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Hearty Vegan Lentil Soup (1 Pot)

Full of veggies and hearty lentils, this Vegan Lentil Soup is rich in protein and fiber and so much healthier than canned soup! Plus, it’s easy to make using the stovetop, Instant Pot, or Slow Cooker!

top down view of pot with fresh cooked vegan lentil soup.

I needed a new lentil soup in my life – and here it is!

It’s perfectly spiced and loaded with an assortment of veggies for a delicious year-round lentil soup we can’t seem to get enough of – and we think you’ll agree!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • Super easy! This one-pot recipe uses everyday ingredients and is ready in about 45 minutes from start to finish. You can even use frozen veggies for a quicker prep time.
  • It’s healthy! It’s nourishing and well-balanced. Full of plant-based protein and healthy fiber. It also includes an oil-free option for a heart-healthy and virtually fat-free lentil soup.
  • We’ve added various cooking methods for ease of use. And if you have leftovers, they are even better the next day!

Without further ado, let’s make soup du jour!

Ingredient Notes

Here’s everything you’ll need, plus substitution ideas for ‘your’ perfect vegan lentil soup. Measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Lentils – These are the main protein source in this recipe. You can use either brown or green lentils in the recipe. If using green lentils, you’ll need to add a few minutes of cooking time, as noted in the recipe card below.
  • Mirepoix – The usual mix of onion, carrot, and celery makes a great flavor base while adding color and texture.
  • Garlic – If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, substitute with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Potatoes – Use waxy potatoes such as red, white, or Yukon gold, as they hold their shape nicely when simmered. I used baby potatoes here, but the regular size is great too. Sub with sweet potato or butternut squash for variation.
  • Green Beans – Use fresh or frozen.
  • Tomatoes – Use canned for convenience or fresh if roma tomatoes are in season.
  • Greens – I used a packaged baby kale & spinach mix, but you can use whatever greens you like – spinach, rainbow chard, beet greens or kale.
  • Spices – Together, the paprika, cumin, and curry add a deep, warming flavor that I have fallen in love with. This is a delicious combination, and I know you’ll love it too! For variation, I think thyme, Italian seasoning, or herbs de Provence would be a great substitution for the cumin and curry.
  • Vegetable Broth – We like using Better Than Bouillon Veg Paste (affiliate link) to control sodium and strength. I used just under 1 teaspoon for this recipe. The jar can be stored in the refrigerator and lasts a long time.
  • Parsley & Lemon – Adds a finishing touch, adding brightness and freshness.

Can I Use A Frozen Mix of Vegetables?

Yes! For ease, this lentil soup recipe can be made using 3 – 4 cups of any frozen vegetable mix. The amount will depend on if you include other veggies from the recipe. We recommend using a classic medley of carrots, peas, green beans, and/or corn. Simply saute the onion and garlic, and add the veggies to replace the fresh carrots, celery, green beans, and/or potatoes when adding the lentils.

side by side photos showing the process of making vegan lentil soup.

How To Make Vegan Lentil Soup

Making vegan lentil soup is as easy as can be!

Here are the steps for the stovetop method with photos for reference. Slow cooker or Instant Pot methods only take a few adjustments, as noted below.

  • Start by sauteing the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Add the paprika, cumin, and curry, and saute for 1 minute more.
  • Add the tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, and lentils, and pour the broth over the top.
  • Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
side by side photos showing the process of adding spinach and lemon to vegan lentil soup.
  • Just before the soup is done, about 5 minutes, stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.
  • Remove from heat, and add a bit of lemon. Season with salt and pepper.

And that’s it – now you are ready to enjoy a cozy bowl of soup!

More Cooking Methods

How to make vegan lentil soup in an INSTANT POT: Add the ingredients, except the greens, to the bowl of your pressure cooker. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the release valve to the SEALED position. Press the MANUAL button and set the timer to 15 minutes. Once finished, set the valve to quick release or let it release pressure on its own (takes about 20 minutes). Remove the lid, and stir in the greens.

How to make lentil soup in a SLOW COOKER: This is the set-it-and-forget-it method! Simply add the ingredients, except the greens, to the crock pot bowl. Cover with lid and set on HIGH for 4 – 5 hours or LOW for 8 – 10 hours. Add greens, let them wilt, and serve!

top down view of pot with fresh cooked vegan lentil soup with items surrounding.

How To Store, Freeze + Reheat

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored for 5 – 6 days in a covered container. This makes for a great meal prep idea!
  • Freezer: Will keep for 2 – 3 months in the freezer.  To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer-safe containers (affiliate link), leaving 1/2 inch headspace for expansion. Let thaw before reheating. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags.
  • Reheat: Simply rewarm on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave using 30 – 60-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until warm.
  • Make ahead: This soup is great for meal prepping for the week and tastes even better the next day.

Serving Suggestions

Turn your bowl of lentil soup into a full, well-rounded meal with any of these delicious recipes!

top down view of vegan lentil soup in a bowl with items surrounding.

