Lentil Soup (Italian Vegetable)

10.17.2018

Lentil Soup can come in many varieties. My favorite kind is this one, which is boasting with zesty Italian flavors and lots of fresh vegetables! It tastes a lot like minestrone, but with the addition of protein-rich lentils. In other words, it’s 100% satisfying! 

Lentil Soup in a gray bowl with bread on the side

The Best Lentil Soup

This vegetarian lentil soup is a must in your dinner rotation. I’ve tried many different kinds of lentil soup and this is easily the one I’d label the best!

It brimming with nutritious ingredients, it’s perfectly filling and it’s super easy to make. Plus, it’s perfectly comforting for all these cold fall days.

Even my kids love this Italian vegetable soup! We still have those dinners where it can be a struggle to get them to finish off their dinner, but no problem here! We love it with a side of buttered fresh bread or crackers.

Want to see how easy this lentil soup recipe is? Watch the video!

Lentil Soup in a large white cast iron pot

Lentil Soup Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh veggies (carrots, onions, garlic, zucchini and kale)
  • Vegetable broth
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Dried brown lentils , rinsed and picked over
  • Dried herbs including basil, oregano and thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Scroll below for printable recipe.

Ingredients needed to make lentil soup show n here including dry lentils, kale, onion, garlic, zucchini, lemon, vegetable broth, olive oil, canned tomatoes, dried herbs and parmesan.

How to Make Lentil Soup

  • 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.

Showing how to make lentil soup. Sautéing diced carrots and onions in a cast iron pot.

  • Pour in vegetable broth and tomatoes.

pouring broth and diced tomatoes into a large pot of lentil soup

  • 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.

adding lentils and herbs into a pot of soup

  • Add in zucchini and kale and simmer 10 minutes longer.

zucchini and kale in a pot of lentil soup

  • 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.

lentil soup full of vegetables in a large cast iron pot

Can I Make Lentil Soup in the Crock Pot?

Yes this will also work well being cooked in a Crock Pot.

  • To do so add the first 11 ingredients to a slow cooker.
  • Cook on low heat until lentils and vegetables are tender, about 7 hours.
  • Add kale and zucchini and cook 30 minutes longer.
  • Stir in lemon and serve with parmesan.

Can I Freeze Vegetarian Lentil Soup?

This soup does freeze well and reheats well. I like to freeze in individual servings and let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat for lunch the next day.

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

The other great thing about this vegetarian soup recipe is that you can add in other veggies you may have on hand. Green beans, peas, asparagus, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, bell pepper, fresh (seeded and peeled) tomatoes are all good options.

Use up what’s in your fridge or pantry so it doesn’t go to waste!

Lentil Soup in a white pot with a wooden spoon

Tips for the Best Lentil Soup

  • Stick with brown or green lentils or adjust the cooking time. Red lentils cook in over half the cooking time of brown and green.
  • If you don’t have have the dried herbs listed here, you could also substitute 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning instead of basil, oregano and thyme.
  • If you are out of vegetable broth, chicken broth will work too.
  • Don’t skip the lemon. Even though it’s a small amount it adds a nice hint of brightness.

Lenti Soup shown here in an individual serving in a grey bowl set over a grey plate with a second serving in the background

More Healthy Soup Recipes You’ll Love:

More Lentil Recipes to Try:

Up close image of lentil soup in a single serve soup bowl

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Print

Lentil Soup (Italian Vegetable)

4.92 from 61 votes

This is the best lentil soup plus prep is quick and it's so easy to make! It's packed with fresh veggies, zesty Italian flavors and plenty of protein rich lentils. A filling comforting soup perfect for serving any day of the year!

Servings: 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add carrots and onions and saute 2 minutes then add garlic and saute 2 minutes longer. 
  3. Pour in vegetable broth and tomatoes. Add in lentils, basil, oregano, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add in zucchini and kale and simmer 10 minutes longer, if using spinach wait to add it until the last 2 minutes. 

  6. 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). 
  7. Serve warm with parmesan cheese if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • Stick with brown or green lentils or adjust the cooking time. Red lentils cook in over half the cooking time of brown and green.
  • If you don't have have the dried herbs listed here, you could also substitute 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning instead of basil, oregano and thyme.
  • If you are out of vegetable broth, chicken broth will work too.
  • Don't skip the lemon. Even though it's a small amount it adds a nice hint of brightness.

Recipe source: inspired by my Minestrone and Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Nutrition Facts
Lentil Soup (Italian Vegetable)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 300 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Sodium 1323mg 55%
Potassium 1252mg 36%
Total Carbohydrates 50g 17%
Dietary Fiber 16g 64%
Sugars 13g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 215.3%
Vitamin C 96.9%
Calcium 16.8%
Iron 33.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Lentil Soup
Calories: 300 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

163 comments

  • LB: Easy, cheap, quick, delicious May 17, 2019 at 10:03pm Reply

  • Farzana Malik: One word “Awesome ” May 9, 2019 at 2:15pm Reply

  • ana: Tasted great! Especially with the tomatoes. I added more broth than you suggested to make it less dense May 9, 2019 at 7:40am Reply

  • Ingrid: Excellent. I just used water instead of broth. Also added some Parmesan cheese rinds. Waste not want not.I tasted it before and after adding the lemon juice. It did make nice a difference. May 6, 2019 at 3:53pm Reply

  • Rachael: By far the best lentil soup/veggie soup recipe! I’m on the Paleo diet and find it challenging to eat all of healthy foods I need to and have them be tasty. This gets filed away under great big pot recipes! April 29, 2019 at 8:15am Reply

  • Tiffanii: Hello. How large is a serving? April 28, 2019 at 1:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t have cup measurement on this recipe. I’ll try to remember next time I make it to get that info but it’s pretty easy to do if you’ve got a large liquid measuring cup. April 30, 2019 at 11:08am Reply

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