Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup


Here’s a new, super healthy soup to add to your dinner rotation – this Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup! It brimming with nutritious ingredients and it will fill you right up. Plus it’s perfectly comforting for all these cold winter days. It’s been nearing 0 degrees outside (yes ZERO, it was 1 degree the other night) so the only dinner option around here lately is soup. Soup. Soup. And soup again. I think we’ve had soup 5 days in a row, either for lunch or dinner, but there aren’t any complaints around here about that. I think it’s a total lie when my thermostat says 72 degrees in the house, it sure doesn’t feel like it (although I can’t complain I’m super grateful for a heated home). The only way for me to get warm is to eat loads of soup, take a hot bubble bath (yes the bubbles are necessary :)) and then slip right into some extra warm socks and jams. It’s practically becoming a routine. 

Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup | Cooking Classy

Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup | Cooking Classy

Honestly I was surprised that my kids ate this soup and actually enjoyed it. I was expecting “ewww whats all this green stuff” but they ate it right up. So it was a win all around and I’ll definitely be making it again and again! I’m even tried freezing some since I made two batches while testing recipes, so I’m going to have some pre-made healthy lunches to look forward to. And I love that it tastes so much like minestrone soup, I’ve always loved minestrone. Now do yourself a favor and make this perfectly satisfying Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup this week! If you can’t resist serve it up with some crusty sourdough baguette slices for dipping.


Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup | Cooking Classy Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup | Cooking Classy Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup | Cooking Classy


Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup

4.95 from 34 votes

Yield: About 6 servings


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots (3 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onions (1 medium)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 4 (14.5 oz) cans vegetable broth
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups dried brown lentils , rinsed and picked over
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini (1 medium)
  • 2 cups packed chopped kale or spinach
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Parmesan cheese , for serving (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onions and saute 2 minutes then add garlic and saute 2 minutes longer. Pour in vegetable broth and tomatoes. Add in lentils, basil, oregano, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in zucchini and kale and simmer 10 minutes longer. Stir in lemon juice and add up to 1 cup of water to thin as needed (as the soup rests the lentils soak up more of the broth). Serve warm with parmesan cheese if desired.
  2. Recipe source: inspired by Yummy Mummy Kitchen and my minestrone


  • Aleeha: I’ve never had a lentil soup before, but this looks so good!
    Aleeha xXx January 8, 2017 at 3:22pm Reply

  • Edwina at The Equipped Cook: This looks really good (and healthy). I need to reintroduce lentils to the family. I go through phases when I forget about them but this soup would be a winner for dinner! January 8, 2017 at 3:28pm Reply

  • Sarah | Well and Full: It just snowed here in CT, so I’d love to curl up with a bowl of this soup right now :) January 8, 2017 at 6:23pm Reply

  • Monique: Even though I live in Miami, I can’t seem to get the winter comfort food vibe out of my system. I make either peas, beans or soup every week. I love lentils, and this one looks hearty and healthy. I’ll definitely try it! January 8, 2017 at 7:22pm Reply

  • Jo: I’ve only had lentil soup a couple of times a long time ago & I didn’t care for it. This looks wonderful like the minestrone I mad last weekend. Can someone tell me what lentils taste like & which ones are the best to use? I’ve read there’s a difference. Thank January 8, 2017 at 9:26pm Reply

    • Leslie: I think brown lentils are used here. But these take longer to cook than red lentils (which really look pink). As a Nutritionist I always soak and briefly sprout all lentils too. Helps reduce the phytates/phytic acid. This is an antioxidant that can inhibit the digestion of certain minerals. Red lentils can be soaked overnight then sprouted the next day and are ready to cook for dinner. In a bind I’ve even soaked and sprouted red lentils the same day. Soaking and sprouting also reduces cooking time. ;) January 25, 2018 at 5:23pm Reply

      • Pam: How would green lentils be in this dish? Just happen to have some on hand. :) February 27, 2018 at 3:33pm Reply

  • 2pots2cook: Thank you for this idea since I have used lentils while preparing Indian dishes. Great photos make me try this version. Thank you and have a pleasant day ! January 9, 2017 at 2:15am Reply

  • Sara @ Last Night’s Feast: This looks so comforting! January 9, 2017 at 6:41am Reply

  • Grace: Two questions,
    Can I use barley or rice instead of lentils?

