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Published February 18, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious Lentil soup recipe is jam-packed with spices and caramelized vegetables to bring about an incredibly flavorful soup. This is one of the easiest-to-make most nutritious soups on my website, and the taste is beyond amazing.
I am such a huge soup fan; Afterall, I used to call it my first love. If you’re unsure how to make soup flavorful, I go into detail on just about every recipe I have to show you how to do that. Definitely try my Cream of Mushroom Soup or Beef and Barley.
Lentils are a legume indigenous to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Countries. They are plant seeds that are jam-packed with fiber, potassium, and protein and make for a great meat replacement.
Since lentils are starchy, earthy in flavor, and can be on the bland side, there are many ways to make them flavorful, including by adding them into soup. When other ingredients are introduced that complement lentils like onions, garlic, spices, and lemon, the taste is out of this world.
There are many variations of lentil soup depending on where you live, so do not be surprised if you see different ingredients. My version is much more of a Middle Eastern Lebanese style.
What Goes in Lentil Soup?
- Lentils – You can use red, green, brown, or yellow lentils for this recipe. Avoid using French lentils.
- Oil – I prefer olive oil, but you may use ghee or clarified butter.
- Onions – Medium to large size yellow, red, white, or sweet onions will work for this.
- Garlic – Finely minced garlic cloves will help bring out a lot of flavors.
- Celery – A few ribs of small to medium size diced in this soup.
- Carrots – Medium to large sized peeled and small to medium size diced for this recipe.
- Potatoes – This one is optional, but it is often seen in many classical Middle Eastern style lentil soup recipes.
- Spices – Ground cumin and coriander are great in this, but I’ve also seen things like paprika and dried mint added.
- Stock – I prefer to use really good chicken stock, although you can use vegetable stock to help keep this recipe vegan/vegetarian.
- Lemon – This will add some much-needed acid and brightness to this soup.
How to Make Lentil Soup from Scratch
You these easy-to-follow instructions and images to make this delicious Lentil soup recipe from scratch:
Add the onions to a large pot with olive oil over low to medium heat and cook until completely caramelized. This may take up to 45 minutes but do not skip out on this part as this is where a lot of the flavor of the soup will come from.
Next, add in the carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until very lightly browned and tender.
Stir in the cumin and coriander until combined with the vegetables.
Pour the rinsed lentils, potatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock and stir to combine.
Add a lid and cook over low to medium heat for 35-45 minutes or until the lentils are very tender.
Next, using a hand immersion blender, pulse blend the soup until about half of it is pureed. This will help thicken the soup. If you do not have an emersion blender, blend half of the soup in a regular blender until thick. Please also remember to remove the center part of the cap when blending so that it does not explode.
Adjust the seasonings of the lentil soup with salt, pepper, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this soup up to 1 day ahead of time. When ready to serve, reheat on the stovetop in a pot.
How to Store: Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This will freeze well and be covered for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount to a pot and heat up over low heat until hot. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and add a ¼ cup of chicken stock at a time if it is too thick and needs to be thinned out.
chef notes + tips
- You can use red, green, brown, or yellow lentils in this recipe, although the color of the soup will change depending on which one you choose.
- If you are using a blender to blend the soup, remember to take the centerpiece of the blender lid off and replace it by putting a towel right over the top of the whole while blending.
- You can substitute the potato for a few red new or Yukon gold potatoes.
More Soup Recipes
- Stracciatella (Italian Egg Drop Soup)
- Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Rice Soup)
- Ham and Potato
- Birria Consomé
- Shrimp Bisque
Homemade Lentil Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, ghee, or clarified butter
- 2 peeled and medium diced yellow onions
- 2 peeled and medium diced carrots
- 2 peeled and medium diced ribs of celery
- 3 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 cups green lentils, rinsed
- 1 large peeled and medium diced potato
- 2 bay leaves
- 9 cups chicken stock
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add olive oil to a large pot over low to medium heat and cook the onions until completely caramelized. This may take up to 45 minutes.
- Next, add in the carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until very lightly browned and tender.
- Stir in the cumin and coriander until combined with the vegetables.
- Pour the rinsed lentils, potatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock and stir to combine.
- Add a lid and cook over low to medium heat for 35-45 minutes or until the lentils are very tender.
- Remove the bay leaves and then using a hand immersion blender, pulse blend the soup until about half of it is pureed. This will help thicken the soup.
- Adjust the seasonings of the lentil soup with salt, pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Made this today, definitely excellent. My usual recipe for this dish is almost the same except for a few spices and diced tomatoes. However, this one is superior to my own.
Absolute comfort food on a cold day. Easy and doable.
My husband loves lentil soup…so made a pot full and canned the majority. Now he can have it whenever he likes. He said it was better than store bought!
Tried it and also your ham and lentil soup. Fantastic
Very good recipe. Made it exactly as instructions indicated except put in two bouillon cubes.
Love that idea!
It’s very cold right now, so this was the perfect lunch soup with sandwiches. My guest loved it. I agree using Cilantro for garnish was perfect. This recipe was easy, and absolutely a do again. The leftovers are going to a party tomorrow, with another soup I made from Chef Bill Parisi, Broccoli and Cheddar, both 5 star yummies.
Easy to follow… and, absolutely delicious! Thank you, Chef!
Used leftover cilantro (coriander) for garnish instead of parsley. We loved it! Truly delightful!
This was wonderful! I never thought of using cumin and coriander but they made a world of difference. I dolloped the soup with creme fraiche dusted with pimenton for color. Thanks for the recipe, Comie.
Best soup ever….. my husband couldn’t believe….usually I make a big pot and send some over to my daughter’s family…..not this time. Thank you for sharing…
Very good flavor but mine was ridiculously thick, seriously the spoon could have stood up on its own. Thinking 2 cups of lentils next time. Thoughts anyone?
Can you use broth from a ham bone 🍖 n stead of chicken broth?
Made it and it’s the perfect lentil soup. I added kale for some greens at the end. The lemon gives it life. Thank you!
Hi chef billy! I’m definitely going to try and make this soup. Can I use chicken broth instead of chicken stock?. Thanks for your recipe’s. Tali
So flavorful! I halved the recipe, added chopped red bell pepper. Beautiful colors. Will definitely make this one again! Subscribed to newsletter.
Third time making this soup. It’s sooooo good! Adding lemon juice at the end is an absolute!
Hi ,thanks for another great recipe, I also froze same,🥰
Most excellent dish. Fun to make. Good texture. I pulsed it smooth. Will make again.