Delicious and Nutritious Lentil Soup Recipe

The aroma of a hearty lentil soup is truly irresistible. The warm and earthy tones, combined with the bold flavors of fresh veggies and savory spices, make for a perfect comfort dish. This vegan version of the classic lentil soup is nothing short of exceptional. With the addition of nutrient-packed spinach leaves, this soup is the epitome of healthy yet flavorful meals.

Made with fresh ingredients and minimal effort, this one-pot lentil soup is perfect for busy weeknights or cozy weekends indoors. Whether you’re a self-proclaimed lentil enthusiast or just looking for a healthier alternative to your usual comfort food, this recipe will surely satisfy your cravings- making it the perfect soup for anyone who wants to indulge in rich and delicious flavors without any guilt.

With an easy-to-follow recipe that guides even novice cooks through the entire process, you will have dinner ready in no time! So get out your pressure cooker pot and let’s delve into this hearty lentil and spinach soup recipe, made only with wholesome plant-based ingredients that are sure to nourish both body and soul.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Hearty Lentil Soup With Spinach - Vegetarian Version
Hearty Lentil Soup With Spinach – Vegetarian Version

This hearty lentil soup with spinach is a gem in the world of plant-based soups. It’ll warm your soul, tingle your taste buds, and keep you healthy all at once. Why love this recipe, you ask? Let me count the ways.

Firstly, it’s loaded with flavor. The combination of fresh thyme leaves and bay leaf produce an aroma that will make your neighbors come knocking on your door just to catch a whiff. Then there’s the caramelized onions, which add a sweetness that perfectly balances the acidity of diced tomatoes. And let’s not forget the garlic, which ties all the flavors together and adds a subtle zing.

Secondly, this lentil soup is a powerhouse of nutrition. Lentils are a great source of protein, iron, and fiber – all essential for maintaining good health. The spinach further adds to the nutrition profile by providing vitamins A and C, as well as iron and calcium.

Thirdly, it’s easy to make. With only a few basic ingredients – carrots, celery, onions, garlic – you can whip up this soup in no time. It can be made on the stove or easily adapted for an instant pot or pressure cooker.

Finally, it’s versatile. This soup can be made with either green or brown lentils or even butter beans if you’re feeling adventurous. It can also be made gluten-free by using vegetable broth instead of water.

In conclusion, whether you’re vegan or not, this lentil soup with spinach is sure to please everyone who tries it. Its healthy and flavorful nature makes it perfect for any occasion – whether you’re meal prepping or entertaining guests. So why settle for boring vegetable soup when you can have this thick and hearty lentil spinach soup that will make your taste buds dance?

Ingredient List

 Perfect bowl of warmth on a cold day!
Perfect bowl of warmth on a cold day!

Let’s dive into the ingredients of this hearty lentil soup with spinach recipe. You’ll need the following items:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups spinach leaves, tightly packed
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Most of these ingredients are probably already in your pantry, making this recipe easy to whip up when you’re craving a hearty and healthy meal.

The Recipe How-To

 Easy to customize with your favorite ingredients!
Easy to customize with your favorite ingredients!

One of the most spectacular things about this lentil soup recipe is that it’s incredibly easy to make! You will need lentils, spinach, and a few other simple ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry. It can be made on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot/pressure cooker, depending on your preference.

Stovetop Method

  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 chopped onion, 2 diced carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs, and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened.
  • Add 4 minced garlic cloves and cook for another minute.
  • Add 1 pound of lentils (either brown lentils or green lentils work well) to the pot along with 6 cups of vegetable broth and 4 cups of water.
  • Stir in 1 can diced tomatoes with juices, along with a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme leaves.
  • Bring everything to a boil then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  • Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs before seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Once done, add in freshly chopped spinach and stir it in until it is wilted.

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Method

  • Press “sauté” on your Instant Pot/pressure cooker and heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 chopped onion, 2 diced carrots, and 2 chopped celery ribs. Sauté for about 5 minutes until softened, then add the minced garlic cloves for another minute.
  • Add the lentils (either brown or green) along with the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes with their juice, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, salt, and black pepper to taste.
  • Secure the lid on your Instant Pot/pressure cooker and press the “manual” button followed by adjusting the pressure cooking time to 20 minutes.
  • Once done cooking release any pressure if needed and open up your Instant Pot/pressure cooker. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs before seasoning with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Finally, stir in fresh spinach into your soup before serving!

Enjoy this bowl of warm hearty goodness!

Substitutions and Variations

 Nothing like a bowl of lentil soup to warm you up and fill you up!
Nothing like a bowl of lentil soup to warm you up and fill you up!

If you’re feeling creative, there are plenty of substitutions and variations that you can make to this lentil soup recipe. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

– Instead of spinach, try using kale or Swiss chard for a slightly different flavor profile. You could also add in some arugula or mixed greens at the end for a pop of color and extra nutrients.

– If you don’t have fresh thyme leaves on hand, you can substitute with dried thyme. Just use about half the amount called for in the recipe.

– For a heartier soup, consider adding in some diced potatoes or sweet potatoes, or even some cooked quinoa or brown rice.

– If you prefer a spicier soup, try adding in some cumin or chili powder to taste. You could also dice up a jalapeno or other hot pepper and sauté with the onions and garlic.

– Want to make this soup even more filling? Try adding some chopped vegan sausage or seitan to the pot along with the veggies and lentils.

– If you’re looking for a lower-carb option, skip the carrots and use cauliflower instead. You could also swap out the lentils for chickpeas or butter beans for a Mediterranean-inspired twist.

