Delicious Vegan Lentil Soup Recipes for Plant-Based Foodies

If you’re looking for a filling, nutritious, and flavorful meal, vegan lentil soup is a great option. Not only does it satisfy your hunger, but it’s also easy to make and packed with protein and other essential nutrients. Plus, you can customize lentil soup to your liking by adding your favorite vegetables, spices, and herbs. In this article, we’ll share some of the best vegan lentil soup recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just looking to enjoy a meatless meal, these recipes are sure to delight your taste buds and nourish your body.

What are Lentils?

Lentils are a type of edible pulse or seed that comes from the legume family. They are a great source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber with varying colors and sizes. These little legumes have been a staple of vegan and vegetarian cuisine for a long time, and for good reason: they are versatile, nutrient-packed, and easy to work with. Lentils are also affordable and typically sold in most grocery stores, making them a convenient pantry essential. Here is everything you need to know about lentils, including how to cook them and some of the health benefits they provide.

The Different Types of Lentils

While they might look similar, lentils come in different colors and sizes. Here are some of the most common types you might find at the grocery store:

  • Brown Lentils: The most common variety of lentils, brown lentils are ideal for soups, stews, and salads. These lentils have a mild flavor and hold their shape well when cooked.
  • Green Lentils: These lentils have a earthy peppery flavor, which makes them ideal for hearty salads, veggie burgers, and side dishes.
  • Yellow Lentils (or split peas): Yellow lentils are smaller and split, so they cook faster. They are perfect for Indian dals and soups and have a mild, nutty flavor.
  • Red Lentils: These lentils are sweeter than the other varieties, making them a great choice for soups and stews with Middle Eastern flavors. They also cook very quickly and turn mushy when cooked so they are mostly used in purees and Indian dal.
  • Black Lentils (or Beluga Lentils): These lentils resemble caviar beads due to their dark color and small size. They have a rich and earthy flavor and hold their shape well when cooked. They are great for salads and as a garnish for soups.

How to Cook Lentils

One of the reasons why lentils are so popular is their ease of preparation. While the cooking time might differ depending on the type of lentils, the general rule is to use 3 cups of water to 1 cup of lentils. You can choose to soak them overnight to reduce the cooking time, but it isn’t necessary. Follow these steps to cook lentils:

  1. Rinse the lentils in a fine mesh strainer and pick out any debris or stones.
  2. Add three cups of water to every cup of lentils and bring it to a boil.
  3. Lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the lentils are tender but not mushy. This usually takes 20-30 minutes.
  4. Drain off the excess water and set aside until needed.

The Health Benefits of Lentils

While lentils are delicious, they also come with nutritional benefits that are hard to beat. Here are some of the health benefits of lentils:

Benefits Description References
High Protein Content Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein which is important for maintaining and building muscles. Nutrients. 2020 Nov 4;12(11):3345. doi: 10.3390/nu12113345.
Regulates Blood Sugar The fiber found in lentils slow down digestion, which regulates blood sugar and prevents spikes. Foods. 2018 Mar 29;7(4):53. doi: 10.3390/foods7040053.
Healthy Digestion Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and prevents constipation. Nutrients. 2018 Nov 6;10(11):1604. doi: 10.3390/nu10111604.

Overall, lentils are a great plant-based ingredient to add to your meals. They are an affordable pantry staple that’s versatile, packed with nutrition, and easy to cook. The next time you’re in the mood for a warming bowl of soup, or just need a quick and easy protein fix, try one of the many vegan lentil soup recipes available online.

What are the Health Benefits of Lentils?

Lentils are a type of legume that are known for their many health benefits. They are rich in a variety of nutrients, including fiber, protein, iron, folate, potassium, and antioxidants.

High in Fiber

Lentils are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fiber also helps to keep you feeling full longer, which can aid in weight management. In fact, just one cup of cooked lentils provides about 16 grams of fiber, which is more than half of the recommended daily allowance for most adults.

Good Source of Protein

Lentils are also a great source of plant-based protein, making them an excellent alternative for vegetarians and vegans who may not consume animal products. One cup of cooked lentils contains about 18 grams of protein, which is roughly equivalent to the amount found in three ounces of chicken or fish. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, and it also plays a role in maintaining healthy immune function.

