Italian Lentil Soup

Italian Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentils.  Beauty queens, they are not.  But what they lack in pulchritude they sure make up for in taste, versatility, and nutrition.

One of my favorite ways to eat lentils is in soup.  Actually, my favorite way to eat just about anything is in soup.  Who doesn’t love soup?  Homemade soup is like a favorite soft sweater.  It’s warm and cozy and fits just right for almost any occasion.

This lentil soup is one the most diet-friendly soups around.  High in fiber and low in fat, lentils are a natural weight-loss food.

This recipe makes a big pot of soup.  If it’s just you, or if you’re going away on vacation tomorrow, or if your best friend borrowed your only big pan, you may want to make only half of a batch.  Otherwise, catch a vision of the beauty of leftovers. Cook once, eat all week without effort.

I sometimes like to use shredded carrots in this soup instead of diced carrots.  If you use shredded carrots, wait and add them when you add the garlic.

Italian Lentil Soup Recipe

5.0 from 6 reviews

Italian Lentil Vegetable Soup
The seasoning measurements in this nourishing soup may seem like a lot, but they’re not a typo. The flavor is delish.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced or diced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced, diced, or julienned (see note)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 8 cups water or broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cups (one 14-ounce can) diced tomatoes (I like petite diced tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups (one 14-ounce can) tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey or other sweetener
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt – or to taste
  1. In a soup pan, sauté celery, carrots, and onion in oil over medium heat until onions begin to look translucent (about 6 to 8 minutes).
  2. Add garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse lentils in colander under running water. Set aside to drain.
  4. Add 8 cups water (or broth), rice, and rinsed lentils to pan. Turn heat to high.
  5. Add seasonings. Cover and bring to boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Add tomatoes and tomato puree, return to boil, then reduce heat and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until lentils and rice are tender.

    Note: All stoves cook differently, so be sure to test the lentils to see if they are done.
  8. Add lemon juice and sweetener and season with salt to taste.

    Serve hot.
I use my Swissmar julienne blade to cut the carrots. It makes the prettiest carrots in just a few seconds!

This soup tastes even better the next day.


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11 Responses to “Italian Lentil Soup”

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  1. Susan says:

    My compliments to Jennifer!

    I made this for today’s lunch. It was so good, that I ate too much. . . Burp!! (Excuse me!).

    I love the lentils and rice together. And the tomato base is perfect. One change I made was that I used 6 cups of water instead of 8, because I like it a little thicker. I highly recommend this delicious main dish/soup. It’s definitely worth the small amount of time it takes to prepare. And try not to eat too much.

    Burp! (Sorry.)

  2. Susan says:

    Update: I added meat to this and served it to my husband, Mr. Picky, who is not a vegetarian. He liked it! Thanks for the versatile recipe.

  3. Shelley says:

    This soup was very good. My family loved it.

  4. Wow thanks for sharing this recipe. I am trying hard to keep my weight and appetite balanced.

  5. I saw this photo on FoodGawker (we are FG neighbors today) and between the photo and the promise of a slimming soup – I had to hop on over. Looks DELICIOUS, I too love soup – thanks for another one to add to my collection :-)

  6. Shala says:

    This is a great healthy soup recipe. My fiance is from an Italian family on the east coast, and has high expectations when it comes to Italian recipes. I doubled the ingredients because I was feeding four and I wanted enough for leftovers. I used grape seed oil instead of olive oil because it is a high temperature oil. I added black pepper and red pepper flakes, probably a tablespoon of both, and it gave the soup just the right amount of kick. I didn’t use any salt because the diced tomatoes, tomato puree and veggie broth already have a lot. Finally, I only added one tablespoon of honey — I didn’t double it because I was making this for someone with diabetes. This recipe is vegan and vegetarian friendly, which is also a plus for my house. Anyway, everyone loved it and I’ll definitely be making this regularly! Thanks. ;)

  7. love lentil soup, with an Italian twist, even better!

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