Beauties, I absolutely love soup. I enjoy eating soup every week, no matter what time of year. It’s so easy to add protein-rich beans to any plant-based or vegan soup to make it more filling, and lentil soup is one of my favorites to make!
That’s because soup, especially lentil soups, are so versatile. Bean and vegetable soups are amazing beauty foods full of nutrients, especially when you’re making the soup yourself.
Sadly most premade or canned soups are full of additives or undesirable ingredients. They can make you feel bloated, sluggish, and just plain icky.
Thankfully, soup is to make, so even with a busy day ahead of you, soups can be a great choice. To inspire you, I’m sharing some of my favorite lentil soup recipes.
Lentils pack a powerful, healthy punch in a small package. I know you’re going to find at least one you can’t wait to cook right away.
Before I share these very different, but all delicious, vegan lentil soup recipes, I want to share a little more about why lentils, and lentil soup specifically, is such a go-to choice for me.
If you want to get straight to the recipes though, you can skip ahead. Enjoy, Beauties!
What are Lentils?
Lentils are small, round members of the legume family. There are many different kinds of lentils grown across the world, all in a variety of colors and shapes. The brown and red varieties are most common in your local grocery store though.
Many cultures around the world have been growing and eating lentils for thousands of years. That’s because these tiny legumes pack a nutritional punch and are full of amazing health benefits.
While lentils are typically sold dry— often in bags or in the bulk foods section— you can find pre-cooked or canned lentils at any local grocery store.
The Health Benefits of Lentils
If anyone ever asks you where you get your protein on a plant-based diet, “lentils” are a great answer! Lentils are a great source of plant protein, and they’re naturally high in vital nutrients your body needs to be at its best. This includes iron, B vitamins, and potassium. They’re also a great source of dietary fiber to keep you regular.
Lentils are good for your heart too, Beauties! Because they’re rich in fiber— as well as potassium and folate— lentils are a great food if you’re worried about your cholesterol or your blood pressure.
Lentils are also a great source of polyphenols. These are compounds that can offer a variety of amazing benefits, like better digestion, boosted brain health, and even protection against diabetes! Polyphenols are also anti-inflammatory and protect your body against free radicals that can make you sick.
You can get even more health benefits out of lentils when your digestion is working optimally. If it isn’t, focusing on consistently eating the right gut-friendly foods or taking high-quality supplements can help.
Healthy plant-based supplements— such as my Feel Good digestive enzymes, SBO probiotics+ and Detoxy — can help you maximize the nutrition you get from your diet and give your health an extra boost. They’ll even help you feel light and regular even on days when you may not be eating perfectly.
What Are Antinutrients?
One important thing to know about lentils is that they contain what are called antinutrients.
Antinutrients are compounds that can reduce your body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients.
Legumes— including beans and lentils— contain antinutrients like phytate and lectins. You don’t have to worry though, Beauties! Thoroughly cooking your lentils will ensure that you avoid these antinutrients and get the most out of your diet.
How To Cook Lentils
When you buy lentils at the supermarket, you’ll notice that they’re dry and need to be cooked a certain way before they’re edible. Remember— cooking your lentils will reduce the antinutrients that are in them, allowing you to take full advantage of their health benefits. Cooking lentils is so simple though— here’s how you do it:
- First, rinse your lentils well. This will make sure your lentils are nice and clean and free of any impurities you don’t want in your food.
- Next, put your rinsed lentils in a pot and cover them with water, vegetable stock, or vegetable broth.
- Boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes. Split red lentils require less time to cook— usually around five minutes.
- Drain any excess liquid as needed.
Can I Use a Slow Cooker or an Instant Pot?
Of course! The stovetop isn’t the only place to cook lentils. If you have an Instant Pot or a slow cooker, then this process can be even easier than it already is!
How to Cook Lentils with a Slow Cooker
Cooking lentils in your slow cooker isn’t much different than cooking them on the stovetop. There are a few key differences though.
- First, rinse your dried lentils as normal.
