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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 Thanks To Three Secret Tricks

Also Try This Cauliflower Soup Recipe

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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 (130)
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 5 cups

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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

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4.98/5 (130)

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Published on January 10, 2019

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Reader Interactions

88 Comments

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  1. Lisa says

    You’re right – this is THE best lentil soup recipe! I’ve made lentil soup before and it’s been a chore to eat. This was literally so good I can’t keep it around my house because it gets eaten so fast. The barley is so perfect for texture and pulverizing the first few ingredients is a game changer. Love it!!!!

  2. Sandi VanKnowe says

    I used dried red lentils, which look light yellow after cooking. And I doubled toe recipe. There were 6 at dinner and everyone seemed to like the lentil soup!

  3. Jessica says

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it. If only I recieved the English Muffin recipe when I purchases the cookbook ? It’s the main reapn I bought it.

    • Jason Sanford says

      Oh you definitely should have it! The bonus pack might have gotten caught in a filter. I’m sending it manually right away to ensure you get it, and let me know if you don’t see it within the next few minutes. Sorry for the delay!
      Jason (media relations)

  4. Kaylyn says

    The recipe came out really well both times I’ve made it. The first time I pre-cooked the red lentils and the seond time I just tossed in 1/2 cup of dried red lentils at the same time I added in the barley and they came out much firmer. So with red lentils that are precooked it’s a smoother soup and for anyone who likes chunkier soup it may be better to out them in dry at same time as barley

  5. nikki says

    This soup is absolutely delicious. I am a former carnivore trying to rid my diet of meat. This soup is better than any meat I ever cooked. Loved it. Thanks!

  6. Nanette Day says

    Absolutely love this lentil soup every time I serve it it gets raves and it’s so easy and quick thank you so much

  7. Dawn says

    It is so good, it is ridiculous. I added a bit more barley beacaue I love it so much and a tad less lentils. It is like a souped up tomatoe soup, no pun intended

  8. Aicha says

    This soup tastes so incredible! My first ever soup and I am so proud of it! Thank you for the recipe!

  9. Kimberly says

    The best lentil soup I have ever made! I added some nutritional yeast and I used the pre steamed french lentils from Trader Joes. So simple.
    . Thank u!this will be one of my staple meals.

    • Jason Sanford says

      You never know unless you try, but it sounds like a fun experiment. Be sure to report back if you try!
      Jason

  10. Filomena says

    Hi! This recipe is awesone! I’ve been looking for a delicious lentil recipe for months. This is a definite comfort food. I used Rotel diced tomatoes and all the other ingredients listed. My kids are picky eaters and they love this soup too! I see other recipes on your blog and can’t wait to try them. Thank you sweetie!

  11. Liz says

    I used my instant pot to make the soup. It was super easy. I added some chopped mushrooms but followed the recipe . The barley wasn’t completely cooked after 2 min. So I put it back on for another 2 min. And let it sit for a few minutes after pressure reached and it came out perfect. Thanks for this easy delicious soup recipe.

  12. Sherry says

    I made this soup two days ago and we ate some this evening. I’ve made other lentil soups and this is definitely the best and the easiest. I used brown lentils (dry) that I had in my pantry and cooked earlier, doubled the recipe, and transferred the base ingredients into my Vitamix (in two batches) for processing, and then back into another pot to finsh. It was wonderful! Thank you. I’m going to check out some of your other recipes.

    I was wondering about the pre-cooking the dry lentils. Has anyone tried just adding the dried lentils to the soup and cooking it for longer? Do you have any suggestions about that?

  13. Diana M says

    Delicious soup, best ever!
    I added:
    1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
    1 teaspoon each ground turmeric,smocked paprika, and ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon of tandori paste.
    Little pasta and loved it!

    Thanks Diana

  14. Camile says

    Just finished making and sharing. I never would have guessed my little very picky eater son would be eating lentils – but he had 2 bowls! Everyone loved this soup!
    I doubled the recipe and glad I did.
    I used a large can of chopped tomatoes and brown rice, which added additional cooking time to get the rice tender. The flavor of this soup is really great! I`ll be printing it off and making it again through the winter I’m sure.
    Thanks! 🙂

  15. marianne says

    I’ve been making lentil soup for years. This recipe is the one I will use from now on. It was delicious! Tasty, thick, and satisfying.

  16. Jenny Allen says

    You never disappoint, Katie! This recipe is amazing. Made it as my vegan contribution to the Thanksgiving table – YUM!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi Mary! Are your lentils in a package? If so, it should give cooking instructions on the package itself. Let me know if that helps!
      Jason

  17. Beth says

    This looks plain, but is surprisingly awesome. All I had was chili seasoned diced tomatoes so it was a little spicy. But first time trying the pearl Barley, really good. Thanks for this!

  18. Nechama says

    What do you mean by 14oz vegetable broth?
    Did you make your own? Or do you use store bought powder? If so, how many bscoops of powder would that be?

  19. Mirandamom says

    I followed the recipe exactly except I cooked the lentils with bay leaves and will thin it out a bit and add some spinach before serving. This makes an outstanding lentil soup!

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