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CREAMY BROCCOLI + RED LENTIL SOUP

Creamy Broccoli and Red Lentil Soup is a thick and hearty, nourishing vegan soup made with only 7 ingredients!  Plus, it’s gluten-free, low-fat with an option to be oil-free and ready in about 30 minutes!

top down view of bowl of creamy broccoli red lentil soup with spoon and items surrounding.

With a ton of broccoli I had on hand that needed to be used up, I thought this would be a perfect time to add this vegan creamy broccoli & red lentil soup to the recipe collection.

Seeing that my last soup, Butternut Squash + Red Lentil Soup, was so good with the addition of lentils, I decided to add them to this soup as well!

Lentils add bulk, heartiness and boost the nutritional profile by adding protein, fiber and good carbohydrates. They cook fast too, so you can pull this recipe together in about 30 minutes from start to finish.

It’s also a one-pot meal which I love – less dishes is always a plus!

top down view of ingredients used to make creamy vegan broccoli red lentil soup recipe.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Most of the ingredients needed for this recipe may already be in your kitchen!

  • Broccoli – Fresh or frozen will both work!
  • Red Lentils – This recipe is best with red lentils, but if you must use another type, brown will, just know it will change the color.
  • Aromatics – onion and garlic
  • Red Pepper Flakes – for a little heat, can be optional
  • Vegetable Broth – use veg broth or water. I used my favorite 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Veg Paste (affiliate link) with water.

top down view showing the process of adding vegetable broth to pot filled with broccoli red lentil ingredients.

How To Make Creamy Broccoli & Red Lentil Soup

Making this broccoli soup with lentils soup only requires a few simple steps:

(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post).

  • Saute. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, saute onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 1 minutes, or until fragrant.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Add the broccoli, red lentils and broth (plus coconut milk if using, I didn’t use it here). Using the back of a fork or spoon press the broccoli down as much as you can to cover with liquids.

top down view of broccoli red lentil soup finished simmering.

  • Simmer. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Soup is done when lentils are tender, as shown above.

top down view showing the process of pureeing creamy broccoli red lentil soup in black pot.

  • Puree. Using an immersion blender (affiliate link) puree until desired consistency. Or once cooled a few minutes, use a food processor/blender to puree (this method may take two batches to complete).

Top Tips

  • For a chunky soup, enjoy without pureeing!
  • Feel free to add an herb or two while cooking, such as thyme, herbes de provence or Italian seasoning.
  • For a umami, cheesy flavor, add 2 – 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
  • Leftovers hold up well and are great for meal prep with homemade Artisan Bread or Vegan Naan on the side for soaking up the juices.

top down view of spoonful of creamy broccoli soup.

How To Store

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container.
  • Freezer: This vegan broccoli red lentil soup is freezer friendly and freezes well for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer safe containers (affiliate link), leaving 1/2 inch head space for expansion. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags (remove as much air as possible before zip locking). Let thaw before reheating.
  • Reheat: Simply re-warm on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave using 30 – 60 second intervals, stirring after each, until warm.

Serving Suggestions

This thick and savory soup is great with a few simple topping, or small salad and bread for a healthy and filling lunch or dinner. Here are a few of my favorite options:

top down view of freshly made pot of vegan broccoli red lentil soup with items surrounding.

More Red Lentil Soup Inspiration

Because we can never have too many great soup recipes that are well-balanced and easy to make. Try these other delicious recipes using red lentils to keep it varied.

side angle view of bowl of creamy broccoli red lentil soup with spoon and items surrounding.

If you try this broccoli + red lentil soup recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

CREAMY BROCCOLI + RED LENTIL SOUP

Simple and flavorful! Red lentils add protein and bulk to this creamy broccoli soup without overpowering flavor or color.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
  • Category: Entree, Soup
  • Method: Simmer, Puree
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 23 large heads broccoli (about 1 1/2 lbs.), cut into florets (stalks chopped ok too)
  • 67 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or water + broth combo)
  • 1 can low-fat coconut milk, optional
  • mineral salt, to taste

Garnish, optional

Instructions

Saute: In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil/water over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook another minute or until fragrant.

Simmer: Add lentils, broccoli, broth/water and optional coconut milk. Using the back of a fork or spoon press the broccoli down as much as you can to cover with liquids. Bring to a boil, cover pot with lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Soup is done when lentils are tender. Season to taste with salt + pepper.

Puree: Using an immersion blender puree until desired consistency. Or once cooled a few minutes, use a food processor/blender to puree (this method may take two batches to complete).

Serve: Ladle into serving bowls and top with mustard seeds, scallions and almonds. Pairs great with homemade Artisan Bread or biscuits of choice. If you have a lemon on hand, add a squeeze to your soup for added brightness.

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer storage, keep in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. Let thaw before reheating. Reheat on the stove or microwave.

Notes

Frozen broccoli can be subbed for fresh.

If using pre-cut packaged broccoli, use about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds or 8 – 10 cups. You may feel there is not enough water, and most likely all the broccoli won’t be covered by the liquids at first. As it cooks it will soften and sink down, and any that doesn’t will steam and become soft. If you like you can push the broccoli down half way through cooking. If adding a whole can of coconut milk, start with the lower amount of liquids adding more as needed.

If you don’t use veggie broth or have run out of an onion and/or garlic. Try adding 1 teaspoon each of garlic and/or onion powder.

Feel free to add an herb or two while cooking, such as a 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of thyme, herbes de provence or Italian seasoning.

For a umami, cheesy flavor, add 2 – 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

I recommend sticking with red lentils but you can use green/brown lentils if needed. Cook same as above but simmer for 30 – 35 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Your soup may look a bit muddy, but the flavor will be good.

Use full-fat or light coconut milk. If you’d prefer, use up to 1 cup or so of unsweetened almond milk. The recipe pictures reflect no use of any kind of milk.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I love my immersion blender (affiliate link) for pureeing soups. It’s easy to clean, small and fits well in a utensil drawer (affiliate links). For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials.

Updated: Creamy Broccoli + Red Lentil Soup was originally published in November 2014. It has been updated with new photos and helpful tips in March 2020.

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40 Comments

  1. This soup is amazing. It’s so easy and fast but the taste is incredible. I can’t get enough.

    1. Hi Amy, how and where do you use the black mustard seeds, do uou just crush them and add them yo your soup?. Going to try this recipe

      1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

        Hi Martha! I’ll just comment here since I use the mustard seeds as well. I crush them with a mortar & pestle and add them as garnish to my serving bowl for a nice dose of heat and added flavor. Enjoy the soup!

  2. This is delicious! I’m not a vegetarian, but trying to reduce my meat consumption and increase my veggies. I love soup in the winter and had a bunch of broccoli to use up, so this seemed perfect. I used chicken broth because it’s what I had on hand and a little less than a cup of coconut milk that was leftover. I’ll admit that I was skeptical as it was cooking, but as soon as I tasted it I was hooked. Looking forward to having it for lunch all week.

  3. Melanie Jones says:

    I just made this and it is delicious! I topped mine with organic sprouted pumpkin seeds. I will be making this over and over again!

  4. Barbara Treacy says:

    Made this soup last night and loved it! I used soy milk, because that’s what we had and it was delicious. I also added mushrooms. Will definitely make again!!

  5. Made it in my Instapot, set for 20 minutes, came off perfect. The coconut milk made it extra creamy.

  6. very tasty, i love simple recipes like this with not too many steps!

  7. Second time making this,,taste soooo good!

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