1-Pot Everyday Lentil Soup

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Two bowls of homemade vegetable-packed lentil soup

Everyone needs a good lentil soup in their back pocket for days when you don’t really feel like cooking but want something nourishing on the table fast.

This is my go-to version, which happens to require just 10 (basic) ingredients, 1 pot, and a little more than 30 minutes to prepare. Shall we?

Wood platter with potatoes, rosemary, lentils, celery, broth, kale, carrots, and shallots

The base for this lovely, everyday soup starts with hearty vegetables for plenty of plant-based fiber and flavor.

I went with carrots, celery, kale, and potatoes. Garlic and onion are optional (they seem to aggravate some people’s digestion, so I’ve left them as optional in this recipe). And in my opinion, the real flavor magic happens when you add your own Homemade Vegetable Stock (so rich, flavorful, and such a good use of vegetable scraps leftover from the week).

Stirring a big pot of our easy lentil soup recipe

Of course, you can’t have lentil soup without the lentils! I went with green lentils, but you could also sub other varieties if you’d like (just adjust cooking time accordingly). And if you’re not a lentil fan, you could always sub cooked beans, such as white beans or chickpeas – both would be lovely here.

Lentil Soup FAQs

Can you use dried herbs?

Yes! I always roughly double the amount with fresh vs dried. So if it’s 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, add only half that in dry (1 1/2 tsp). Dry herbs can be more potent because they are concentrated. But really, with herbs add as much as you want flavor!

Does adding salt to lentils before cooking prevent them from softening?

In our experience, adding salt to lentils before cooking doesn’t cause a problem. If your lentils have not softened, it is more likely that they are not as fresh and need to be cooked longer.

What else can I add to lentil soup?

This recipe is very versatile. You can try adding tomatoes, switching out the greens for spinach (fresh or frozen), adding your favorite herbs/spices, or adding lemon at the end for a little zing.

Can you make lentil soup in a slow cooker? 

Though I haven’t tried it, I think it would work! I would suggest sautéing the veggies on high, then adding everything liquid and dry (lentils and broth, etc) and putting it on low all day. Add greens in the last 10 minutes!

Can you make lentil soup in an Instant Pot?

I haven’t tried this in an Instant Pot, but some of our readers have done so with success. They have found that it speeds up the process of cooking the lentils.

Bowls of our Everyday Lentil Soup recipe garnished with sprigs of fresh thyme

I hope you all LOVE this easy, everyday lentil soup. It’s:

Hearty
Flavorful
Vegetable-packed
Fiber- + Protein-rich
Super healthy
Easy
Versatile
& Seriously delicious

This is my go-to meal when the weather gets cold and I want a no-fuss meal on the table fast. It reheats beautifully, which makes it perfect for making ahead and packing for lunches throughout the week.

Bonus? One serving has nearly 19 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber!

What to Serve with Lentil Soup

It pairs beautifully with a rustic bread – such as sourdough toast or my Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls. It would also go well with white or brown rice, cauliflower rice, or Garlic & Herb Flatbread.

Or for more greens, try pairing with a hearty kale salad or simple green salad.

More Easy Soup Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Overhead shot of two bowls of Everyday Lentil Soup with fresh herbs

1-Pot Everyday Lentil Soup

An easy, everyday recipe for lentil soup with potatoes, carrots, kale, and simple herbs and seasonings. The perfect plant-based main or side that requires just 10 ingredients, 1 pot, and about 30 minutes to make.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowls of Everyday Vegan Lentil Soup beside a tray of vegetables
4.85 from 252 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Course Entree, Side, Soup
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5 Days

Ingredients

SOUP

  • 2 Tbsp water (or sub oil of choice // such as avocado or coconut)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (or sub 2 Tbsp garlic-infused oil*)
  • 2 small shallots (optional // or 1/2 white onion as recipe is written // diced)
  • 4 large carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 4 stalks celery (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (divided // plus more to taste)
  • 3 cups yellow or red baby potatoes (roughly chopped into bite-size pieces*)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (plus more as needed)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme (I used a bit of both)
  • 1 cup uncooked green or brown lentils (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cups chopped sturdy greens (such as kale or collard greens)

