This hearty lentil soup is filled with flavor and loaded with nutrients. One serving provides 10 grams of fiber, 18 grams of plant-based protein and 40% of the daily value for iron.
If you came to my blog for a delicious, easy-to-make, nutritious soup, you’ll landed in the right place. The combination of fiber and plant-based protein in this hearty lentil soup is sure to fill your belly and keep you satisfied until your next meal. It pairs great with a piece of crunchy bread or some whole grain crackers.
Ingredients To Make Lentil Soup
If you follow my blog, then you know I’m a huge fan of quick and easy recipes that bolster a lot of nutrition. This recipe is another example of that. Soups and stews, in general, are great because you can get a wide variety of nutrients in just one pot. Not only does that make for an easy cleanup, they are easy to store and reheat for a quick meal during the week. If you have a busy family like me, that’s a win for everyone!
Here’s what you need to make this hearty lentil soup.
The huge benefit to using dried lentils instead of dried beans is that they don’t need to soak. You simply open the package, pour the lentils into a colander, rinse then cook. I do recommend sifting through them and discarding any loose skins or discolored pieces. But even if you don’t, your soup will turn out! This recipe calls for 2 cups of dried lentils.
Adding broth adds lots of flavor. I use vegetable broth for this recipe but you can use chicken broth if you prefer. You could also substitute water and bouillon, but that adds an extra step. It’s easier to open a box of broth and pour it into your pot. If you are watching your sodium intake, I recommend using a reduced sodium broth.
You’ll need one medium sized onion for this recipe. I dice it into small pieces so that it blends into the soup well. If my kids bite into a large chunk of onion, they won’t bother having another taste. It’s a personal preference, though.
I rarely use fresh garlic anymore. The minced garlic you can buy in a jar works just fine for most recipes, this one included. It has a milder flavor so you have to use about a bit more than if you use fresh cloves.
Oil is used to sauté the onions and carrots before adding the other ingredients. I use olive oil a lot in my house because I love the flavor and it’s one of the few cooking oils that offers some health benefits. Because the oil is heated, you won’t necessarily notice the full flavor, so you can save the full-bodied varieties to drizzle on cold salads or to make a dipping oil.
Adding a can of diced tomatoes not only boosts the nutrient content, it also gives texture to lentil soup. I use one can and include the liquid. You can also use stewed tomatoes, or if you are watching your sodium intake, dice a fresh tomato and add it to the pot.
I absolutely love adding spinach to soups and stews. Like the tomatoes, it adds texture, boosts the fiber content and adds loads of extra nutrients. It also gives this soup some color, since the brown color of lentil soup on its own isn’t exactly photo worthy.
Seasonings And Spices
Lentils are very bland and mild in flavor so adding a seasoning blend is a must. I use a blend of ground cumin, thyme, pepper and paprika to add warmth and a hint of sweetness.
How To Make Lentil Soup
Start by peeling and dicing one onion and one carrot. I dice both the onion and carrot in small pieces but you can use large pieces of carrot if you prefer. The day I took photos of this recipe I didn’t have any whole carrots so I diced 18 baby carrots and used those instead.
Pour 2 cups of dried lentil into a colander and rinse under cool water. Sift through them as you are rinsing and remove any discolored lentils. Set them aside to drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion then sauté until they become soft, ~5 minutes. Next, add the garlic, pepper, cumin, paprika and thyme. Stir the spices with the onion and carrot to allow the flavors to blend. After ~1 minute, add the broth, diced tomatoes with liquid and lentils. Stir to combine and allow it to cook until it comes to a soft boil. Cover then reduce the heat. Allow the soup to simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid starts to thicken, ~30 minutes.
Once the lentils are soft and the liquid starts to thicken, stir in the chopped spinach. Put the lid back on and allow the soup to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Serve immediately with some crusty bread or a few whole grain crackers.
This hearty lentil soup is great reheated, so store the leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and have it as a nutritious lunch later in the week. be sure to save the leftovers. You can also make a pot in advance so you have dinner ready to go for a busy evening. Lentil soup will remain good for ~5 days. You can also freeze it for a future meal.
Calories And Nutrition Facts For Lentil Soup
One and 1/3 cup of this hearty lentil soup provides 320 calories, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of fiber, 18 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol and 650 milligrams of sodium. It also provides 15% of the daily value for potassium, 8% of the daily value for calcium and 7% of the daily value for iron.
Hearty Lentil Soup
- 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 5 cups spinach, chopped
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 large carrot (or ~18 baby carrots), diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- Peel and dice 1 large carrot and 1 medium onion.
- Place 2 cups dried lentils in a strainer then rinse under cool water. Sift through them as you are rinsing and remove any discolored lentils. Set aside to drain.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion and sauté until they become soft, ~5 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, cumin, paprika and thyme. Stir to combine then cook ~1 minute to allow the flavors to blend.
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes with liquid and the lentils. Stir to combine and bring to a soft boil. Cover then reduce the heat. Allow the soup to simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid starts to thicken, ~30 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped spinach and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Serve immediately, or transfer to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator. Lentil soup will remain good for ~5 days. You can also freeze it for a future meal
- Recipe Makes: 8 cups
- Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups
- Servings Per Recipes: 6
- Nutrition Facts (per 1.33 cup serving): 320 calories, 52 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 18 g protein, 5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 650 mg sodium, 15% DV for potassium, 8% DV for calcium, 7% DV for iron.
- Meal Planning Servings: 3.5 CHO + 2.5 PRO + 1 FAT
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