    Can this be made in a crock pot?

    Thank you January 9, 2017 at 6:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It would give it a different flavor but they should work in this recipe. January 9, 2017 at 5:14pm Reply

  • Brenda: Greetings – Can we add chopped celery to this soup ? The base for all my soups is onion, celery and carrot. Thank you. January 9, 2017 at 10:09am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that would be fine, I’d just add in a little less carrots. January 9, 2017 at 10:09am Reply

  • Paige: Yum! We have lentils in our house that we need to use up, and this is perfect!

    Paige January 9, 2017 at 4:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you get a chance to try it Paige! January 13, 2017 at 3:11pm Reply

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci: Such a gorgeous, healthy soup! This is just the recipe I need to get back on track :) January 9, 2017 at 5:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes! Me too Laura! :) January 13, 2017 at 3:11pm Reply

  • charlie: looks amazing! i’m going to give it a go! January 11, 2017 at 9:14am Reply

  • Mary Sicari: I made this, followed the recipe exactly, and it is very, very good! Even my husband enjoyed it, and he doesn’t really like soup. So I’ll be making this again and again! Thank you for another great recipe. Keep up the good work! January 16, 2017 at 7:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup Mary! January 17, 2017 at 10:10am Reply

  • Mabel: This looks delicious where can I find the nutritional information? February 6, 2017 at 12:07pm Reply

  • Karen A. Oliver: Could you add sausage to this to make it good for the “meat eater”? February 8, 2017 at 6:11am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes definitely. February 8, 2017 at 10:36am Reply

  • luz: can i add corn to the soup? February 9, 2017 at 3:16pm Reply

  • Debbie Bickerstaff: I’ve turned this into a crockpot recipe and added the spinach at the end! It was great! March 12, 2017 at 11:21am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’ll have to try it in a slow cooker next time! I’m glad you liked it Debbie! March 13, 2017 at 11:57pm Reply

    • Timmy: I’m wanting to make this in the Crock Pot. How did you do it? October 20, 2017 at 9:47pm Reply

  • Simone: Can i use canned lentils and how should i adjust the process? Thanks! March 13, 2017 at 4:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’ve never cooked with canned lentils but that should be just fine. I imagine they are similar to canned beans and are fully cooked through so I’d wait to add them until near the end and just let them warm through. March 13, 2017 at 11:34pm Reply

  • Kayla: Made this soup tonight and it was just perfect! I’m from Australia so it’s just starting to cool down here, a welcome change. Have to admit I almost never cook a dish without meat but this soup does not need it at all, the lentils were delicious! Thanks for sharing, lots of your recipes look great, I’ve made the creamy chicken noodle soup lots and everyone always loves it :) April 11, 2017 at 4:34am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it Kayla! Thanks for following in Australia! April 18, 2017 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Bertha: They look delicious, I am going to try them this week but my only question is that lentils take some time to cook, how long did you cook them?? April 16, 2017 at 11:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Just as long as listed in the recipe – it will be about 45 mins April 17, 2017 at 10:56am Reply

  • Rachel: This looks so yummy and nutritious! Any idea how well this recipe keeps in the freezer? Hoping to add it to my frozen meal stockpile for postpartum. Thanks! May 19, 2017 at 1:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tried with this one yet but it should freeze okay. I hope you love it Rachel! May 20, 2017 at 7:54pm Reply

  • Nicole: I just made this for dinner and it was sensational! Did need around triple the amount of broth/water. Thanks! June 8, 2017 at 9:49am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you loved it Nicole! June 9, 2017 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Terri: I’m making this recipe today, I’m curious to see how it is with the lentils! My go-to recipe for minestrone soup also has vinegar added at the end, and you use lemon juice; I’m curious just what the acid does, and if any type could be substituted by preference? BTW, when I tried my minestrone without the vinegar, it really didn’t taste quite right. Just curious what the science is! July 12, 2017 at 8:08am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The lemon juice is just for flavor, and I’d stick with the lemon juice here. I hope you love this lentil version Terri! July 12, 2017 at 11:21pm Reply