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add water (or oil), garlic, shallots/onion (optional), carrots, and celery. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and stir.
  • Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until slightly tender and golden brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic (turn heat down if it’s cooking too quickly.)
  • Add potatoes and season with a bit more salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes more.
  • Add vegetable broth and rosemary or thyme and increase heat to medium high. Bring to a rolling simmer. Then add lentils and stir. Once simmering again, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are tender.
  • Add your greens, stir, and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes more to wilt. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt and pepper for overall flavor, vegetable broth if it’s become too thick, or herbs for earthy flavor.
  • Enjoy as is or serve with rice, cauliflower rice, or a side of flatbread or rolls (links above). I love garnishing mine with a little fresh parsley for a pop of color and freshness (optional).
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop and add more vegetable broth to rehydrate as needed.

Video

Notes

*If subbing garlic-infused oil, add in the last few minutes of cooking.
*In place of potatoes, you can also sub butternut squash, sweet potato, or other squash or root vegetable of choice.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with homemade broth and without oil or additional garnishes or sides.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 359 Carbohydrates: 68.7 g Protein: 18.6 g Fat: 2.7 g Saturated Fat: 0.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 764 mg Potassium: 1538 mg Fiber: 13.6 g Sugar: 11 g Vitamin A: 15500 IU Vitamin C: 48.7 mg Calcium: 130 mg Iron: 5.4 mg

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  1. Anne-Marie McMahon says

    I made this using the Instant Pot as a slow cooker. I sauteed the veggies first in the Instant Pot, added the rest and set it on Slow Cook (“Less” for low temp) for 9 hours. The lentils were still slightly undercooked after that time, so I did end up changing the setting, and using the pressure cooking feature for 2 minutes, which was enough to finish the cooking of the lentils. It might help with the slow cook method to start with boiling broth, cook for longer on low, or cook on high for fewer hours. The soup itself was a fairly standard lentil soup and didn’t really stand out for me in any way – good and healthy but rather unexciting as lentil soup usually is.

  2. Sara says

    Excellent as usual for recipes from this site!
    I doubled and used (6qt) Instant Pot. I cooked for 10 min (natural release) but next time I will used 8 minutes or less.

  3. S says

    Hi!
    Help, I am a complete novice, and I tried this recipe twice, but both times, my lentils sprouted while cooking! I never made lentils before so, either I am cursed or I am doing something very wrong?? Yikes! Any ideas why this happened?
    Thanks,
    S

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi S, do you mean your lentils split? Some varieties of lentils break up easily in soups. For lentils to sprout they would need to sit for long periods of time, typically at room temperature. Or did you possibly by pre-sprouted lentils? Either way, split and/or sprouted lentils are perfectly safe to eat!

      • S says

        Hey! No they totally sprouted, like grew little white tails! It was bagged Goya lentils that I had rinsed and drained when I measured for recipe? Nobody else i know who cooks lentils seems to know what or why?😂

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          So strange! We haven’t heard of them sprouting that quickly. Maybe try skipping the rinsing and draining?

  4. AO says

    Love this recipe! It’s hard to find lentil recipes that are not curries so this recipe is much appreciated. I followed the recipe except used dried herbs and vegetable broth made from better than bouillon with tomato paste and nutritional yeast added. I thought it turned out very good, thank you!

  5. Isabelle says

    Very good soup. I ended up using 8 cups of water instead of the 4 mentioned in the recipe. I will try it again with your vegetable broth recipe instead of the chicken powder broth I had this time. If anyone else only has dehydrated broth on hand, I think a can of cubed tomatoes would really add what was lacking in my version, but also chunks of tomatoes would have been great regardless of which broth you use I think.

