Best lentil soup recipe (2024)

by Debbie Chapman

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Do your kids love soup? Leah is a crazy picky eater, but the one thing she will always eat is soup, and thank goodness, because it’s one of the healthiest things she could choose.

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My mom came up with the best lentil soup recipe and it’s one of my all time favourites. It’s loaded with veggies and perfect for a cold winter day… or in my case, perfect when I feel like our family hasn’t been eating healthy and we need a little nutrient boost!

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One of my most favourite things about making soup is that it is next to impossible to mess it up, so if you want to season it differently for your tastes or change the amounts, it will probably still taste great!


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 900mL box of reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 900mL water (I just refill the chicken broth box again and pour it into the soup)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (bonus if you buy diced tomatoes with herbs and spices… in this case you can leave out the italian herbs listed below)
  • 7 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

The short instructions are: saute the onions and garlic, add all the ingredients and simmer for 1.5 hours.

Here is the longer description with pictures:

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Saute the onion and garlic in a little bit of oil. Add the chicken broth and the water. Add the can of tomatoes.

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Add the lentils and the barley.

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Add the bay leaves, Italian seasoning and thyme.

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Chop the celery and and add it to the soup.

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Chop the carrots and add them to the soup.

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The soup will look something like the picture above. Mmmm….

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Cover the soup, bring it to a boil and simmer for about 1.5 hours or until the lentils are soft.

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It’s a super hearty soup that I make several times a month in the winter. I love to make a pot on Sunday and then have it for lunches during the week.

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I threw some lentil soup into the baby bullet and my 9 month old loved it too. It feeds everyone in our little family!

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Best lentil soup recipe (21)

About Debbie Chapman, the Author of this Post

I'm Debbie Chapman, founder of One Little Project and author of the book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids. I love creating fun and easy crafts and cooking up delicious recipes for my husband and 3 kids.

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Filed Under: Recipes, SoupTagged With: Early Post, soup

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  1. Best lentil soup recipe (22)Linda says

    I made this lentil soup last week. I made some changes to it. I used brown rice instead of the barley. Did not use the seasonings it called for. Instead I kicked it up a notch. I used red curry powder, ground turmeric, ground cumin and smoked paprika, just add to your liking and then I added fresh baby spinach. And it was so delicious!! My husband really liked it as well. I used the frozen Birds Eye brown rice put it in the microwave for 4 minutes added to the soup. I did have to add more chicken broth. I love the red lentils. Served the soup with garlic bread and it was the bomb!! Will be making it again. Next time I will add some Italian sausage.


  2. Best lentil soup recipe (23)Delina Durtschi says

    Thank-you for a killer soup recipe!! This is the second time I’ve made it and I love it. My husband shudders at the thought of lentils, but he couldn’t even tell that they were there. I love the red color they give to the soup as well as the extra nutrition. Normally I eat very little meat, but I add just a smidge of Italian sausage and it heightened the flavor of the whole pot. This is now one of my favorite soup recipes. Thanks again.


  3. Best lentil soup recipe (24)Nikki says

    This has become the basis for a go-to meal of mine! I saute some crumbled spicy italian sausage after the onion, and I double up on both the barley and lentils for a more substantial stew-like soup. And if I have time, I’ll make the chicken stock from scratch. Delicious!


Best lentil soup recipe (2024)


How do you make Jamie Oliver lentil soup? ›

Sauté the garlic, chilli and coriander stalks for a minute, until lightly golden. Add the red lentils to the pan. Stir to coat, then pour in the hot stock and coconut milk. Turn up the heat, gently bring it to the boil, then let it come to a simmer.

What can you add to lentils to make them taste better? ›

You can also add salt, aromatics like a halved onion, herbs, and spices to the pot before the lentils and the water, like beans, or wait until they're done cooking to flavor them.

Why does my lentil soup taste bland? ›

Why does my lentil soup taste bland? Lentils have a relatively mild taste and take well to seasonings. To avoid a bland lentil soup, use a flavorful broth—whether that's homemade or store-bought chicken or vegetable broth. The other key is building flavor.