  • Lauren Kepler: My new favorite! This turned out sooo yummy! I swapped out a few of the spices for things like turmeric and I forget what else. Instead of zucchini (because I forgot to get them!) I had mini potatoes, and I used fire roasted tomatoes instead of regular canned tomatoes. August 18, 2017 at 1:47pm Reply

  • Beverly: Great soup. Will be making it regularly. Added a little ditalini pasta. September 1, 2017 at 4:32am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you like it Beverly! September 5, 2017 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Angela: Anyone make this in crockpot? Time? Add all ingredients at once ok? September 5, 2017 at 9:27am Reply

    • Martina: I sauted the onions and carrots on the stove then the rest in the crock pot. November 8, 2017 at 12:13pm Reply

  • Megan: Vegetable broth? Is this just vegetable stock? X September 9, 2017 at 8:36am Reply

  • Amra: It was a rainy Sunday in Amsterdam yesterday when I made this soup and it was absolutely delicious! Shared with two different neighbours and they loved it too. Will definitely be making it again. Thanks so much! :) October 23, 2017 at 5:54am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear it Amra! Thanks for replying all the way from Amsterdam! I hope to visit there someday. October 23, 2017 at 2:26pm Reply

  • Judy solomon: Just made it on a rainy afternoon. Wonderful November 7, 2017 at 2:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked this lentil soup Judy! Thanks for your comment! November 7, 2017 at 6:24pm Reply

  • Martina: I made this for my book club and it was delicious. Hardly any leftovers sadly. Thank you for sharing. November 8, 2017 at 12:12pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! Thanks for visiting my site! November 10, 2017 at 9:55am Reply

  • Paula: Yes, I made this. Yummy. But how many calories is there?? November 9, 2017 at 11:33am Reply

  • Cheryl Boston: I made this soup yesterday, and then had to make some breadsticks to go with it. My husband had two big bowls last night and is currently rushing home to have some more. The flavours and the veggies of this soup are sublime. I made mine with spinach rather than kale, but only because I had spinach that needed to be eaten up. I’m sure kale would be every bit as good. This is the best soup recipe I’ve pulled off the internet ever. November 15, 2017 at 9:40am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much for the kind words Cheryl – glad you liked the soup! November 15, 2017 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Gina: Delish!! Will be in rotation for sure November 15, 2017 at 6:01pm Reply

  • Karen: I made this tonight for dinner with a just a few changes. I added sweet Italian sausage & used half vegetable broth & half vegetable stock. I also didnt have dried basil so I used fresh & I decreased the amount of lentils since I added sausage. The soup turned out delicious. I will surely make it again. November 16, 2017 at 9:09pm Reply

  • Erica: I just received my lovely first crock pot i bought during black friday! I eant to try this at first. How long should I set it? November 25, 2017 at 7:38am Reply

  • Sanna: Beautiful and delicious! December 5, 2017 at 1:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Sanna! December 5, 2017 at 1:43pm Reply

  • Cherie: Delicious soup! I added 1 tbs. of balsamic vinegar at the end. Just gave it that little kick! December 10, 2017 at 7:03pm Reply

  • Jackie: Making this soup for 8 people at 3 cups each. Should I triple recipe in order to get the quantity I need? December 13, 2017 at 9:37am Reply

  • Roxanne: What would be the measurements for 10-12 individuals?

