Spending a week at my rental in Western MA, the first thing I did was make a big pot of yummy Vegetable Lentil Soup. Believe it or not I still had some root vegetable from my last few CSA distributions rolling around in the fridge’s produce draw and I wanted to use them. Soup, of course, came to mind as the perfect vehicle. I wanted to make a versatile soup that I could have on hand for quick meals during the week as well as freeze for when I came back during the winter months. Making a basic lentil soup that I could vary by adding a variety of vegetables or yogurt each time I heated up a portion made sense so I wouldn’t get tired of eating it. And, since getting protein at most meals is a challenge as a vegetarian making the lentil soup helped to satisfy that need as well.

So far I’ve been here for 5 days and eaten the soup at three meals. The first time for dinner the day I made the soup. The second time for breakfast the following day and  I am so glad I had it in the fridge last night when I was rushing to get to an Insight Meditation community meditation and dharma talk. It was so easy to heat up and add some lemon juice and yogurt to give it a kick. And, it was warm and satisfying in my belly as I headed out for the pitch black drive on country roads to Northampton, MA.

I added kale, yogurt and lemon juice to the portion featured in this posting. While I love lentil soup I find it can be a bit bland. That’s why I always doctor it up. Some of the ingredients you might try adding to this  basic vegetable lentil recipe to vary it are: spinach, kale or Swiss chard, especially  yogurt and lemon juice, hot sauce, red wine, nutritional yeast, goat cheese or parmesan cheese. .

What are your favorite things to add to basic vegetable lentil soup to spice it up? If you make the soup, have a favorite lentil soup recipe you would like to share or added something special to this recipe, please feel free to post in the comment section.

Vegetable Lentil Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8
  • Knob of Coconut Oil
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 1 small Celeriac or 3 Celery stocks diced
  • 3 medium Carrots diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 quart Low-Sodium Vegetable Stock
  • 15 oz. can or jar of Stewed Tomatoes chopped
  • 1¼ Cups Beluga Lentil rinsed
  • 2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flacks or more to taste
  • Kosher Salt, Pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Sherry Vinegar
  1. In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven heat the coconut oil till shimmering. Add the onion, celeriac and carrots and cook over a medium-low heat until softened about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic cook until fragrant about a minute.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, lentils, thyme, bay leaf, red pepper flacks, salt and pepper. Stir and cover. Bring pot to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes. The lentils should be tender.
  4. Add the sherry vinegar.
  5. Adjust seasons to taste by adding salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Put about 1½ cups of the cooked lentil soup in a food processor and pulse until you have a creamy, chunky texture. Mix with the rest of the soup. Stir.
  7. Now that you have the basic soup you can add chopped spinach or kale and simmer until wilted and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a squirt of lemon juice in each bowl to serve 8. Or, store in the fridge and ladle out single serving and perhaps freeze some portions.
  8. To individual servings experiment with adding different greens such as kale, spinach or Swiss chard and different toppings such as lemon juice, goat cheese, nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese.