This easy vegan Lentil Spinach Soup recipe is so satisfying and simple to prepare. Plus it's nutrient-dense, budget-friendly and freezer-friendly. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This simple Lentil Spinach Soup is made with nutrient-dense, budget-friendly ingredients.
Many of them are pantry staples so it is a great recipe to make when you're low on fresh produce.
Plus it's so thick, hearty, and satisfying with plant-based protein, iron, fiber, and no cholesterol.
It's great for lunch, dinner, meal prep, or even to stash away in the freezer.
Ingredients for Lentil Spinach Soup
For this recipe you will simmer in a large pot:
- Yellow onion: Or you can use sweet onion or white onion instead.
- Carrot: You could also include a couple stalks celery as well.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Or substitute dried garlic powder if desired.
- Green lentils or brown lentils: I enjoy the earthy flavor of green/brown lentils for this recipe and they hold their shape well. However, red lentils or black lentils could work too.
- Canned diced tomatoes: Either regular or fire-roasted tomatoes work great.
- Vegetable broth: Be sure to use low sodium broth if preferred.
- Fresh baby spinach: Or you can substitute frozen spinach, fresh kale, or other leafy greens.
- Ground cumin: Be sure your pantry spices are fresh (not expired) for best taste.
- Smoked paprika: This adds a wonderful, warm, smoky flavor to the broth.
Make it spicy: Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, chipotle in adobo sauce, black pepper, or simply top with hot sauce to taste before serving.
Spices + seasonings: Change up the spices as you see fit. Instead of cumin and smoked paprika, stir in dried herbs such as basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, bay leaf (remove before serving), curry powder, or Italian seasonings.
Vegetables: Add other veggies such as potato, sweet potato, butternut squash, celery, cabbage, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, red bell pepper, etc. You can also include a couple tablespoons tomato paste to thicken and flavor the broth even more.
Instant Pot note: I have not tried this in a pressure cooker, however people have reported success with this cooking method. (One person said they sautéed the onion, carrot, and garlic first, then added everything and cooked on high for about 7 minutes.)
Garnish: Top your bowl with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley before serving. Or you can also add a squeeze of lemon juice or lime juice to brighten it up.
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge. We find they keep well for about 5-6 days.
Freezing: Lentil soup freezes well and is a great option for freezer meals. Just be sure to let it cool completely before freezing. It should keep for about 1-2 months.
Reheating from frozen: Place the container in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Then reheat over medium-low heat on the stove, stirring occasionally. (Or simply reheat in the microwave.) You can also leave out the spinach until reheating. Then stir it in right before eating so it remains fresh.
Lentil Spinach Soup
- 1 yellow onion
- 1-2 carrots
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup green/brown lentils (uncooked)
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (or fire-roasted)
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 3 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- Dice onion and carrot.
- In a stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté onion and carrot for about 7 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for oil-free sauté method.)
- Meanwhile, mince garlic.
- When onion is softened, add garlic, cumin, and smoked paprika to stockpot. Stir and sauté 1 minute.
- Add broth, tomatoes, and lentils (rinsed and drained). Increase heat and bring to a light boil. Then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop spinach. Add spinach during last couple minutes of cooking. Salt to taste. (Or add a dash of hot sauce before serving.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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