaking.)

If you have time, soaking dried lentils overnight increases digestibility and reduces cooking time, but it’s also perfectly fine to either skip the soaking or make this lentil soup using canned lentils.

Should I Use Green Or Brown Lentils?

It’s your choice, as both work well.

I haven’t tried red lentils here, but many readers have commented that they’ve successfully made this soup with red lentils.

Can I Make It In A Slow Cooker?

You can! Follow the same instructions as if cooking it on the stovetop, skipping the simmering step and instead cooking in a crock pot on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours, or until carrots and barley are tender.

What About Instant Pot Lentil Soup?

Sauté the onion in oil if desired, using the sauté function, then pulverize with the celery, tomatoes, and broth. Add all remaining ingredients, lock, and set to high pressure for 2 minutes. Once done, cancel and carefully do a quick release.

The recipe can be vegetarian and vegan, low calorie, gluten free, soy free, dairy free, low fat, oil free, and it’s so rich and thick that it’s almost more like lentil stew than soup.

Hopefully you will love it as much as we do!

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The Best Lentil Soup Recipe With Three Secret Tricks (Vegan, Oil Free)
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Lentil Soup Recipe

This healthy lentil soup recipe is so delicious, it's sure to become a staple in your home!
4.98/5 (133)
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 5 cups


  • 1/2 a large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil (can be omitted for fat free)
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 14 oz chopped tomatoes
  • 14 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned lentils
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup uncooked pearl barley or rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • optional pepper to taste


  • To make the soup: either sauté onion in oil or just combine it with the celery, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Pulverize. Then add all remaining ingredients, lower to a simmer, and cover. Simmer 25 minutes or until carrots and barley are tender. Taste, and add additional seasonings if desired.  If you try the recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment or rate it below!
    *Notes: I usually add the oil for its rich flavor, but especially if you’re used to low-fat soups, this one is still good without it. The 1/4 cup barley adds thickness to the soup by soaking up some of the liquid during cooking. If using dried lentils, cook them before starting the soup. (If using canned lentils, drain and rinse first.) Canned diced tomatoes are fine; you just might want to cut back on the salt in the recipe if using tomatoes with salt.
    View Nutrition Facts


Also be sure to try this Cauliflower Soup Recipe.

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4.98/5 (133)

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Published on January 10, 2019

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Leave a comment or reviewLeave a rating
  1. Cindy says

    Hello Katie, this soup sounds wonderful! You referenced homemade English muffins from your Hello Breakfast cookbook in your post. I bought that cookbook but can’t seem to find the recipe for them. Help, I would like to make them with the soup!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi! It’s in the bonus pack, and you definitely are entitled to that 🙂
      It might have gotten caught in a spam filter, so I’m sending it manually to you ASAP. Let me know if you don’t see it within the next few minutes.
      Jason (media relations)

  2. Lyla says

    This sounds great and I think I have all of the ingredients already- I love when that happens! 🙂 When you ‘pulverize’ do you use an immersion blender or some sort of masher? Thanks!

  3. Sandra says

    So funny, my grandmother also entered a soup recipe into a fair and won a prize. Who brings soup to a fair?! It seems to random but I guess it was a thing back then? It’s also still a soup we make today. Lol but her recipe wasn’t vegetarian at all!

  4. Karolin says

    Just made this for dinner and it turned out great! I used red tllentils and fine barley. I added dried lentils and allowed them to cook with the recipe (added more liquid to make up for it). Keeper 🙂

  5. Kate says

    I made this lentil soup with red lentils and brown rice last night for dinner. I agree with the comment above mine. It’s a keeper!

  6. Sue says

    Just made this for dinner tonight and it’s simple and a keeper. I thought only 1/2 tsp of seasoning would be too small an amount but it was perfect – adds just enough flavour without overwhelming. I used yellow lentils and brown rice. I paired it with homemade cornbread, yummy. Definitely going in our rotation, hearty enough to meet my husband’s approval ?

  7. Michelle says

    I made this soup today, double recipe and it’s amazing!!! I doubled the recipe and added more carrots and a little more barley than called for but absolutely amazing!! I didn’t add rosemary and honestly it’s one of the better soups I’ve made in awhile.
    How many calories would you predict are in this per serving? I did use olive oil, but I used low sodium veggie broth to cut down on salt! Thanks for sharing

    • Jason Sanford says

      Link to the nutrition facts is right under the instructions – it includes calories, fat, protein, etc. 🙂

  8. Anisah says

    Just made this adding some black pepper and lemon juice to taste. Yummy! I couldn’t find my barley (either that or I ate it all and forgot) so I gave quinoa and really liked the texture it gave. So simple too! Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Kelly says

    I made the lentil soup and it was the best I’ve ever had! I definitely see why it won an award. Thank you for posting this!!

  10. Rachel says

    I’m making this right now for the 2nd time in 3 days. It is so simple and SO delicious! Blending the base is a game-changer. It has a wonderfully comforting, nostalgic flavor like tomato soup or-dare I say-Spaghetti O’s. But like a grown-up, refined version of Spaghetti-O’s.

  11. Amber says

    Hi! I really love the Breakfast cookbook but I also saw the English muffin recipe mentioned here and it was one of the reasons I bought the book but I can’t find the recipe. Any help to find that would be much appreciated!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi, so sorry for the trouble! You definitely ought to have it! I’m sending it over immediately so if you don’t see it within the next few minutes in your inbox, absolutely let us know.
      Jason (media relations)

  12. Brett says

    This lentil soup is so simple and so delicious! I made it tonight, exactly as written, no substitutions, for my hubby, 4 yr old and 1 yr old and everyone loved it. I served with homemade biscuits. I will definitely add this to my regular meal rotation. Thanks!

  13. Faye says

    This soup was DELICIOUS! I made it exactly as the recipe stated and it came out great. So easy and good for you, too. My family loved it, too. I love making all kinds of soups and this will be added to my list of favorites.

  14. Peggy says

    Made this tonight. So good! I added green beans and diced mushrooms – my favs! Will be a regular recipe at my house.Thank you.

  15. Susie P. says

    Made it tonight, it was delicious. First time making soup without meat. We are slowly
    changing to Plant Based Lifestyle. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Maryanne says

    I’ve been looking for a simple lentil soup recipe all winter. When I saw this in one of my emails, I knew it was the one to try. It was exactly what I’d been looking for! I just made it today, and it did not disappoint! It was sooooo good! However, transferring boiling liquid and veggies to my blender was quite a pain, and every time I turned on the blender, despite holding down the top, it kind of exploded out the top making a big mess with very hot liquid! So you think I could liquify before boiling? Thanks!

  17. Ali says

    This was absolutely delicious! Blending the base makes a HUGE difference – followed your suggestions exactly (no added seasonings/ ingredients) and it was just perfect. Can’t wait to have my leftovers 🙂

  18. Abbie says

    This reminds me of a recipe that my grandmother would make. I’m excited to try the healthier version. It looks delicious.

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