Comforting, savory, filling, and bursting with fresh vegetables, this Italian Lentil Soup is your new healthy comfort food go-to.
In this recipe post, we will be making Italian Lentil Soup. This soup is the definition of healthy comfort food. This soup is easy to make, quick, gluten-free, and vegan. Read on to learn how to make this soup, recipe FAQs, and more.
Table of contents
- This Mediterranean lentil soup recipe is...
- How to make this Italian Lentil Soup recipe...
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Recipe FAQs:
- How to make lentil soup in the crockpot:
- Dietary adaptations:
- Serving suggestions:
- Storage directions:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More recipes:
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I'm pretty sure lentil soup has never been rated "most likely to be the life of the party" -- I mean really, how charismatic and attention-grabbing is lentil soup?!
At least in my corner of the world. We're all about trying out new (yet approachable!) flavor combinations, experimenting with new ingredients and cooking technique; discovering memorable textures and experiences.
But just because this soup isn't considered the life of the party doesn't mean it isn't up for "best all-around," "most likely to succeed," "most unforgettable," or -- gasp-- "most unexpected."
(Was most unexpected not a superlative at your school? Me neither. But it's most definitely there in the hallways of my culinary imaginings.)
When you're looking for a soup that will satisfy, nourish, and pull you through the long winter months, this soup is your go-to.
With onions, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, baby spinach, dried spices, and a splash of white vinegar to finish it off, this soup will warm you up from the inside out and keep you coming back for more.
This is the kind of recipe you can make a double batch of so you can freeze and enjoy a tubful for later. You know, for more nights in when you want some savory comfort without any fuss.
Or make a large batch and invite friends or the family over. This soup is flavorful and hearty enough for meat eaters and plant based eaters alike. And who, really, can say a no to enjoying a bowl full of comfort with those they love?
This Mediterranean lentil soup recipe is...
This soup is big on flavor with little fuss!
- Brown lentils
- Canned tomatoes
- White or yellow onion
- Crimini mushrooms
- Garlic - fresh garlic is best
- Vegetable broth
- Dried spices - parsley, rosemary, Italian seasoning, and bay leaf
- Baby spinach
- Olive oil
- White wine vinegar
- Mushrooms - sliced button mushrooms can substitute for crimini
- Broth - chicken or beef broth can replace the vegetable broth, but the recipe will no longer be vegetarian or vegan
- Spinach - chopped spinach can replace the baby spinach
How to make this Italian Lentil Soup recipe...
- In a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the onion, carrots, and celery in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic, dried parsley, rosemary, and Italian seasoning, and crimini mushrooms to the pan. Sauté until the spices and garlic are aromatic.
- Add the diced tomatoes, brown lentils, bay leaf, broth, and salt. Stir well. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer the soup for 18-20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender.
- Turn the heat to low. Stir in the white vinegar and baby spinach. Cook until the spinach as wilted. Season the soup with additional salt to taste and serve hot with your favorite garnishes (parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, black pepper, olive oil, etc.). Enjoy!
- Cut the vegetables uniformly. In particular, the onions, carrots, and celery. This will help them cook evenly.
- Measure out the ingredients before cooking. The cooking steps can go quickly, and we want the ingredients in each step to be able to cook evenly, so measure out the ingredients before cooking. This way, you can add all the ingredients to the pan as needed.
- Don't overcook the spinach. The spinach only needs to cook enough that it wilts. Stir it in at the end of the cooking with the heat reduced to low. Then stir the spinach in until it wilts but is still a bright deep green.
- Mix-in options. To add extra protein to this soup, you can sauté sliced pre-cooked chicken sausage or bulk Italian pork or chicken sausage with the carrots, onion, and celery (doing so will make the recipe no longer vegetarian or vegan, however). To add extra vegetables, you can sauté 1 cup red peppers or cubed butternut squash or sweet potatoes with the vegetables as well.
Brown lentils are small round lentils that are flat in the center to appear as a disk. They are more of a yellow-brown color, bordering on a tan appearance. Brown lentils are not the same as green lentils.
How to make lentil soup in the crockpot:
You can very easily make Italian crockpot lentil soup with this recipe. Follow the first two sautéing directions as listed, sautéing the vegetables and spices together in a pan on the stovetop.
Add the sauteed veggies and spices to the crockpot along with the lentils, tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, and salt. Stir well. Cover the soup and cook on low heat for 7-9 hours or until the lentils are cooked through and tender.
This soup is naturally gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, processed sugar-free and dairy-free if you use the vegetable broth and vegan parmesan cheese (or omit the cheese).
If using a chicken broth and parmesan cheese, this recipe is gluten-free and processed sugar-free.
Serve this soup hot as vegetarian main dish recipe. with grated parmesan cheese, black pepper, chopped Italian parsley, and extra virgin olive to garnish. It is fantastic served alongside a warm crusty Italian bread like ciabatta or focaccia and extra virgin olive oil to dip.
This soup is also delicious as a side soup, served as an appetizer or with your favorite sandwich or salad.
Leftover soup keeps covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Silicone spatula or wooden spoon
- Dutch oven or stock pot
- Soup ladle
More soup and lentil recipes:
- Moroccan Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup
- Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Instant Pot Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
- Easy Butternut Squash Soup
- Steak Soup
- Minestra Soup
- Instant Pot Bean Soup
- Pumpkin Sausage Soup
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Comforting, savory, hydrating, and bursting with fresh vegetables, this Italian Lentil Soup is your new healthy comfort food go-to.
To make this recipe vegetarian and vegan, use vegetable broth and omit the parmesan cheese or use a vegan cheese.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 ½ cup sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1, 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt + additional to taste
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 cups baby spinach
- Grated parmesan cheese, black pepper, chopped Italian parsley, and/or extra virgin olive oil, to garnish
- In a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the onion, carrots, and celery in the olive oil for 7-8 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic, dried parsley, rosemary, and Italian seasoning, and crimini mushrooms to the pan. Sauté another 3-4 minutes, or until the spices and garlic are aromatic.
- Add the diced tomatoes, green lentils, bay leaf, broth, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir well. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat back to medium and simmer the soup for 18-20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender.
- Turn the heat to low. Stir in the white vinegar and baby spinach. Cook 2 minutes, or until the spinach as wilted. Season the soup with additional salt to taste and serve hot with grated parmesan cheese, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil to garnish. Enjoy!
1. Leftover soup keeps covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months.
Amount Per Serving Calories 253Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 2mgSodium 529mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 14gSugar 11gProtein 11g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.