Basic Lentil Soup Recipe
Lentil soups can range from superhearty to watery and tasteless. This soup is the best of both worlds: filling and flavorful, yet light and vegetarian.
To see this recipe with illustrated steps, check out The Basics: How to Make Lentil Soup.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium celery stalk, small dice
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and small dice
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
- 1 1/4 cups lentils (any color except red), rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- 2 ounces spinach leaves (about 1/2 a bunch)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with several generous pinches of salt and pepper.
- Add the broth, tomatoes with their juices, lentils, bay leaf, and thyme and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer, about 15 minutes. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering, covered, until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes more.
- Taste and season with more salt or pepper as needed, then stir in the vinegar. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. If you prefer a creamier texture, purée half of the soup in a blender and add it back to the pot.