This vegan red lentil soup is so easy to make, incredibly tasty and yet very healthy. Made with affordable ingredients, it’s so rich and nourishing that I have it as a main dish, especially if I’m serving it with some crusty bread.
Red lentils combined with onions, garlic and other hearty vegetables make this soup perfect for weeknights dinners or for whenever you need a quick easy meal. Due to how they’re processed, split red lentils cook much faster than any other vegetables. So, no need to invest a lot of time for a delicious, yet very nutritious meal.
Vegan red lentil soup ingredients
- red lentils – very rich in protein, fiber and minerals; they need only 20 minutes to cook; you can choose another type of lentils, just consider to adjust the cooking time;
- vegetables – I chose two root vegetables, carrots and parsley root, but you can use other roots like parsnip, turnip and / or celery; I also added apio (celery stalks) and fresh spinach to enhance the soup’s health benefits (for the nice coloring too); frozen spinach works fine too as long as you use whole leaves, not chopped; feel free to replace spinach with kale;
- onion & garlic – to enhance flavor and taste; garlic pairs very well with lentils;
- tomato sauce – I used simple homemade tomato sauce, but any store-bought tomato sauce or paste works fine too; I added it mostly to give the soup a nice color;
- spices – I used dried thyme and ground black pepper, but there are other good matches like cumin, turmeric, rosemary, etc.
How to make red lentil soup
Start by preparing all ingredients: rinse well and drain the red lentils, finely chop onion and garlic; chop root vegetables and into equally sized chunks (so that they cook at the same time); and roughly chop spinach.
In a large pot, add vegetable oil ad sauté onion and garlic over medium heat, then add root vegetables. Cook together for about 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
Next, add water, apio, tomato paste, spices and salt and let them simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add red lentils, combine well using a wooden spoon and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add more water if necessary. When lentils are almost cooked, add the chopped spinach. Combine well and let the spinach wilt for maximum 1 minute.
Turn off the heat, transfer the soup into serving bowl and enjoy ?.
How to store the soup
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 5-6 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze it for a couple of months if needed.
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Vegan Red Lentil Soup with Carrots and Spinach
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 medium carrots roughly sliced
- 1 small parsley root roughly sliced
- 3 cups water (or vegetable broth) 750 ml
- 100 g simple tomato sauce
- 100 g chopped apio approximately 1,5 cm
- 1 tbsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup red lentils (well rinsed) 200 g
- 100 g fresh spinach leaves
- Add vegetable oil into a heated large pot; when the oil is hot, add onion and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes over medium heat;
- Add carrots and parsley root and sauté for about 4-5 minutes; stir continuously to prevent burning;
- Add water, apio, tomato sauce, thyme, ground black pepper and salt, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes; cover with a lid;
- Add lentils and combine well; simmer for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat; stir from time to time;
- When lentils are almost done, bring in the chopped spinach leaves; give it a stir and let the spinach wilt;
- Turn off the heat and transfer the soup into serving bowls.
- If you prefer not to sauté vegetables in oil, you can replace it with water; you need to add 5-6 tablespoons of water, probably more after you add carrots and parsley root.
- The root vegetables need longer time to cook, that’s why you need to add them first to the pot. Apio also cooks slower than lentils so, they’re next in line after the root vegetables.
- Chop root vegetables in equal size so that they cook at the same time.
- Don’t overcook the spinach, let it keep its freshness and crispiness.