Tomato Lentil Soup is a perfectly comforting and cozy vegan soup that’s full of healthy good for you ingredients. It’s easy to make, and will help keep you warm and happy all winter long!
There’s nothing quite as comforting as a pot of soup simmering away on the stove top when it’s cold outside.
I first published this recipe in 2016, but it was time for an update, with new pictures, information, and an update to the recipe, all for a better user experience.
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Flavorful tomato and lentil soup inspiration
This soup is filled with flavor! From the earthy lentils to the rich flavorful tomatoes, throw in some spices and herbs, and you have yourself a wonderful bowl of hearty good for soup.
I made this soup as a way to have the traditional tomato soup that everyone loves so much in the winter, but with some added protein and fiber from the lentils. Sometimes tomato soup can be a bit light, so the lentils add nice body and heartiness, making this more of a main dish soup.
Of course, you could still serve it with a nice grilled cheese sandwich! You might want to try my famous Three Cheese Pesto Avocado Grilled Cheese along with this soup!
Lentils are hearty and good for you, and full of flavor.
I think that lentil soup was one of the first soups that I ate when I first became vegetarian.
Not only are lentils delicious, they’re low-fat, high-protein, high-fiber, nutritious, and ridiculously easy to cook.
My lentil soup is made with crushed tomatoes so that there aren’t any large chunks of tomato in there.
When you walk through the canned tomato section of the grocery store, you’ll see an amazing variety of canned tomatoes, from whole tomatoes, stewed, fire-roasted, puree, paste, diced (even petite dice) and crushed.
Crushed tomatoes are small pieces of tomato with a fine texture mixed in tomato puree; they’re smaller than diced tomatoes, and yet not a smooth and blended tomato like a tomato puree.
Because of their small size, they have a nice thickness to them, one that works really well in soup.
Diced tomatoes can be used in place of crushed tomatoes in this recipe, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time to break down the chunks of tomato. They may not become as smooth as crushed tomatoes even with the extra cooking.
Make ahead soup
This recipe makes a nice big pot of soup that you can enjoy for many days.
And the leftovers are just as delicious, if not yummier than when it’s first cooked.
Allow the leftovers to cool completely, and package them up in an air tight container, and keep them in the fridge for up to about 5 days. Always give your leftovers the sniff test before eating to make sure they’re still good.
You can also freeze this soup for longer storage.
Again, allow the soup to cool. And package it up into single portions and pop in the freezer for 3-6 months.
Great main dish lentils
Lentils are one of my favorite legumes and I adore them in so many recipes.
Looking for a tomato free lentil soup? This easy to make vegan lentil soup is so good.
Lentils with Wine- Glazed Winter Vegetables
Spicy Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette Dressing
Sausage, Broccoli, and Roasted Lentils
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Taco Salad
Lentil and Potato Pot Pies with Rosemary Biscuit Crust
Lentil Chili with Green Onions
Orange-Shallot Tofu with Avocado Served on a Bed of Roasted Lentils
So much goodness
If weight loss is your goal, you definitely want to have high protein and low-calorie meals, and lentil soup is a great way to do that. The added liquid from the soup will help keep you hydrated and full.
Lentils are rich in proteins and other nutrients, making them a great food to include in your weight loss diet.
The good news is that this soup is nice and thick. First, we start with the crushed tomatoes, which have a nice thickness to them naturally.
Then, we blend some of the soup to give it added body.
You can also stir in some sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to thicken it and add some creaminess.
Want it even thicker? Add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the soup.
Lentils so not need to be soaked before cooking like dried beans do.
You’ll want to rinse the lentils under cool running tap water in a strainer, and be sure to sort through the dried lentils, picking out any stones or shriveled lentils.
Washing the lentils removes the dirt that may be on them. Washing also removes a small amount of starch from the lentils, and it’s that starch which may cause some of the gas and bloating that people experience from eating lentils.
So, washing may help to make them easier to digest.
This hearty and comforting soup has a great chili-like flavor from the cumin, with a nice meaty earthiness from the lentils in a great tangy tomato broth.
How to Make the Best Tomato Lentil Soup
The recipe calls for vegetables that are available year-round and are easy to find in any grocery store. And it’s made with affordable pantry ingredients.
Be sure to scroll down for the printable recipe card with all the instructions and full ingredient amounts.
Make sure to get the best ingredients
I highly recommend buying the long skinny carrots with the tops still on them. They are sweeter and less fibrous than the thick woody ones.
Heat the oil in a large pot, and add the onion and carrot. Cook, about 5 minutes then add in the spices, and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
Use your favorite broth of choice for this recipe. I’m a big believer in using the flavors that already taste good to you and your family.
For the most part, any broth is exchangeable in any recipe. If you really love your homemade chicken broth, by all means, use that. The soup will no longer be vegetarian though.
You’ll love the flavors and healthfulness of using homemade vegetable broth.
Add the crushed tomatoes, lentils, broth, water, and red pepper flakes.
This nutritious soup is a great meal. Lentils are rich in protein, fiber, iron and folate.
Lentils can be packaged in a variety of ways. For instance, the packages of lentils that I buy just say, “lentils”. They don’t even say “brown” or “green” lentils.
Look inside the bag, and you should see a brownish small pebble looking nugget.
For this recipe, you don’t want to get red or yellow lentils. Those ones break down a lot when they’re cooked, and are usually used in stews like red lentil and artichoke stew and dal.
Bring the soup to a boil, lower heat, and simmer about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Blend 2 cups of the cooked soup in a blender. And pour it back into the soup to thicken the soup.
If you prefer, you can use immersion bender to blend some of the soup. Make sure to leave some chunks of veggies in there.
Add salt and pepper and taste to see if you want more seasoning.
Want more veggies in it? Add some chopped greens to the soup like kale, spinach, or swiss chard.
Green salads like this spring salad go great with soup. Or, a simple lettuce salad dressed with Mom’s Salad Dressing would be a welcome addition.
Cornbread is a great side dish.
Roasted veggies like Air Fryer Green Beans and roasted beets are great sides.
And, a nice loaf of homemade bread like no knead bread and garlic tomato bread is always welcome.
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Tomato Lentil Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 4 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup uncooked brown lentils picked over and rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and carrot, and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, thyme, and garlic powder. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the canned tomatoes, lentils, broth, water, and red pepper flakes to the pot, and stir to combine.
- Covert the pot, and increase the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Carefully pour 2 cups of soup to the bowl of a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the pot, add salt and pepper ,and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.