    I make my own (meat included) lentil soup but this is great for our vegetarian night! December 20, 2017 at 6:34am Reply

  • Linda: Delish I added tomatoes that were frozen from my garden. Didn’t have the zucchini so I bypassed it. Added spinach instead an used chicken stock. Love this recipe. It’s a keeper. December 27, 2017 at 3:26pm Reply

  • Karen: What an awesome soup! I made this last night, super easy and super delicious! Guests loved it and I’m looking forward to having the rest today. This is easy and quick enough for any day, I was surprised at how easy it is. I simmered it for longer because my guests were late, and it got even better, thicker and richer. This is a keeper for sure! My own personal touch, I add about a tablespoon of maple syrup to all recipes that have tomatoes, and gives it nice a little extra flavor :) December 28, 2017 at 9:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great tips – glad you loved it Karen! January 2, 2018 at 4:37pm Reply

  • Dave: Just made this soup and I love it. It will now be part of my go to soup. So easy to make. I saw this recipe 2 days ago. Went to make and duhhh I had no lentils. Went out in the snow and 7 degree weather to get them and crusty bread. Earth Fare had no brown lentils. They would have to special order them. So, I had a choice of green, french, or red lentils. Opted for green. They take a little longer to cook. So I let it cook about 10 min longer before adding zuc and grrns. Also, didn’t have any oregano (duhhh dave, you just went to the store) so I used 1 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning instead of oregano, thyme, and basil. Oh, I also added a little red pepper seed while doing onions, after all any good Italian would do that. LOL. I’m eat now with crusty bread and green tea. When done will add to My Fittness Pal to get nutrition info. I have to watch my sodium. Going to check out some of your other recipes. December 30, 2017 at 7:30pm Reply

  • Stephanie: I have never made lentil soup before but craved some comfort food. I have actually only made one soup before in my life. This recipe was easy. It was DELICIOUS! I’m absolutely trying more of your recipes. Thank you for sharing! January 1, 2018 at 12:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! Thanks Stephanie! January 4, 2018 at 12:20pm Reply

  • Steve: This works really well- great instructions, easy to follow. It’s already freezing here in Beijing so will be great with focaccia tonight, many thanks January 5, 2018 at 4:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope it warms you up! January 5, 2018 at 11:27am Reply

  • MARTHA N YOUNGER: I have been cooking for over 50 years.
    and this soup is the best ever.
    shame I did not have this recipe wen I LIVE IN fIRENZE. January 11, 2018 at 10:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I love this comment! Here’s to many more years cooking – Thanks Martha January 11, 2018 at 11:41am Reply

  • Jordyn Bennett: I made this today, so good! Do you have a nutrition label for this? January 14, 2018 at 9:29pm Reply

  • Lisa Ann rossetti: Easy to make and taste like gourmet, was delicious taste like my grandma would make January 15, 2018 at 5:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you enjoyed it! January 17, 2018 at 1:02pm Reply

  • Wahiba: Simply delicious. I didn’t change anything.
    I shared the recipe with all my friends. Thank you for sharing. January 17, 2018 at 9:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving a comment Wahiba! January 19, 2018 at 11:58am Reply

  • Juli Smalley: This looks so yummy! Has anyone tried making this in an Instant Pot? If so, how long did you cook it? January 21, 2018 at 7:29am Reply

  • Leslie: I’d love to know what type of enameled cast iron pot you used? Le Creuset sells a white one I’ve been considering because it’s made without heavy metals for the colors. But yours looks white on the inside too, and I thought all Le Creuset was colored beige inside.
    Thanks! January 25, 2018 at 5:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s the Martha Stewart one available from Macy’s. :) January 26, 2018 at 9:52am Reply

  • Mrs. L: Added 2 cans of garbanzo beans for extra protein and fiber. Left out zucchini and onion (didn’t have them on hand). Very flavorful and filling. Love this soup! January 26, 2018 at 10:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you love it! January 30, 2018 at 1:13pm Reply

  • Helena: I love a good lentil soup. I grow fresh herbs so I always like to add them to a pot of soup. This recipe is perfect for me to use everything in the fridge too! January 27, 2018 at 9:18pm Reply

  • Tacara: Can I use Red Lentils for this recipe? I have those at home. January 29, 2018 at 3:03am Reply