Ultimately, this lentil soup recipe is incredibly flexible and forgiving, so don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 A simple, comforting soup that's loaded with nutrients!
A simple, comforting soup that’s loaded with nutrients!

When it comes to serving and pairing this hearty lentil soup with spinach, I recommend keeping things simple. This dish is already packed with so much flavor and texture, that you don’t want to overpower it or make it too complicated.

For a classic pairing, I suggest serving this soup with some crusty bread or a side salad. The bread will help to soak up all of the delicious broth and the salad will provide a fresh and crisp contrast to the warm and comforting soup.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, you could also pair this soup with some quinoa or brown rice. These grains will add some chewiness and nuttiness to the dish, and will help to make it more filling.

As for beverages, you can’t go wrong with a nice glass of red wine or a cold beer. If you prefer something non-alcoholic, try serving this soup with sparkling water or a fruity iced tea.

Overall, this hearty lentil soup with spinach is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of sides and drinks. Keep it simple and let the flavors speak for themselves!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A delicious way to get in your veggies!
A delicious way to get in your veggies!

As delicious as this hearty lentil soup with spinach is, you may want to make extra and store it for a quick and healthy meal later on in the week. Thankfully, this soup recipe is perfect for making ahead and reheating.

To make ahead: after cooking, let the soup cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

To reheat: gently heat the soup on medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stovetop until heated through. You may need to add some vegetable broth or water if the soup has become too thick during storage.

Another option is to reheat in a microwave-safe dish on high power, stirring occasionally until heated through. However, be careful not to overheat as this may cause the spinach to wilt.

One essential tip to keep in mind when storing and reheating this lentil spinach soup is to keep it separate from any fresh greens or herbs that will be used as garnish when serving. Doing so can prevent these ingredients from wilting or becoming less vibrant.

Overall, with its easy reheating and storing options, this vegan lentil spinach soup is a meal prep champion that will save you time and effort throughout the week.

Tips for Perfect Results

 This soup is loaded with protein, fiber, and flavor!
This soup is loaded with protein, fiber, and flavor!

When making hearty lentil soup with spinach, there are a few key tips to keep in mind that will help you achieve the best results possible. Here are my top suggestions for ensuring your soup is healthy, flavorful, and comforting:

1. Soak your lentils before cooking them: If you have the time and patience, I highly recommend soaking your lentils in cold water for at least an hour before cooking them. This will help to break down some of the complex sugars in the lentils and make them easier to digest.

2. Use fresh herbs: Fresh thyme is a wonderful addition to this soup, and it’s best to add it at the end of cooking so that it retains its flavor and aroma. If you can’t find fresh thyme, you can substitute dried thyme instead.

3. Experiment with different spices: While this recipe calls for black pepper and bay leaf, feel free to get creative with other spices as well. Cumin, smoked paprika, and turmeric all work well with lentils.

4. Don’t overcook the lentils: Be sure to keep an eye on your lentils as they cook, as you don’t want them to become mushy or fall apart completely. Test them for doneness after about 20 minutes of simmering and remove them from heat when they’re still slightly firm.

5. Add lemon juice for brightness: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving will help to brighten up the flavors in the soup and cut through any richness.

6. Serve with crusty bread or crackers: Nothing complements a hearty soup like a good piece of bread or some crackers on the side. Try serving this lentil soup with a slice of crusty sourdough or some whole wheat crackers for added texture.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a thick, hearty lentil soup that’s packed with flavor and nutrition. Give it a try today!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Hearty Lentil Soup with Spinach is the perfect recipe for anyone who wants to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal. Whether you are a vegan or a meat-eater, there is no doubt that you will love this dish. With its combination of savory lentils, fresh spinach, and aromatic herbs and spices, this soup is a true delight for the taste buds.

Not only is this soup incredibly flavorful and filling, but it also has many health benefits. Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their overall health. Meanwhile, spinach is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that can help boost your immune system and protect against disease.

So if you’re looking for a hearty and nutritious meal that doesn’t require much time or effort to make, be sure to try this lentil soup recipe. It’s a perfect dish for any occasion and can be easily adapted to suit your tastes and dietary preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious lunch or dinner, this soup is sure to satisfy your cravings and nourish your body at the same time. So give it a try today!

Hearty Lentil Soup With Spinach - Vegetarian Version

Hearty Lentil Soup With Spinach - Vegetarian Version Recipe

I usually make this with bacon, but I can't eat meat on my current restricted diet, so I've tossed that smoky slab and added some other stuff! I've also almost doubled the original amounts of original recipe - I can't make small batches of soup! I pack it up in plastic containers and take them to work. *Please note that preparation time may vary. I'm a slow chopper and I accounted for that in the given time below!
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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 3 Quarts
Calories 172.7 kcal


  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or thereabouts)
  • 1 1/2 large onions, chopped fine
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped medium
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped medium
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 ounces spinach, baby whole or 8 ounces regular spinach, chopped


  • Heat olive oil at medium-high heat.
  • Add onions, carrots and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften (4-8 minutes).
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).
  • Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme; cook until fragrant (30 seconds).
  • Stir in lentils, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils have darkened *7-10 minutes).
  • Uncover, add vegetable broth and water.
  • Bring to a boil, cover partially, and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer until lentils are tender but not mushy (30-35 minutes).
  • Discard bay leaf.
  • Puree 3 cups soup in blender until smooth, then return puree to pot.
  • Stir in spinach until wilted.
  • Serve! (or place in plastic containers for work!).

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 238gCalories: 172.7kcalCarbohydrates: 21.9gProtein: 7.1gFat: 7.4gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 215.3mgFiber: 7.5gSugar: 6.7g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Inexpensive, Lentils
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