I’m still on a soup recipe kick. What can I say? It’s winter and they’re all hearty, delicious, and healthy! This lentil soup recipe is one of my all time favorites. I didn’t eat lentils growing up, so it wasn’t until grad school that I started enjoying them. I can’t remember the first lentil soup I had, but it must have been amazing because I was quickly addicted. Many lentil soup recipes call for a meat bone of some sort – not really my jam when I’m cooking at home. I did find a recipe for a vegan lentil soup, however, that is a one pot soup recipe and is positively delicious…
Vegan Lentil Soup
The original vegan lentil soup recipe called for carrots, tomatoes, and celery. I almost never have celery in the house and, well, I’m almost always trying to use up veggies in my fridge. So, I started adding onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers. I loved the flavors of all those. The recipe now calls for those three veggies, but that part is flexible. It’s really the quantity of vegetables rather than the specific flavors that make this soup so great.
One addition you’ll see to the recipe is a dash of balsamic vinegar. I know it sounds weird, but please try it before you knock it. I was certainly apprehensive the first time I read about the combo, but it’s so, so delicious, I now can’t imagine lentil soup without it!
One Pot Dinners
If you’re going through a phase where dinner ideas are few and far between AND/or a phase of dishes seeming like the work of the devil, look into some more one pot recipes. We love this one pot Mexican Casserole as well as this Lemon Tuna Pasta made with canned tuna. Both dishes call for ingredients you likely already have on hand and there are almost no dishes to clean up!
Vegan Lentil Soup
This lentil soup is one of my all time favorite recipes. Unlike many lentil soup recipes, this one is vegan, so it's just great flavor from the lentils and veggies. I suggest a dash of balsamic vinegar at the end. It sounds crazy, but it adds so much depth of flavor, you'll wonder why you never thought of it before!
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup brown lentils rinsed and drained
- 1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 4-inch sprig fresh rosemary plus more for garnish
- Fine sea salt and black pepper to taste
- good balsamic vinegar
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high. Add onions, carrots, and garlic and cook until they begin to soften - about 7 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook until they shrink and darken and the rest of the vegetables are browned - about 5 minutes.
Add 4 cups of the stock, lentils, and tomatoes with their juice, and the sprig of rosemary, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, partially cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Discard the rosemary stem.
Transfer 2 cups soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to the soup pot. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of stock and cook over low heat until all ingredients are warm, 2 to 3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with small sprigs of rosemary before serving.
Add a dash of balsamic vinegar to individual servings.