  • Yvette: I made this tonight for my husband and I, it was so delicious!!! January 29, 2018 at 6:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Yvette! January 30, 2018 at 2:09pm Reply

  • Joan: Made this three times this winter
    Love it January 30, 2018 at 4:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear it! February 5, 2018 at 10:15am Reply

  • Frances: This soup was delicious! This is my first time making lentil soup. After searching recipes, I chose this one because I had all the ingredients. So glad I chose a winner! February 8, 2018 at 4:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback! February 11, 2018 at 3:46pm Reply

  • Vonda: Awsome recipe! I feel like a 5 star chef! I used swiss chard from our garden instead of spinach. Thanks for sharing! February 11, 2018 at 4:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, glad you loved the vegetable soup! February 12, 2018 at 10:21am Reply

  • Maggie: I have made this serveral times…a hit with picky kids.I have added bay leaf and a celery stick to give extra taste. February 21, 2018 at 7:16am Reply

  • Stephanie Cordero: I made this soup today. My family and I loved it. I reduced the sodium a bit by using a low sodium broth. Awesome! Will be making this again. February 27, 2018 at 6:06pm Reply

  • Priscila: Made this soup today and family loved it. Did not have vegetable broth, so used chicken both (low sodium). I added some Turmeric to my bowl and it was great. Thank you. This is my first review for anything online! March 3, 2018 at 5:37pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear it! March 6, 2018 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Natalie: I made this recipe and it turned out absolutely delicious! I’m currently making them again :) so easy to make I couldn’t help myself. Thanks for sharing. March 3, 2018 at 11:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review! March 6, 2018 at 5:53pm Reply

  • LL: I came across this recipe really not wanting to go to the shops and just using what I have. I like the ‘stone soup story’ and usually cook quite freely and experimentally. I had zucchini and veggies but no other greens and similar herbs. I also added sweet potato and some capsicum and a handful of rissoni pasta as I need some carbs in my pregnancy diet to sustain me!
    It is divine and I will follow it closely in the future. March 6, 2018 at 2:05am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! March 6, 2018 at 6:09pm Reply

  • Jill: Delicious! Just wondering if anyone knows the serving size when it says yields 6? Trying to track macros and cals! March 6, 2018 at 11:53am Reply

  • Julie L.: One of my all-time favorites!! At the end instead of water, I add about a can of heinz tomato juice. Gives it a lovely tomato-y flavor! March 8, 2018 at 5:48pm Reply

  • Sarah: I made this tonight and it’s sooo good! The only thing was my zucchini and carrots weren’t cooked at the end so I had to simmer for an additional 15 mins. Not a big deal, but I was getting impatient because I was hungry lol March 14, 2018 at 10:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it – thanks for letting me know! March 15, 2018 at 9:56pm Reply

  • Mandy: Made it for dinner tonight. Everyone loved it. Thanks for the recipe! March 15, 2018 at 4:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad it was enjoyed! March 15, 2018 at 9:48pm Reply

  • Lucia Venneri: This is delicious! It makes quite a lot so have something to freeze half in. It is fantastic March 17, 2018 at 1:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed it! :) March 27, 2018 at 2:17pm Reply

  • Mary Martin: Great soup! I made a big batch, can I freeze the left over? March 21, 2018 at 10:03am Reply

  • Connie Sanchez: I love this recipe! My husband and I gave it a try last week and it was delicious! I’m actually making it again this week for lunch. We eat the lentil soup with baguettes or white rice. I love that we can add other things and it tastes delicious because of the flavors! I highly recommend this recipe! April 15, 2018 at 5:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Connie! April 16, 2018 at 4:26pm Reply

  • Janet Leslie: Made this soup last night. Was so delicious. I used a combined soup lentil mix and it was perfect. June 15, 2018 at 5:10pm Reply

  • Dawn: Love this recipe…a new favorite! New to eating kale…so good. Made no changes to the recipe. Perfect! June 18, 2018 at 11:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the 5 star feedback! June 18, 2018 at 2:35pm Reply

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