This lentil vegetable soup is a favorite of my boys and so easy to make. I think one of the reasons they like it is that I chop all of the vegetables really small. And, like most of the soups I make, if you don’t have an ingredient, such as carrot or spinach, leave it out or substitute another favorite ingredient.

By Heather McDougall,

Last Updated:


  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 6 small white potatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 16-ounce bag brown lentils
  • 1 15.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 8 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1-2 cups finely chopped fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients except the spinach in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Cook over low heat for 2 hours.
  • Add the spinach and cook about 5 minutes more, until spinach is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Comments (110)

(5 from 41 votes)

Recipe Rating

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JoAnn Sciarrino

I added garlic, celery, bay leaf and thyme. Cooked in instant pot for 4 mins. Let natural release for 10 mins then released all and added chopped spinach. It was fab. TYVM for such a flexible and easy recipe.


Omg what a fantastic idea!! I will be adding seaweed to more soups now!! Thank you! I’m making this as I type! Smells fantastic! This will be my lunch for the next week! Yummy!

Ellie H

In addition to some of the suggestions for ad-ins below, like garlic, celery, bay leaves, etc, I use seaweed in almost all of my soups. Wakame is good, or kombu. Take the dried seaweed and cut slivers 1/2/ to 1' long. Unless you rinse it, it adds a bit of seasalt, beefs up the texture. I also added chia (ground this time), and threw in some 5 bean mix I had already cooked this week. Yum.

Holly B

My first time making this and I am pleased! I went to the comments for some inspiration on adding some additional flavor. I included celery, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, paprika and a bay leaf. I will say my recipe did take the full two hours on the stove when covered, and set on low. I packed some up and delivered to family and wow, did I received rave reviews! Thank you for the recipe and thank you to those who provided additional tips!

Susie Q

This is one of my favorite soups! I add garlic, as others do. I also add more liquid to make is a little more soupy. I like to use my onion chopper to make all of the vegetables similar in size. I find that the soup is fully cooked in an hour.

Claudia Forrisi


Blue Starzz

Add Bay leaf & garlic (diced or powder) it adds to small amount of salt enhancing all flavors!

Sheri Mulreed

Covered or uncovered?

Joan Whitaker

Not very good. I did not enjoy it

Vicky N

Can you use other types of lentils? Thanks!

Courtney Davison

Hi Vicky, Yes, feel free to sub in a different type of lentils. Check out some tips on cooking with different types of lentils here: Hope this helps! Thanks, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives


I cook a version of this every week. Great for those days after an over indulgence.

Catherine Mace

This recipe popped up when I changed to plant based eating. It has been my go-to favorite ever since. I do change it up with different spices.

Nancy Miller

Can this be frozen?

Courtney Davison

Hi Nancy, Yes, this soup should freeze well. Thank you, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives

Courtney Davison

Hi Nancy, Yes, this soup should freeze well. Thank you, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives


Needed some seasoning. But after I added Italian seasoning and some paprika and was delicious.


So good. I added cowiflower, corn, kale, red pepper flakes, it seasoning, pepper, garlic powder. So good.


Can this be frozen after cooking?

Courtney Davison

Hi Sylvie, Yes, it can! Thank you, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives

Dar Willhite

This recipe is fantastic! I added garlic powder and a little Italian seasoning (both to taste) and cooked it on the stovetop for 20-30 minutes on medium-low until everything was tooth tender. It tasted great and was SO easy!!!


2 hours seems too long. thinking of how to adapt to either IP or slow cooker. yes slow cooker will be longer but no need to babysit over the stove.


Did garlic flavored fire-roasted dice tomatoes (Hunts ) and 4 cups of vegetable brother and 1liter of Fiji water. Came out amazing!! Soon good


Just starting out.. This was an easy one for me!


Need flavor so little celery, garlic and fresh parsley and diced jalapeno worked this recipe is great as a base and make your own.


Can I cook this in the crockpot?

Megan Edwards

Hi Shari, Our recipe creator hasn't tested this in a crockpot but here's a helpful guide for adapting a stovetop recipe into a slow cooker recipe: Let us know how it goes!


can you cook it any faster? instant pot?

Joey O'Buck

I was wondering the same thing. I'm doing it in our Instant Pot right now on the soup setting.


I've made this soup many times as its so easy, delicious, healthy and filling! I've never added extra spices etc. and I still think it tastes great. It makes a big pot that lasts all week for my lunches. Thank you for the great recipie!


Yummy thank you

Paula A

Great soup! I added a clove of garlic and thyme and garlic powder plus some pepper flakes. It'd be great without that, I'm sure but I love those flavors with stew so it was lovely. Thanks for a wonderful and healthy stew!

Fatima de Gagne

What does it mean in the instructions in a recipe when it is Mentioned in brackets through a vegetable or a spice. For example, (through carrots) or (through cinnamon)


When they say, "put the first five ingredients in the pan (through carrots)", add everything listed until you add the carrots then stop adding things until instructed to add the next ingredients.


I replaced the potatoes with Radish, so far its smelling yummy!