  6. Jane says

    I’ve made this 3 times in the past few weeks. My boyfriend and I call it “Night’s Watch Stew” because it feels like something they would eat at the wall on Game of Thrones lol So, tonight we’re having Night’s Watch Stew for dinner! It is sooooooo good. I can’t help but to have two bowls!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love it! We’re so glad you and your boyfriend are enjoying it. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  7. Shela Arnholt says

    I omitted the potatoes and added a bit more carrots and lintels. I used kale. This dish is delicious 😋

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the great review and for sharing your modifications, Shela!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Faith, red lentils will be more prone to getting mushy, but should work if you cook them for less time. Let us know how it goes!

  8. Jennifer Jones says

    Made this tonight! Subbed tj’s cooked lentils & just added them later on in the cooking process. Added extra black pepper at the end. SO GOOD.

  9. Tanya says

    I liked this recipe because it wasn’t a curried lentil soup (I already had lots of curries in the freezer). Followed the recipe except I left out the kale because I didn’t have any. Super simple, and inexpensive to make: just a couple potatoes, carrots, and celery and I love lentils! I used prepared vegetable broth, but added a bit of nutritional yeast and a healthy tablespoon or two of tomato paste to make it more like your broth recipe.
    Freezes well and got jealous glances from coworkers when I brought this to the office. Will definitely make again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it! And those additions sound lovely. Thank you for sharing, Tonya! xo

    • Jay says

      Paired this with the recommended flatbreads and it’s super tasty. Lacked just a touch of depth for me but that could be due to not having time to prepare my own vegetable stock. I added Henderson’s Relish (Sheffield’s version of Worcestershire Sauce) to compensate and thought it was bangin’! :)

  10. Jodie says

    First time making any lentil dish and it was delicious! I used sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes – will defiantly make this again! I used your homemade vegetable broth too (but I had to leave out the tomato due to an allergy)

    • Deb says

      I love this soup; I love it so much I’ve made it 3 times in the last couple of weeks. I have never followed the recipe exactly. I’ve never had shallots on hand, so I used half an onion, no fresh herbs, so I used dried. I usually use kale for the greens, but I usually and the whole bunch instead of 2 cups. I have also used red veined sorrel and watercress for the greens. I omit the salt, and just throw all the ingredients in the instant pot for 20? minutes, then add the greens and replace the lid for 5 or so minutes. It’s always delicious, and I’m always sad when it’s all gone.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Amazing! We’re so glad you enjoy it, Deb! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

      • Sherwin says

        It’s yummy, but I don’t know of any lentils that cook from dry in 15-20 minutes. Ensuring the lentils did get cooked caused the potatoes, especially, to overcook. Am I missing something in the recipe?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Sherwin, the cook time for lentils can vary depending on their age, whether you have hard water, and other factors. You could try cutting the potatoes larger for next time. Hope that helps!

  11. Ellie says

    This recipe is extremely easy to make, delicious and filling. I added around 8 cloves of garlic instead of 2, and it was just right for me. My husband and I find 6 servings to be really filling and it is just as delicious (if not more) of the 3rd day as it is the 1st. Everyone should try this, especially in the colder months! It also gives you good energy afterwards.

  12. Sally says

    I am a die-hard soup fan and making a pot that is tasty and nutritious is always my goal when I try something new. This soup is just the ticket. Since I didn’t use the homemade vegetable broth I took a peek at the recipe and then either added ingredients not already in the soup (tomato paste & nutritional yeast) and increased others (garlic, S&P). Other than that I added extra onions, and to make this the perfect meal I made your “Easiest Whole Grain Seeded Bread” that I like to toast and then cut into chunks to throw in most soups…could eat this for lunch & dinner every day of the week!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yumm, sounds perfect! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Sally!