Is lentil soup really good for you? ›

Studies suggest that regularly eating lentils promotes good health and reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer, including breast cancer. The plant-based compounds (polyphenols) in lentils may have especially powerful effects.

Do I need to rinse lentils for soup? ›

Rinsing lentils will allow you to get rid of any accumulated dust, dirt, small rocks, twigs and possibly bugs that have come along for the ride: you don't want any of that in your food!

Do you have to pre soak lentils for soup? ›

The other good news: Lentils don't need to soak as beans do (though you do need to sort and rinse them before cooking). Different types of lentils cook in different amounts of time. Red lentils are the fastest cooking and they dissolve as they cook and make for a smooth soup.

How do you fix bland lentil soup? ›

Since lentils are starchy, earthy in flavor, and can be on the bland side, there are many ways to make them flavorful, including by adding them into soup. When other ingredients are introduced that complement lentils like onions, garlic, spices, and lemon, the taste is out of this world.

Why do I feel so good after eating lentils? ›

Lentils are rich in fibre, folate and potassium making them a great choice for the heart and for managing blood pressure and cholesterol. They are also a source of energising iron and vitamin B1 which helps maintain a steady heartbeat.

What pairs well with lentils? ›

Here are some good food combinations with lentils:
  • Lentils and Rice: Lentils and rice make a classic and satisfying combination. ...
  • Lentils and Vegetables: Lentils pair well with a wide range of vegetables. ...
  • Lentils and Tomatoes: Tomatoes complement lentils beautifully and enhance their flavors.
Jul 12, 2023

Why does my stomach hurt after eating lentil soup? ›

Another reason that lentils are known for causing gas and bloating is because they are high in what's called raffinose. Raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFO) are known to cause stomach discomfort and bloating because the human body lacks the enzyme required to break them down within the digestive tract.

What not to put in soup? ›

The Worst Things to Put in Your Soup
  1. By Sara Butler. If there's one good thing about fall and winter, it's soup. ...
  2. Heavy Cream. Heavy cream creates an inviting texture for soups but that's where its positive contributions end. ...
  3. Juice. ...
  4. Turkey Bacon. ...
  5. Cheese. ...
  6. Croutons.

How can I deepen my soup flavor? ›

Dried herbs and seasonings: homemade seasoned salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and dried bay leaves lend flavor to the soup.

Which color lentil is healthiest? ›

Black Lentils (Beluga lentils)

Best of all, black lentils are the most nutritious variety of lentils, boasting the highest amount of protein, plus high levels of calcium, potassium, and iron.

Are lentils a carb or protein? ›

Lentils are high in fibre, and complex carbohydrates, while low in fat and calories. Their high protein content makes lentils a perfect option for those looking to boost their protein intake. They are naturally gluten-free, making them a delicious staple in a gluten-free kitchen.

Is lentil soup protein or carb? ›

Lentils are a good source of both carbohydrates and protein. They are a member of the legume family and are a great source of plant-based protein.

How do you thicken homemade lentil soup? ›

You can also use flour or cornflour to thicken a soup. Put a tablespoon of either into a small bowl and stir in 2-3 tbsp of the soup until you have a smooth mixture. Stir this back into the soup and bring it to a simmer.

What is the white foam on lentil soup? ›

That means the foam will typically appear when making meat-based broths and, to a lesser degree, soups made from high-protein vegetables such as chickpeas and lentils. When those coagulated proteins cluster together, they can create air pockets, which is what causes the “sudsy bubbles,” says Trout.

What is the difference between dal and lentil soup? ›

“Dal” has a double meaning: It is both the word for lentils and beans and the term for a thick purée or soup made from lentils. Lentil dal is essentially just a lentil soup. However, to say dal is simple also cuts its significance of flavor, of history, and importance at the South Asian table.

Why do lentils need to be soaked before cooking? ›

Soaking naturally deactivates the harmful compounds and activates all the goodness of the seed and increases its nutritional value manifold. The process of soaking removes the gas-causing elements from the lentils. While legumes contain complex oligosaccharides, a type of complex sugar responsible for bloating and gas.


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