Carol S

Absolutely, DELICIOUS!!! I added minced garlic, chopped carrots tops (since I bought a fresh bunch and they’re good for you), celery and red pepper flakes. I will definitely make this again.

Sherry E

Haven’t tried the recipe yet. Would like nutrition information because I’m a diabetic.

Beryl M Mitchell

Hi, I'm trying to follow a vegan diet, but struggling at the moment. Vegan burgers that I purchase taste dire, and I'm throwing away a lot of food. Today I made this lentil soup and didn't like the finished results. The earthy taste of the lentils over rode the rest of the soup. I would love to discover half a dozen recipes that I truly enjoy but am unable to find anything. I do enjoy a baked potato with a good salad, but add vegan butter to the potato which isn't recommended, and I can't live on salads alone.


I just want to encourage you to keep trying. Tastebuds go through a changing process switching from an American diet to a plant based whole foods diet. It is not uncommon to find things to be bland at first but that quickly changes and foods' natural flavors really stand out after that!!

Elréza Lugerbauer

Hey, my husband and I went vegan about 2 years ago, I came from a meat eating loving family, so it was difficult for me, but I pushed through, and today I love it, our taste takes time to change and adapt, I tried different spices ect until I found what I like, I would also recommend reading or listening to the audio book ‘how not to die’ and ‘how not to diet’ by dr Micheal Greger MD, it helped me alot and encouraged me, one thing he said was if you need to add a bit of hot sauce or sugar (or something like that, in your case vegan butter) to get you to say eat more Brokkoli, then do that before giving up and then eating say cheese burgers ect, some people can go completely wfpb in one day others need time, its okay, I needed time. I hope this helps a bit


I would highly recommend, for tasty vegan recipes. I just omit oil or too much salt/sugar while making recipes from these sites. Made vegan eating much easier.


Hi Beryl, no idea where you are now on your vegan journey since it was nearly a year ago that you posted this but a few things I did as I transitioned to a vegan diet: 1. Be patient with yourself and the process. 2. Embrace spices and herbs. While it's true there is a transition for your tastebuds, spices and herbs make all the difference. 3. Finding new recipes can be difficult at first but start by thinking about what you like to eat now and then search for vegan versions of that. Example--if you love tacos, search "vegan taco recipes" online, then adapt them to suit you (for example, I prefer pinto over black beans). 4. Focus on taking recipes you make and love at home and eliminate the meat/dairy, replacing meat with beans or soy products and dairy with vegan versions. 5. Learn an entirely new type of cooking but do so vegan. I hadn't eaten/made Indian food before so learning to make vegan Indian recipes I didn't feel deprived as I hadn't had meat versions. Even if you have had the meat versions some types of food--Indian, African, Thai--more easily lend themselves to vegan cooking. Have fun, be patient, and keep experimenting!

Tabitha A.

As others have commented, definitely bland and needed spices. I added fresh thyme, sage, white cooking wine and garlic and also omitted the spinach. I definitely did not cook it for 2 hours as I didn't have that much time. I just brought it to a boil and kept it on a low simmer for about 45-60 minutes and that was more than enough time!


Try the recipes on: and


Just keep trying, it takes some time for your taste buds to develop to the new tastes. Also eat proteins with you meals: Beans, lentils, tofu - try the recipes on: and and take Vitamin B12 which you need more of when not eating mean & fish.

Benita Griggs

How many calories in this recipe


For those wanting calorie counts… go online and type in “very well fit”. It’s is a recipe nutrition calculator. I’ve used it for years.


I also used Better than Bouillon, added a little dried thyme and a bay leaf. Nothing else needed. This soup is delicious! Will definitely make again.


try the recipes on: and


I thought this recipe seemed bland and lacked spices, so I added garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. I also used Rotel tomatoes instead of fire roasted. It was still bland. So I added some salsa and lime juice. I still think it’s kind of bland. I don’t think I’ll make it again.


Is the spinach baby spinach or silverbeet?


I thought this was an instant pot recipe because it said cook on low. But that definitely did not get the soup done. Can you specify that it is cooked on the stove in a pot?


Hi how long would this be cooked for in the Instant Pot? Thanks!


Instant pot recipes are generally 1/3 of the time as it would take to cook on the stove.

Audrey Gerrard

Have just got recipe and cant wait to cook this soup. Sounds delicious!


The picture has corn, but not listed as an ingredient!


Actually, those are the lentils. But, you gave me the idea to also add some corn. :-)


Made this tonight. I prefer more flavor and added 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander. Delicious! It was more of a stew with that much lentils. Next time I will reduce to 1 cup lentils.


I'm glad I saw your comment. It sounded good, so I threw some in. My husband is always happier when there is corn.

Luanne O

Delicious, satisfying soup. Thank you.


Not corn its lentils in the picture

Rebekah Welch

Delicious! I’ve made this a couple times. I like to double the spinach and use organic vegetable broth.

Nancy Flynn

I made this soup this afternoon. I added more carrots, additional celery & garlic too. I seasoned it with lots of freshly ground black pepper. It’s delicious and super healthy too

Shah rukh khan

agreed sheila

Sheila ki Jawani

beautiful soup

Jessica Mahon

This just might be my favorite so far if the soup!!!! I have loved each and everyone but this to me YUM SO easy! Cheap !!! Delicious!!!!