  13. Hannah says

    This is like a classic veg soup but with more protein because of the lentils – so yummy! I didn’t have any kale but it still tasted flavourful and I subbed the dry lentils for tinned lentils for convenience and it was fine. Great, staple soup recipe that you can alter to suit your own taste if you wanted to :)

  14. Caitlin says

    I absolutely love this recipe! I’ve made it twice now- the second time I made it I froze half to take on a camping trip and it was so nice to have around the campfire. I replaced the celery with fresh green beans, upped the black pepper, rosemary and thyme (I used dried herbs), and used celery salt instead of the sea salt. I found that it takes closer to 5-6 cups of liquid. It’s now my go-to soup recipe for cold days- thanks so much!

  15. Lily says

    So good! A hug hit with the family! I doubled the recipe and followed everything to the letter except for adding the juice of half a lemon. Really brightened up the flavor. This will be going into our meal rotation. Thank you!

  16. Lindsy says

    It was so good! Do I leave the figs in there or break it up? Is it Just there to add flavor? Was a bit confused. Thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Lindsy! We’re not sure what you mean by figs? Are you referring to the thyme stems? You can remove them.

  17. Brie says

    I love this soup! I made it when I was pregnant and froze it so that my partner and I would have home cooked meals at hand when baby arrived. It was delicious and comforting postpartum. Great flavors.

  18. Mari C Schimmer says

    Yum! So easy, warm, comforting and delicious! I made this for my partner who is returning from a rainy weekend camping with Girl Scouts. We didn’t have fresh herbs on hand so I used a heaping half-teaspoon each of rosemary and thyme. I also needed an extra 2 cups of broth for a total of six. We served with grilled rosemary bread and an episode of the Great British Baking Show. Thank you for another delicious recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo – sounds like the perfect combo! And a delicious meal after a rainy camping trip. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Mari!

  19. Maddie says

    Another perfect recipe from MB! This was so delicious – hearty, filling, and so healthy. We made some garlic bread to serve with it, but it would be equally as delicious on its own! I can’t wait for it to be colder outside to enjoy this even more.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cherie! We haven’t tried it ourselves but other readers have had success by following the recipe normally (use the sauté function on the instant pot) and then pressure cooking for 15 minutes after adding the lentils. Let us know how it goes!

  20. Amy says

    I made this with the suggested broth recipe. I love that this recipe is mostly veg with some lentils. Even then, I am going to make this soup without lentils this weekend. My gut just can’t handle them anymore. But I love the broth and veggies so I’ll make a veggie soup that I can add chicken to. I had to add chicken broth to the soup, unfortunately, because it cooked down too much as the lentils cooked. I don’t anticipate that happening when I make it next because I’m going to increase the amount of water in the broth and I won’t be adding lentils, so it won’t need to cook as long. The cook time on this recipe of 20 minutes was not long enough for the lentils. Thank you for such a yummy and healthy recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing, Amy! Some people find pressure cooked (or canned) lentils easier to digest! You can add them later in the cooking process. Not sure if that will help you, but thought we would offer the suggestion! xo

  21. Bethany says

    My partner and I love this soup – it’s a regular in our rotation in the cooler months! It’s simple but filling and yummy. We find we need an additional 2 cups of broth for a total of 6 cups, and we also add more kale than the recipe calls for. We are also careful to bring it to a boil and then keep it at a simmer while it cooks, or the lentils take much longer to cook. Thank you for easy, delicious recipes!

  22. Michaela VanOmmen says

    This is a new household staple! Fantastic recipe! 5 of us went through 4 quarts in a day! We paired it with sourdough and vegan truffle steak butter.

  23. kim nedz says

    Thanks. I made it today. However it sucked up all the broth because I added Quinoa to it. I should have made the quinoa separately. I omitted the potatoes and substituted them with zucchini. I added other seasonings such as Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, Mrs Dash Table Blend, and Andrew Zimmern Tuscan Sun. I used Pin Himalayan Salt. Taste delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Kim! Quinoa is quite absorbent so cooking it on the side or adding more water should help for next time.

