Simple and nutritious, this green lentil soup is filled with Mediterranean flavours and a hint of smoked paprika to finish it off.
Filled with Mediterranean flavours this green lentil soup recipe is hearty and delicious. Cooked in a light tomato base, I have added some carrots, celery, and spinach. A hint of smoked paprika adds a rich, smoky depth to the soup, reminiscent of the flavour of smoked meats like ham or bacon.
This a nutritious budget meal that takes only 10 minutes to prepare. Once all the ingredients are in the pan, you can kick back, relax, and leave the soup to simmer.
For this recipe, I am using green lentils because they hold their shape well during cooking, providing a nice texture. You can swap for brown lentils, keeping in mind that you might need to adjust the cooking time. The lentils should be cooked but still hold their shape.
You can serve this green lentil soup on its own or with a side of salad and/or some crusty bread.
Table of contents
- Is lentil soup good for you?
- My secret weapon: smoked paprika
- Can I make this green lentil soup in advance?
- How to customise this recipe?
- How to make this lentil soup
- Watch how to make this green lentil soup
- 3 must-try soup recipes
Is lentil soup good for you?
Low in fat and rich in fibre, lentil soup is considered to be a very healthy meal. Lentils are highly nutritious, and packed with plant-based protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Lentils are a good source of essential nutrients, including iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and C.
Lentils are not only good for you, but like other pulses, they are also good for the planet. Lentils have lower carbon and water footprints than animal protein sources. The cultivation of lentils benefits soil quality by fixing nitrogen and protecting soil microbes, reducing the need for synthetic fertilisers.
My secret weapon: smoked paprika
I always have a jar of smoked paprika in my spice drawer. It is a fantastic flavour enhancer for vegan and vegetarian dishes, adding depth, smokiness, and complexity without the need for meat.
It pairs well with lentils, beans, and chickpeas, adding a smoky richness to meat-free dishes like chillis, soups, stews, or burgers. I also like to use it with roasted or grilled vegetables, incorporate it into pilafs or grain salads, as well as include it in marinades for tofu or tempeh. It is also delicious with cheese and eggs.
Can I make this green lentil soup in advance?
Yes, this green lentil soup can be made in advance. Once cooked, store the cooled soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.
It can also be frozen and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
How to customise this recipe?
This green lentil soup recipe can be customised in several ways. As mentioned above, you can use brown lentils instead of green lentils. French green lentils (known as Puy lentils) are also suitable. Cooking times may vary, and some lentils may break down more easily than others. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
Avoid using red lentils for this recipe, as they tend to break down during cooking resulting in a much thicker consistency.
You can also play around with the vegetables depending on what you have available. You can swap the spinach for any other leafy green like kale, Swiss chard, collard/spring greens etc…
You can also stir in some leftover cooked grains like rice, barley or quinoa to make the soup even heartier.
How to make this lentil soup
List of ingredients
To make this recipe you will need some green lentils, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and baby spinach. The tomato base is made with canned chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable stock, and water. You will also need some olive oil, Italian seasonings, smoked paprika, lemon, salt, pepper, and some granulated sugar.
The sugar is optional but I often use some to balance out the acidity of the canned tomatoes.
To enhance this soup flavour, make sure to use the best quality canned tomato and vegetable stock.
Step 1: Fry the onion, celery, and carrot
To give this soup a flavoursome base, I start with a classic mirepoix mixture of onion, celery, and carrot. Don’t be intimidated by the name, mirepoix is really straightforward to make.
Simply heat some vegetable oil in a large casserole pot over medium heat. Fry the onion, celery, and carrot until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add the garlic
Add the garlic and fry together for a minute.
Step 3: Add the lentils and other ingredients
Add the lentils, stock, water, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasonings, and smoked paprika.
Step 4: Simmer the soup
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until the lentils are cooked, about 30 to 35 minutes (the lentils should be soft but still hold their shape).
Step 5: Stir in the spinach
Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.
Step 6: Season
Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and if needed, some sugar to help balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
Step 7: Serve this green lentil soup
Serve this green lentil soup on its own or with your favourite crusty bread and/or a side salad.
Watch how to make this green lentil soup
I hope you enjoy this green lentil soup recipe as much as we do. If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!
Green Lentil Soup
Disclaimer: the equipment list above includes affiliate links to products I use and like.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 125 g onion, finely chopped
- 110 g celery stick, finely sliced
- 140 g carrots, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 190 g green lentils
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 500 ml water
- 800 g canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp Italian seasonings
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 generous handfuls of baby spinach
- juice of 1 lemon, to taste
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar (optional), to taste
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large casserole pot over medium heat. Fry the onion, celery, and carrot until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.3 Tbsp olive oil, 125 g onion, finely chopped, 110 g celery stick, finely sliced, 140 g carrots, finely diced
- Add the garlic and fry together for a minute.4 garlic cloves, grated
- Add the lentils, stock, water, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasonings, and smoked paprika.190 g green lentils, 1 litre vegetable stock, 500 ml water, 800 g canned chopped tomatoes, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp Italian seasonings, 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until the lentils are cooked, about 30 to 35 minutes (the lentils should be soft but still hold their shape).
- Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.2 generous handfuls of baby spinach
- Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and some sugar to help balance the acidity of the tomatoes.juice of 1 lemon, to taste, salt & pepper, to taste, 1 Tbsp granulated sugar (optional), to taste
- Serve with your favourite crusty bread and/or a side salad.
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