Barb Noon

It's such a beautiful soup! I wasn't sure whether to drain or rinse the diced fire-roasted tomatoes, but there wasn't much juice anyway, so it probably is okay either way. I drained them. I'm giving some of it to a friend whose mother-in-law just died, and then my friend got sick. These veggies will bring her back to health!


Do the potatoes get mushy from cooking for 2 hours? I’m thinking I’m going to add them 20 minutes before it’s done just in case.


Can I sub split green peas for the lentils in the veggie soup recipe?


You absolutely can. Just allow more cooking time, as split peas need more time than lentils

Cindy Corgan

I tried this recipe last night after reading the comments/reviews. This did not disappoint! I loved the taste and it was super easy! I added about 3/4 of a tablespoon of chopped fennel and extra garlic for my liking. I will definitely try this again.


Is this made in the crockpot?


A regular at our house!


Seems like a good base recipe! I’m Italian and lentils are a staple for us. I will be adding more spices here, such as garlic and Italian seasonings, maybe even some crushed fennel seeds and a bay leaf, along with diced celery. This can also work well in the crockpot if the onions, carrots and celery are sautéed ahead of time. Looking forward to trying the recipe!


How was it with the added seasonings you mentioned?


If the potatoes and onions are fineky chopped, can I substitue one large onion and 2 large potatoes...or maybe imperic measurments would be more approoriate?

Martha Waltien

We make lentil soup using about 10 well chopped vegetables. Two ingredients that seem to make a big difference are cut fresh green beans and sliced Shiitake mushrooms. Also, zucchini is an excellent vegetable to use in part because it goes so well with tomato sauce.


the photo shows corn in the soup but not in the recipe..


I thought it was corn too but it’s the lentils.

Teresa Lagoski

Great simple recipe! From experience, one really wants to sauté the onions first as they can be crunchy and not as flavorful if not. And a pinch of almost any garden herbs would add much to this, summer savory especially.

Beth Wallace

I recommend sauteeing your onions and carrots in some water or stock before adding the tomatoes.


I have broccoli , cauliflower, and half pound of Brussel sprouts to throw into this soup too.... should work..??


Absolutely delicious. Stir often to prevent lentils from sticking to bottom.

shannon thibodeaux

I would like to try this

Hindy Pearson

I can't get fire roasted tomatoes where I live. Would it still be good if I just used a regular can of tomatoes?



Henrietta Aline Wolf

What's a good brand of vegetable broth?


This is such an easy soup to prepare, and it’s hearty and delicious! I make it often in the fall and winter. I use Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth - Low Sodium.

Linda L

I use Pacific brand soup…low sodium, organic. It comes as vegetable, beef or chicken, 32 oz container. I use it whenever water is called for a base. Adds so much flavor.


I use "Better than Bouillion" vegetable base. It's concentrated so you just use a couple tablespoons with water.

Sue Neild

I agree with the majority. Excellent, hearty soup. I added garlic and did it in my instant pot as someone else mentioned so it was complete in under 30 minutes. Shared it with friends and family and they all loved it. Thanks for the recipe.

Tess Atkin

Hi Sue, how long did you pressure cook for and was it a QR? Thanks.

chassie bousman

What are the calories and nutrition facts for this soup?

Gwenda Bowman

Love this

Gwenda Bowman

Would love more recipes


I loved this! Next time I’ll add another can of tomatoes and a ton of ground thyme, but that’s just personal preference!


Serve over mashed potatoes! So delicious and savory!


Oven cook or stove top?


I do stove top!

Caroline Krastev

So delicious! My husband wants me to make this every week! Simple and hearty to eat as a meal.




Love this simple recipe!!! I have been making this for a long time…especially tonight as it’s getting very cold in the northeast!

Pam V

Excellent soup!!!! So simple to make. Cut up vegetables throw in pot then cook. Doesn't get any easier than that. Tasted great. I did not add any salt, pepper or any other seasoning, and it tasted great. Would HIGHLY recommend.

Chris S.

This is great as is, or as a base to experiment with. I just made a batch with the addition of garlic, celery, Italian seasoning blend, and smoked paprika. I cooked it under pressure for 15 minutes in the Instant Pot, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release. I make this, (with variations), regularly.


Thanks so much. I was wondering about cooking time for instant pot.


For Carrie!

Shelly Zikmund

Loved the soup! I did make a few minor tweaks. I added an extra carrot and two small potatoes, two celery stocks and one tomato. I also soaked the lentils overnight so that they would be ready for today. I also ran the immersion blender for about 20 seconds To thicken up the soup. Overall it’s phenomenal and I would make it again in a heartbeat.

Stacey Coia Gabryszek

Sooooooo good!

Alissa Bartlett



yummy soup- I added 28oz of marzano tomatoes

About the Author

Headshot of Heather McDougall, director of the McDougall Program

About the Author

Heather McDougall

Heather McDougall is the director of the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California. Heather also develops healthy, family-friendly recipes for the McDougall Newsletter. For more from her, follow the McDougall Program on Instagram.
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