Rich in Iron and Folate

Lentils are an excellent source of iron, which is necessary for the production of red blood cells. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. A single cup of cooked lentils can provide as much as 37% of the recommended daily intake of iron for adults. Lentils are also rich in folate, which is important for prenatal health as well as for overall cardiovascular health.

Loaded with Potassium

Lentils are also a great source of potassium, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Potassium works to counteract the effects of sodium and helps to relax the walls of blood vessels, which can help to reduce the risk of hypertension. One cup of cooked lentils contains around 731 milligrams of potassium, which is roughly equivalent to the amount found in a medium-sized banana.

Packed with Antioxidants

Lentils are loaded with antioxidants, which are compounds that protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells throughout the body, and they have been linked to a variety of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Lentils contain a variety of antioxidants, including anthocyanins, quercetin, and kaempferol.

Why Is Lentil Soup a Popular Vegan Dish?

Lentil soup is a popular vegan dish because it is easy to make, filling, savory, and affordable. It is also a great-tasting dish and is rich in proteins, which are essential nutrients for vegans. Lentil soup can be made in various ways, making it a highly versatile dish that can be adapted to different taste preferences and dietary needs.

The Nutritional Benefits of Lentil Soup for Vegans

Vegans often struggle to obtain enough protein in their diets as most plant-based foods lack protein when compared to animal-based foods. However, lentils are a rich source of protein and are a great addition to any vegan diet. One cup of cooked lentils contains about 18 grams of protein, which is almost equivalent to the same amount of protein as found in a three-ounce serving of beef.

In addition to protein, lentils are also a good source of dietary fiber, iron, and folate. One cup of cooked lentils provides about 15 grams of fiber, which is approximately half of the recommended daily intake for adults. The iron and folate found in lentils are essential for good health and can prevent anemia and neural tube defects, respectively.

How to Make the Perfect Vegan Lentil Soup

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 2 celery stalks, diced
    • 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
    • 4 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Directions:
    1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
    2. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for an additional 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
    3. Add the lentils, vegetable broth, cumin, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the lentils are soft.
    4. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, topped with fresh parsley.


Lentil soup is a popular vegan dish that is easy to make, affordable, filling, and nutritious. It is a rich source of protein, fiber, iron, and folate, making it an ideal food for vegans. This dish can be customized with different herbs, spices, and vegetables to suit different palates. The recipe shared above is a great way to make vegan lentil soup at home.

How to Prepare Lentils for Soup?

Lentils are among the easiest legumes to cook and are rich in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Lentil soup is a staple in the vegan diet. Before cooking lentils for soup, they need to be prepared for optimal results. Here’s how to prepare lentils for soup:

Sort and Rinse Lentils:

Lentils might contain small stones, debris, or damaged grains that need to be removed before cooking. Spread them out on a flat surface and sort through the lentils. Then rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove dirt and dust.

Soak Lentils:

Soaking lentils before cooking can help reduce cooking time and increase nutrient absorption. Place them in a pot and cover with cold water by at least one inch. Leave lentils to soak for a minimum of two hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Soaking may vary based on the type and age of lentils. After the lentils soaked, drain and rinse them.

Cook Lentils:

To cook lentils, combine one part of soaked lentils with three parts of water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for the required time or until the lentils are tender. The cooking time varies based on the type and age of lentils and whether they were soaked or not. Brown lentils generally take 20 to 30 minutes to cook, while green lentils can take 45 minutes to an hour.

Add Seasonings and Other Ingredients:

Once the lentils are ready, it’s time to add other ingredients and seasonings to make it more flavorful. For a vegan lentil soup, sauté onions in olive oil first and add garlic, carrots, celery, and bell pepper for more flavor. Add bay leaves, thyme, cumin, smoked paprika, and dried herbs for aroma and flavor. Then add the lentils and enough vegetable broth or water to cover them. Add fresh parsley, chopped tomatoes, and lemon juice for the perfect finish.