- Next, add your lentils and your liquid. You want your ratio to be 1:4— this means one cup of lentils for every four cups of liquid.
- Put the lid on your slow cooker. On high, cook for 3 to 4 hours, or cook for 6 to 8 hours on low.
- Drain as needed after the lentils are fully cooked.
How to Cook Lentils with an Instant Pot
Cooking lentils in your Instant Pot is a little different than cooking them in the slow cooker. This is because an Instant Pot is a pressure cooker as well you’re cooking your lentils with pressure as well as heat.
- Rinse your lentils as normal.
- Put your lentils in the Instant Pot, and add liquid of your choice. This should be a 1:3 ratio— one cup of lentils for every three cups of liquid.
- Put the lid on your Instant Pot and lock it. Make sure the valve is sealed.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release on its own, or carefully release the pressure by turning the valve to “Venting.” The steam here is very hot, so be careful!
- Drain as needed once your lentils reach their desired tenderness.
6 Amazing and Healthy Recipes for Lentil Soup
Now that you know how to cook your lentils, let’s get to some of my favorite recipes! While most soups are popular during the colder months, the best lentil soup is one you can enjoy year-round. In fact, these healthy and delicious vegan lentil soup recipes are perfect no matter what time of year it is.
All of these soups and stews are wonderfully chunky and hearty, but if you like a thinner soup, don’t worry! You can blend any of these recipes down and still keep their beautiful flavors and health benefits. My favorite way to do this is with my Vitamix blender.
Hearty Lentil and Kale Soup
My hearty lentil and kale soup is an excellent main dish for when you’re looking for something warming, comforting, and healthy.
Made with olive oil, kale, potato, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast, this soup is filling without feeling heavy.
Vegan Curry Lentil Soup
Looking for a bold new flavor? Look no further than my vegan curry lentil soup! Made with cauliflower, lentils, and chickpeas, this amazing soup is packed with protein, fiber, and sooooo much flavor.
Even better, curry powder has amazing healing properties. This pungent spice can boost your digestion, improve circulation, and help your body naturally detox.
Tomato Basil Veggie Lentil Soup
There’s nothing quite like a comforting bowl of tomato soup. This is so much better than the canned stuff full of excess sodium and added dairy!
This tomato basil veggie lentil soup is such a simple recipe, full of healthy foods like robust garlic and onion, vibrant carrot, and beautiful broccoli. It’s just perfect for those busy days where you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
I recommend using fresh diced tomatoes and tomato paste in this recipe. Canned goods can be contaminated by the BPA from the cans themselves, which is a toxin you don’t want in your body!
Simple Thyme Lentil Soup
There’s a certain beauty to simplicity. This easy lentil soup recipe is a fine example of that. Nourishing, filling, and grounding, my simple thyme lentil soup is as simple to cook as it is to eat. Just put everything into a pot and let it go— it’s that simple, Beauties. No matter how busy we are, there’s always thyme to make this soup. 😉
Spiced Tomato and Yellow Lentil Veggie Stew
Looking for another hearty lentil soup? My spiced tomato and yellow lentil veggie stew is a colorful and nutritious meal that can be prepared all in one bowl in just 30 minutes!
Spinach, Veggie and Red Lentil Stew
This is another one of my one-pot wonders! Packed with protein, beautifying veggies and invigorating spices like cumin, my spinach, veggie and red lentil stew is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
With all these beautiful soups in your recipe book, cooking light doesn’t have to be a challenge. Soups and stews aren’t just a winter food either— you can (and should!) enjoy these recipes year-round. I know I do!
If you try any of these recipes, be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see! Make sure you share it on Pinterest as well. 🙂
All my love,
Do you have to cook the lentils on their own first before adding to soup?
Hi Karen – feel free to cook the lentils ahead of time. However, each recipe will have the steps on how the lentils should be prepared and when to add them to the other ingredients. If you would like to avoid wondering how each recipes says to prepare them, you can cook them in advance and then just toss them in at the end until they are warmed through. Let us know how you do and sending you lots of love! Xo