Lentil soup can be hearty and flavorful, especially when it’s seasoned well. You don’t have to be satisfied with subpar lentil soup that feels like simply healthy eating rather than enjoyable eating.
Why not marry the two with a great recipe that accentuates the best qualities of the lentils and stands out as a great soup that’s bursting with flavor?
What Is Lentil Soup?
Lentil soup is usually a watery soup made with brown lentils cooked very soft. It may include multiple kinds of lentils or be made with green, yellow, or red lentils as well. It may have vegetables added to it, and it’s usually well-seasoned using plenty of herbs and spices to take the bland lentil and elevate it to something very tasty.
A well-made lentil soup takes a long time to make, as dry lentils cook slowly. Once they’re completely soft and don’t offer any resistance, though, they’re ready to be part of the soup.
What Is in Lentil Soup?
Depending on where in the world the soup is being put together, it may have different ingredients. In India, lentil soup may have a lot of different fragrant spices. In the Caribbean, lentil soup is often made with coconut milk and chopped onions to make it creamy and chunky at the same time. In the southern United States, lentil soup usually includes carrots and other veggies to make it more of a vegetable soup.
How to Make Lentil Soup
So, there are tons of different ways to make this soup, but I’ll share with you a lentil soup recipe that I know from experience works very well.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 cups of dried lentils, rinsed
- 14 ounces of crushed tomato
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 6 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken stock/broth)
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- In a large pot on the stove, cook the oil on medium. Once it is hot, add in onion and garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add in the carrot and celery and cook for 8 minutes.
- Add in all of the rest of ingredients, save for the salt and the lemon.
- Stir everything together and raise the heat so that food starts to simmer.
- There may be some scum on the surface of the soup that you need to swoop off. Do this as often as necessary. Then, cover the pot with a lid and lower the heat to medium low. Allow it to continue simmering for 35 minutes.
- Once the lentils have softened, you can remove the bay leaves and serve the soup.
Change the Soup’s Consistency
If you find that the soup is too thick, you can add a little water to it. Be sure to add some salt and pepper for extra seasoning.
For a thicker soup, you can put the soup into a
What to Serve with Lentil Soup?
Lentil soup pairs perfectly with just about any kind of bread. If you choose a crispy, toasted bread, that provides a great counterpoint to the soft, soupy lentils.
It also pairs well with pasta, rice dishes, mashed potatoes, and salad. The lentils can be quite filling and have a lot of protein, so there’s no need to add a meat dish to your meal if you don’t want to.
In many cultures, lentil soup is served with ground provision or another starchy food. This could include yucca, potato, breadfruit, or another starchy vegetable. It pairs well with just about any kind of starch, including breads and pastas to make for a filling, complete meal.
How Many Calories in Lentil Soup?
If you followed the recipe I gave you above, a single serving should give you about 310 calories. If you add any additional dishes to your meal or some extra seasonings or garnishes to the soup, you’ll change the calorie count. Keep in mind that because lentil soup is pretty filling and packs a lot of protein, there may not be need for other dishes. It may provide enough calories and energy on its own.
This is a nutrient rich dish that’s a great source of iron and a single serving can contain almost all the fiber you need for the day. It’s a healthy dish that vegans and vegetarians can both enjoy. To make it vegan friendly, change out the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
How Long Does Lentil Soup Last in the Fridge?
To store the soup away, allow it to cool completely first. Then, place it into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to five days. Any soup you are reheating before then should be portioned out from the storage container. Don’t heat up all the soup at once and then put the leftovers back into the fridge. Any soup that is reheated should be used immediately and not refrigerated.
Your lentil soup can store in the freezer for much longer, lasting for three months if it’s in a freezer safe container. To save space, you can also store lentils in the freezer or fridge in a resealable plastic bag.
When reheating lentil soup, simply place it into a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap and then heat for about 2 minutes. Stir the lentils and test to see if they are warm all the way through. If not, add an additional 30 seconds to heat. You can also warm them on the stove in a pot, using medium heat and stirring frequently until they’re warm all the way through.