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.

lentil soup ingredients

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.

diced carrots and onions in a cast iron pot

  • Pour in vegetable broth and tomatoes.

pouring broth into a large pot of 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.

italian lentil soup in a large cast iron pot

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 58 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.
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
Recipe source: inspired by my Minestrone and Yummy Mummy Kitchen

150 comments

  • Cassandra: I love this recipe! This is the second time making it. It’s hearty, but not heavy and it’s so tasty! I love dipping fresh bread into it. Thanks for the delicious recipes! February 18, 2019 at 6:55pm Reply

  • Elizabeth M: Just finishing up my second serving! Used spinach instead of kale, and added fresh green beans and par cooked potatoes, lemon pepper and tumeric for fresh lemon.

    Hearty and simple on a frigid night! Lime Tostitos added a nice crunch on the side. February 15, 2019 at 7:19pm Reply

  • Tru: A Quick healthy and very tasty recipie that the whole family can enjoy and easily adapted using what’s in the pantry !
    Have just made this to take on a weekend away with freinds😀 February 6, 2019 at 8:22am Reply

  • Shelley: How can this be adapted for red lentils?
    Reduced cooktime? February 4, 2019 at 5:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes red lentils should work fine as well but they’ll cook in about 15 minutes. February 5, 2019 at 9:53am Reply

  • Holly: I needed a quick meal for the week and this was perfect. The ingredients were easy, “normal,” and inexpensive. It actually took me an hour an 20 minutes, the extra time was spent prepping the vegetables. The soup was delicious, not too heavy but perfect for a very chilly night. I had a dinner roll with it, but could have easily served a nice salad or sandwich with it. Thanks for the tips on freezing and mention of using a variety of vegetables. January 29, 2019 at 9:06pm Reply

  • Teri Lynn: This recipie was delicious! I raved about it to my co-workers, and shared it with several people. Easily a new staple in my house. Plus, I have never done much with lentits and I found myself having a whole new appreciation for them! January 27, 2019 at 5:13pm Reply

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