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Vegan, Plant-Based, Gluten Free, Heart Healthy Lentil Soup
It’s the time of year to enjoy a hearty bowl of lentil soup!
You know that time of the year when winter isn’t quite ready to let go, but spring is in the air. It’s what I call the mud season here in the mid-west. The calendar says it’s spring, but the days are still cold, the snow is slowly melting, and the ground is a muddy mess.
On these in-between winter and spring days I crave a warm and hearty bowl of home cooked soup.
I’m not a canned soup kinda gal. I know there are some decent versions of canned soup out there, and when you’re really in a crunch for time, they will do, but nothing compares to a home cooked stew or soup. The scents and smells of a good stew on the stove fills your home with warmth and comfort.
When my husband came home from work the day I made this soup, he stopped in his tracks and said, “Wow, what is that! It smells amazing!”
Whenever I’m able to make a plant-based recipe that my husband loves, I give myself a little pat on the back. It’s not always easy to please him.
My three year old was also thrilled with this lentil soup, requesting extra helpings of spinach in his bowl. Now, only if I can get my six year old to eat soup! He loves his veggies, but I’ve never been able to get him to eat any soup or stew of any kind. I think it’s a texture thing for him.
Is lentil soup good for you?
Absolutely! Especially this version of lentil soup. With no oil, a modest amount of salt, leafy greens, veggies, and a super power plant-based protein this soup is filling, high in nutrients, and low in calories and fat.
What does lentil soup taste like?
There are so many types of lentils, and they all have slightly different flavors. See my recipe for Lentil Tacos for more on the different types of lentils and why lentils are a healthy addition to your diet. For this recipe I use red lentils. They are small and have a mild flavor. The reason I love them in this soup is that they cook quickly making them perfect for a weeknight meal.
Is lentil soup high in calories?
No, it’s not! Take a look at the nutrition label below. Lentils are rather low in calories, but pack a nutrient rich punch with iron, potassium, and folate. Making lentils an excellent staple in a plant-based diet.
What makes this lentil soup so delicious?
In my opinion anything that starts with garlic and onions is sure to be delicious. This soup starts with a base of garlic and onions which I cook in a quarter inch of vegetable broth at the bottom of the pan. When the onions are soft I add in the seasoning, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, and 1 teaspoon of cumin. The onions are sweet, and the Italian seasoning and cumin gives it depth.W
Serve with a side salad and some crusty whole wheat bread to round out this weeknight meal.
Tools I used
One pot meals are the way to go on a weeknight. I can’t tell you how many countless times I’ve used this amazing pot for chilis, soups, pasta dishes, and so much more! This Lodge 6 Quart Dutch Oven is perfect for all those one pot meals. It’s heavy duty and stands the test of time.
Weeknight Lentil Soup
- 4 cups vegetable broth or stock
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 carrots chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup red lentils rinsed
- 1 bag of fresh spinach 16 oz
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
- In a large pot pour 1/4 cup of the vegetable stock on the bottom of the pan. Add onions and garlic. Cook on medium heat until translucent
- Add carrots and celery. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add Italian seasoning and cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat vegetables.
- Add the remainder of the vegetable stock, can of diced tomatoes and lentils.
- Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to medium low heat and cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
- When you’re ready to serve add the beg of spinach and stir to combine. It will look like a lot of spinach to add, so add one handful at a time until it is absorbed and combined with the soup. Spinach wilts down quickly.
There are so many wonderful variations on lentil soup. Making it with different lentils, adding different vegetables and spices can add new flavors.