The Best Lentil Soup

The Best Lentil Soup- a classic lentil soup recipe that’s perfectly seasoned and brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

The Best Lentil Soup- a classic lentil soup recipe that's perfectly seasoned and brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

Although I have several lentil soup recipes on my site, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered what I consider to be the best lentil soup. That’s not saying I don’t love the other recipes, but they’re not what you would call a classic version. One that starts with a mirepoix, includes plenty of fresh garlic and is seasoned with bayleaf.

So I set out to develop a version that I could deem my go-to lentil soup. I was inspired by Alton Brown who’s recipe features the basics along with a few key seasonings like coriander, cumin and grains of paradise.

If you’re like me then you’re probably wondering what the heck are grains of paradise? Apparently it’s a spice that’s closely related to cardamom and ginger. Sounds fantastic, right? Don’t worry, we’re not including them here. I’m not one for exotic ingredients that all of us are going to have a hard time finding. Instead I shifted to a more savory gear and replaced it with ground chili powder. Basic but it works perfectly, especially paired with coriander and cumin.

The Best Lentil Soup- a classic lentil soup recipe that's perfectly seasoned and brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

How to Make The Best Lentil Soup

  1. Soak your lentils. I know not everyone likes to plan ahead but when it comes to legumes, it’s worth it to give them a good soak prior to cooking. This helps reduce phytic acid which improves digestion and absorption of all of those incredible nutrients.
  2. Sauté the fresh aromatics. Cook the onion, celery and carrot with salt then add garlic and seasonings.
  3. Pour in the diced tomatoes, lentils, and broth. Gently boil the lentils just until they are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Squeeze in fresh lemon juice. The lemon is a must here as it brightens the flavor and really takes it over the top.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy! I love topping my lentil soup with a sprinkle of cashew parmesan and fresh herbs like finely chopped cilantro or parsley, although that’s totally optional.

The Best Lentil Soup- a classic lentil soup recipe that's perfectly seasoned and brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

The Best Lentil Soup- a classic lentil soup recipe that's perfectly seasoned and brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

The Best Lentil Soup- a classic lentil soup recipe that's perfectly seasoned and brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

Please let me know if you give this soup a try! Your feedback means everything to me and I love hearing from you.

Looking for more soup recipes? Check out some of our favorite soups:

The Best Lentil Soup- a classic lentil soup recipe that's perfectly seasoned and brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

The Best Lentil Soup

A classic lentil soup recipe that's perfectly seasoned and brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Soaking Lentils: 6 hrs
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil, I like avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup lentils, picked and rinsed*
  • 15- ounces diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leafs
  • squeeze fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and salt then cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
  • Next add the coriander, cumin and chili powder. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
  • To the pot, pour in the rinsed lentils, diced tomatoes with their juices, and vegetable broth. Add the bay leafs then bring liquid to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice over top then stir to combine. Serve warm with cashew parmesan and enjoy!

Notes

*The recipe is written assuming you soak the lentils for at least 6-8 hours. Soaking them helps reduce phytic acid which increases absorption of nutrients and lessens bloating. I highly recommend this step! To soak, simply place the lentils in a large bowl and cover with water by a few inches. If you skip this step you will need to add 1 or 2 cups extra broth and increase the overall cooking time by at least 15 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 296kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 8g, Sodium: 1288mg, Potassium: 863mg, Fiber: 17g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 169%, Vitamin C: 20.3%, Calcium: 8.9%, Iron: 29.7%
Course: Main Course, Soup
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!