November 29, 2010

Vegetable Lentil Soup

vegetable lentil soup with garlic croutons

I’m declaring this week– SOUP WEEK! It’s like Shark week– but with soup! After scarfing down too much food, all I want is something simple and hearty with lots of vegetables & fiber. Soup always comes to my rescue! Make it one night and you have a few days worth of leftovers. This time of the year is so jam-packed with activities, it’s nice to just quickly warm up a bowl of soup and have lunch or dinner in an instant. Pair a bowl with a crusty hunk of bread and a nice green salad and you are feeling good about the holidays coming up. I know I am.

So yeah, let’s kick off SOUP WEEK!

make shift croutons

I’m really warming up to lentils these days. My mom made me a really great Ina Garten soup with lentils and kielbasa (will make & post sometime soon!) and I’ve been nuts for lentils ever since. This Vegetable Lentil Soup is pretty hearty and of course perfect with garlic croutons. There’s lots of vegetables in the mix and it’s a really good base if you want to experiment with different flavors. Add some cumin and you have some smokey depth! Add chunks of sweet potatoes and you’re using a power food in addition to all this tasty goodness. I bet kale would be awesome in there too…I’ll probably try that next time! I threw in some freshly grated Parmesan in one of my servings (NOM!) and in another bowl, I added freshly sliced avocado (TASTY!) Go ahead, make this and use it as a springboard for your new favorite soup. Or if you are just looking for something to put in a bowl that will warm up your freezing hands, this will do the trick, no doubt.

And we’re off!

Gather your ingredients!

ingredient party!

Chop up the carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes & garlic.

let the chopping begin

In your soup pot add some olive oil and cook your vegetables until slightly browned.

saute time!

Now add the tomatoes. Cook. Then add the tomato paste. Cook.

browning & adding in tomato paste

Add in the lentils, stock, herbs & season with salt and pepper.

enter in lentils & broth

While the lentils are cooking in your soup, skim the top and discard the lentil foam.


When the soup is almost done, add a little vinegar to give it some PUNCH!


I should talk about the croutons. I took two big slices of bread and toasted them in the toaster.

I smeared them with olive oil and rubbed a clove of garlic over the tops and then cut them up. Instant croutons!

make shift croutons

Drop the croutons in your bowl of soup. Add a little Parmesan if you desire…

vegetable lentil soup

Your cold hands will love holding on to this bowl.

Vegetable Lentil Soup

(recipe slightly adapted from Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups brown or green lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water, plus more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • garlic croutons, optional
Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat and add in the olive oil. Add the carrots, onion, celery & garlic with a pinch of salt and saute until the vegetables are lightly browned. Should take about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Now it’s time to add the lentils, thyme, bay leaf, pepper with 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the broth & water and bring to a boil. Make sure to skim off any foam that rises to the top of the soup. Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils become tender. This takes 15-20 minutes. Serve soup in a bowl with fresh croutons & a small glug of olive oil.
  • joy the baker

    this looks really yummy!

  • Rivki Locker(Ordinary Blogger)

    This looks soooo food – hearty and healthy. Great for a fall evening! Love your photos.

  • Jessica

    I love lentil soup, and this one sounds great! The croutons are a nice touch. I make a lot of soup and always crave bread with it!

  • Helen

    lentil soup is one of my faaaves. i’ll have to try your recipe. i love to add a spicy italian sausage and top it w/ freshly grated romano and cilantro. delish!

  • G

    Looks great I would like a big bowl now with some crusty bread!

  • Laura@keepingslimandgettingstylish

    I’m having a bit of a soup week myself! I absolutely adore lentils at the moment so will definitely be giving this a try 🙂

  • Marci

    this looks delish. what a great idea to add a little vinegar. I am “slumming it” right now by eating a Healthy Choice microwave can of veggie barley soup at my desk at lunchbreak – I’m going to pretend it’s your soup instead! a girl can dream, right? 😉

  • Dana

    This looks so yum…and I have a feeling that eating this will take away some of the guilt about unashamedly gorging myself with food last week…sounds good! I know this is sort of off subject, but I noticed your dutch oven/ soup pot in the photos and I am wondering what size it is. I am looking into buying my first dutch oven and I am totally clueless on what size to get, so I am asking around for some advice! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Katrina

    Mmm mmm this is perfect for the weather! Love it.

  • Michelle

    We love lentil soup. Perfect for a cold, wet day like we’ve had today.

  • carra

    Yumm! You must have been reading my mind. It is certainly soup weather in my part of Cali. My breadmaker is currently whipping up a loaf of delish french bread to go with your hearty soup for tonight’s dinner! Fab.

  • Vanessa

    ooh, I think I am going to like soup week!!

  • Sarah

    I made this a few weeks ago with with our first snow of the season. I froze the left overs and had some tonight. And it was even better! Definitely making this again soon.

  • My Favorite Go-To Recipes | Sparrow in Space

    […] // Vegetable lentil soup – this is so good and filling and warm. Hands down the best lentil soup I have ever […]

  • Gabby

    Hi! This looks delicious! I see it’s from a bunch of years ago, but any idea how many servings this makes? Let me know, thanks!


    PS I’ve made the Hearty Black Bean & Sweet Potato soup a bunch of times, and love it!!

  • Kaileen Elise

    Cooked this for the fam and loved it!! I ended up topping it with some crispy chorizo and croutons. So good!!

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