Ahh, simplicity. This is the time of year – right after the holidays – when most of us really, really crave it. I also really, really crave this Simple Lentil Vegetable Soup. Plus, it has “simple” right in the name. Perfect!
Every once in awhile, I find a recipe that is just, somehow, fun to make. I don’t know why it is, but this recipe does that for me. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the standard mirepoix, the smell of the sauteing garlic, the pretty French green lentils that skew almost to blue in the right light. Maybe it’s just the therapeutic nature of making a basic, nurturing soup. I don’t know – I just know I love making this soup.
The inspiration comes from the one and only Ina Garten’s Lentil Vegetable Soup. While the Barefoot Contessa herself has created a fine soup, I also find that it can be a bit more labor intensive than I like – plus, it makes a loooooot of soup. Her recipe also calls for chicken stock and Parmesan cheese, neither of which I eat these days.
So I set out to make a simpler, smaller batch, vegan version, and this is the result.
Simple and simply tasty.
Simple Lentil Vegetable Soup
- 1 cup French green lentils*
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for serving, if desired)
- 1 large yellow onion (diced)
- 2 medium carrots (diced) (about 1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped) (about 3/4 cup)
- 4 medium cloves garlic (minced) (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Chopped parsley (chopped scallions, or snipped chives for topping, if desired (I usually add one of these, whatever I have on hand, for a bit of color))
- Rinse lentils. Place in a heat-proof bowl and pour boiling water over the top. Let sit 20 minutes.
- While the lentils soak, chop and saute the vegetables. To saute, set a large soup pot over medium heat.
- When hot, add the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring
- frequently, for one minute.
- Add the vegetable broth and the tomato paste. Drain the lentils, discarding the soaking water, and add them to the pot. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the red wine vinegar. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if
- Scoop into bowls and serve. If you like, drizzle with a little more olive oil and an optional topping if desired.
Perfect soup for winters mid-week meal. I think the hubby can handle this with ease and he loves lentils!
we love lentils – this looks perfect!
I made a nice big pot of this today for the 3rd time since you posted the recipe.
I added some beef in small cubes and a little barley.
A meal in a bowl,and so simple.
Love this soup! I accidentally forgot to add the red wine vinegar and it is STILL really good!
So glad you like it! 🙂
I made this last night, and I’m enjoying a bowl for lunch today. I was hesitant about adding the red wine vinegar, but tasted before I added it and decided it did need a little acid. It really rounded out the flavor of this soup and gave it a unique taste! Thank you for an easy, hardy, delicious soup with very clear instructions. I like that there aren’t a million ingredients (saves $ and time) and that it’s a smaller batch recipe for my family of 3 (again, a $ savings for me, as well as not having to deal with tons of leftovers). Highly recommended. Thank you!
This is absolutely delicious! Used what I had on hand… leeks instead of onion, and a mix of carrots and parsnips. I used green lentils and skipped the soaking them in the boiling water. Perfect!
Just made this tonight for dinner! LOVED IT! Definitely will be making again and again!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
So glad you liked it! Thanks Anna!
Hi there, I am wondering if i can make this recipe in a slow cooker? Thank you.
Hi Lidya, you should be able to do that! I’d start with about half the broth as slow cookers don’t need as much liquid but keep an eye on it and add more if needed. If you try it please report back!
I’ve made this soup dozens of times. And my adult daughters now make it for their families. So nutritious and flavorful. I just add a Parmesan cheese rind if I have one.