  24. Sam Mackenzie says

    I usually leave my partner to cook soups as I’m newly veggie but they weren’t feeling great so I thought that I would give it a go! I followed your recipe and added a few aditions of my own (herbs,spices and veg) which produced a really wonderful and wholesome dish!! Thank you !

  25. Lauren says

    This soup has been in my weekday rotation for a long time. I make it probably a couple times a month or more. Love it! Healthy, nourishing, satisfying, savory and delicious. Thank you, Minimalist Baker!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing!! We’re so glad you enjoy it. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lauren! xo

  26. David tofu says

    Not a bad basis for a soup, but this recipe is extremely bland!

    There are literally no spices at all in this recipe other than pepper, and that alone simply doesn’t cut it. I added paprika, chilli powder, and a lot more pepper and salt than suggested.

    I made the Minimalist Baker stock for this, and found that to be fairly bland as well.

    I batch cooked this to freeze, and found that you will need to prepare a lot more stock than suggested!

    I have gotten a little inspiration form this recipe, but I certainly would not recommend for anybody to follow it to a tee.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi David, sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it. We used herbs (rosemary and thyme) vs. spices in this one. Did you include the tomato paste and nutritional yeast in the stock? Those should add a lot of flavor. Or what veggies did you use for it?

      • David tofu says

        I used more tomato paste and nutritional yeast than the upper amount suggested in the recipe, and more rosemary and thyme as well. I closely followed the recipe for both the stock and the soup, but it was just desperately craving some spices! I was able to fix it in seconds simply by adding some paprika and chilli powder. I wanted to give four stars, because I thoroughly enjoyed it after adding spices but, without that addition, it just didn’t have enough flavour for me.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Thank you for the feedback, David! Glad to hear you were able to modify to taste!

  27. Tiril says

    I made this once before and I loved it, and was thinking of making it again soon! But could I use pre-cooked lentils, and could I add some tomato paste to the soup if I don’t make the vegetable broth from scratch? If so, how much?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tiril, You can use canned, but add them later on so they don’t get mushy. And yes to the tomato paste too – we’d suggest 1-2 Tbsp. Hope that helps!

  28. Cat says

    Absolutely amazing!! I‘m surprised with how flavourful it was, but also not because Dana’s recipes never disappoint. I used a brown onion instead of shallots, lots of frozen spinach, fresh rosemary but dried thyme, veggie stock powder instead of broth, 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon of tamari and an extra 2 cups of water. Interested to know cooking times for instant pot? Xxxx

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad to hear it, Cat! Other readers have suggested 15 minutes high pressure, but we think even less may work. We’d suggest sautéing the garlic, shallots/onion, carrots, and celery in oil or water and then add remaining ingredients, pressure cook on high for at least 10 minutes, and allow a natural release. Hope that helps!

  29. Rio says

    I constantly make this and it never gets old! Super packed with nutrients and fiber!! Also it’s incredibly easy for a college student like me!! Thank you very much for this recipe!! :) So yummy!

  30. Sterling Doll says

    This soup is DELICIOUS! I’m just now getting into the vegan lifestyle so I’m always looking for that familiar taste I’ve come to know.

    I’d like to know why your soup was an orange color? I like colorful food which is why I was attracted to this recipe.

    Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Sterling! Thanks for sharing! We like to use our homemade broth which has tomato paste in it. You can find it linked in the recipe.

  31. Lisa says

    I made this soup in the afternoon, for dinner that night, to help develop the flavors prior to serving it given I had to use a yellow onion instead of the shallots. In the broth, I used sprigs of both fresh rosemary and thyme to simmer. Additionally, I was a 1/4 cup shy of the lentils so I added an extra cup of broth to the soup and then near the end of cooking I tossed in a can of rinsed & drained chickpeas. Lastly, after adding the greens (I used baby spinach since the family doesn’t like sturdy greens) I finished the soup with about 1.5 TBSP of lemon juice and a little more olive oil and S & P. While the soup would have been tastier with the shallot, this did turn out a nice, stew like soup high in plant protein with the addition of the chickpeas.