Top Vegan Lentil Soup Recipes

As a vegan, finding delicious and satisfying meals can be challenging. However, lentil soup is a fantastic option that is both nutritious and flavorful. Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, making them an excellent addition to any diet. Here are some of the top vegan lentil soup recipes that you can try:

1. Red Lentil Coconut Soup

This creamy and flavorful soup is perfect for a cold day. It’s made with coconut milk, red lentils, and spices like ginger, turmeric, and cumin. The coconut milk adds a creamy and slightly sweet flavor, while the spices give the soup a warm and comforting taste. This recipe is also easy to make and can be ready in under 30 minutes.

2. Moroccan Lentil Soup

This soup is packed with flavor and spices commonly found in Moroccan cuisine. It’s made with red lentils, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and a variety of spices such as cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. The result is a hearty and satisfying bowl of soup that is perfect for a cold day. You can also add some additional toppings like chopped cilantro, chopped parsley, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

3. Mediterranean Lentil Soup

This soup is inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean and is full of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, onions, carrots, and celery. It’s also packed with healthy ingredients like lentils and kale, making it a nutritious and satisfying meal. The soup is flavored with garlic, oregano, and basil, giving it a delicious and fragrant aroma.

4. Spicy Lentil Soup

If you love spicy food, then this lentil soup is for you. It’s made with red lentils, jalapeno peppers, and spices such as cumin, coriander, and chili flakes. The result is a fiery and flavorful bowl of soup that will warm you up from the inside out. This soup is also great for meal prep and can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

5. Creamy Lentil and Mushroom Soup

This soup is rich and decadent thanks to the addition of mushrooms and cashew cream. The lentils and mushrooms give the soup a heartiness, while the cashew cream adds a creamy and slightly sweet flavor. This recipe is also easy to customize, and you can add additional vegetables like kale or spinach to enhance the nutritional value.

These vegan lentil soup recipes are not only healthy but also delicious. They are easy to make and perfect for meal prep, so you can enjoy a hearty and satisfying bowl of soup anytime you want. Try out these recipes, and you’ll be sure to find your new favorite lentil soup.

FAQs about Vegan Lentil Soup Recipes

For vegans and those who want to take on a healthier lifestyle, lentils are a must-have ingredient in the kitchen. They are loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals essential for the body. One popular way to cook them is by making lentil soup. If you’re new to vegan cooking or just want to learn more about lentils, here are some frequently asked questions about vegan lentil soup recipes.

Can I use canned lentils for soup?

Yes, you can use canned lentils for soup if you don’t want to prepare them from scratch. Simply drain the liquid from the can and rinse the lentils before adding them to your soup recipe. Some brands may have added salt or other ingredients, so make sure to read the label carefully and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Can I skip the soaking process when cooking lentils for soup?

Yes, you can skip the soaking process if you’re short on time or don’t like to soak your lentils. However, it’s best to soak lentils overnight or at least for a few hours to reduce their cooking time, aid digestion and make them easier to digest. If you decide to skip the soaking, just be prepared for a longer cooking time and make sure to add enough water or broth to prevent the lentils from drying out.

How can I make lentil soup creamier?

You can make lentil soup creamier by using a blender or immersion blender to puree some of the cooked lentils before adding them back to the soup. This will create a thicker, creamier texture without the need for dairy products. Another option is to add coconut milk or cashew cream to the soup, or use potato or cauliflower to thicken it naturally.

How can I store lentil soup?

To store lentil soup, let it cool down to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. When reheating, add enough water or broth to thin out the soup as it tends to thicken as it sits.

Can I freeze lentil soup?

  • Yes, you can freeze lentil soup for up to 3 months.
  • Let the soup cool down to room temperature before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. Leave some room at the top of the container as the soup will expand as it freezes.
  • To thaw the soup, transfer it to the refrigerator overnight or place the container in a bowl of cold water to speed up the process. Do not microwave or heat the soup directly from frozen as it may cause the container to break or the soup to splatter.
  • When reheating, add enough water or broth to thin out the soup as it tends to thicken as it sits.

That’s a Wrap!

Thanks for stopping by and reading about our favorite vegan lentil soup recipes! We hope you try them out for yourself and enjoy the delicious flavors. Make sure to come back soon for more tasty vegan food ideas and inspiration. Until next time!

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