More Vegan Soup Recipes!

Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

HEARTY VEGAN LENTIL SOUP

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 41 reviews

Filled with hearty vegetables and made in 1 pot, this vegan lentil soup is super hearty, healthy, and ready in about 45 minutes!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Entree, Soup
  • Method: Stovetop, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup water or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 23 carrots (about 1 cup), diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes with juices, or 23 roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 lb. baby potatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups dried brown or green lentils
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry
  • 6 cups water or low-sodium broth, + more as needed
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach or kale
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • mineral salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

Stovetop (see notes for more cooking options):

Saute: In large dutch oven or pot, heat water/olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, saute for 5 minutes. Add the paprika, curry, and cumin, saute 1 minute, or until fragrant.

Simmer: Add the green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, lentils, and liquids, give a good stir and bring to a boil, turn heat to low, cover askew and simmer for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add greens: 5 minutes before soup is done, stir in the greens. Add more water if needed, maybe up to 1 cup. Add lemon juice and season with salt & pepper. 

Serve: Ladle into soup bowls and top with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and squeeze of lemon juice for an extra touch of brightness. Pairs great with homemade vegan cornbread, vegan naan or artisan bread

Serves 6

Store: Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days. store covered. To keep longer, store in the freezer in freezer-safe containers for 2 – 3 months.

Notes

Lentils: If using green lentils, they tend to take a little longer to cook, add another 5 – 10 minutes on the stovetop and 2 minutes in the Instant Pot.

Herbs: For a different flavor profile, try substituting the cumin and curry for 1 teaspoon of thyme, Italian seasoning, or Herbes de Provence.

Potato: Sub regular potatoes with sweet potatoes or butternut squash for variation.

Night-Shade Free: Omit the diced tomatoes, paprika, and curry. In place of the cumin, try another flavor profile by adding 2 – 3 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, herbs de Provence, or any combination of thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, etc.

Make this recipe prep-friendly by subbing most of the fresh veggies with 3 – 4 cups of a frozen vegetable medley. Saute the onion and garlic, add the frozen veggies with the lentils and continue as directed.

 

More Cooking Methods:

  • Instant Pot: Add the ingredients, except the leafy greens and water/oil, to the bowl of your pressure cooker. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the release valve to the SEALED position. Press the MANUAL button and set the timer at 15 minutes. Once finished, set valve to quick release or let it release pressure on its own (takes about 20 minutes). Remove lid, stir in the greens. Season with salt & pepper taste.
  • Slow Cooker: Add the ingredients, except the leafy greens and water/oil, to the bowl of your crock pot. Cover with lid. Set on HIGH for 4 – 5 hours or LOW for 8 – 10 hours. Add greens, let them wilt. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Nutritional information is calculated without oil and using 2 cups of vegetable broth.

Web Story: https://simple-veganista.com/web-stories/hearty-vegan-lentil-soup/

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65 Comments

  1. It was amazing! Made it in the ninja pressure cooker without potatoes. It is delicious!!!






  2. Um this is the best soup on the planet. I added avocado on top and it also divided into 5 servings perfectly for the work week.






  3. I made this in my Instapot and it was absolutely amazing! I loved it! I added everything plus all the extra spices suggested because I was out of curcumin. I also used chicken broth instead. I will definitely be making this again…thank you so much for sharing!






  4. Sue White says:

    I made this recipe as written but without the greens since I didn’t have any. The spices and lemon juice really make this soup fabulous. It’s so filling and hearty. The house smelled so good the next day too! This recipe is definitely a keeper. It’s also one that you could easily change up the veggies depending on what you have on hand. Thanks for sharing!!






  5. stacy thompson says:

    This soup looks delicious! I have two questions for you. What is the serving size? I know it says 6 but how much per serving? Second, I am trying to lower the carb/calorie. Would you be able to give me the nutritional facts without the potatoes? Thank you!

  6. I made this soup for dinner tonight. I didn’t have green beans so I added more potato and carrot. I also sprinkled in some cayenne which gave it a nice bit of heat. It was so delicious and filling and the addition of lemon juice really took the recipe to the next level. I will be making this again!






  7. The spice combination is really good! Don’t use salted broth like I did or the lentils will take over an hour to cook.






  8. I only have red lentils, would that work? Would I have to change anything else?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, red lentils will work. Cooking time can be cut to 20 or 30 minutes since red lentils cook more quickly. The outcome will be a little different than with other lentils as red lentils don’t hold their shape, but the soup will still be delicious. I hope that helps. Enjoy!

    2. Was your calorie calculation based on using water or olive oil? Also water or broth?

      1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

        The nutrition was calculated without oil and using 2 cups of vegetable broth. I’ll make a note in the recipe card for clarification. I hope that helps!

  9. Absolutely love this recipe! I made it last week and it was devoured immediately by my family. Somehow I’d never eaten lentil soup, so I had no expectations but this is definitely entering my rotation of go-to recipes :)






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