Lemony Lentil Soup

December 20, 2021

This cozy, hearty soup is perfect for anytime of year. My Lemony Lentil Soup is full of vibrant veggies, hearty lentils, and a rich, lemony broth that is sure to make your heart, and your belly, happy. Plus, it’s gluten-free, full of plant-based protein, and is perfect for the entire family!

I’ve truly loved soup my entire life – so much so, that I firmly believe that it is an all-year-round food. I don’t care what the weather is. If it’s hot, if it’s cold, if it’s something in-between, it doesn’t matter: just give me a nice, big, bowl of soup!

This soup has become one of my favorites lately, and I have a feeling it’s going to be making an appearance in my weeknight dinner routine (and in my freezer… because soups are one of the best things to meal prep!) It’s everything that I love about soup rolled into one: it’s packed with veggies, it’s bursting with lemon, it’s got a hearty protein, and, let’s not forget, it’s also got a very generous sprinkling of cheese.

However, this isn’t just a soup that I love – my boys love it too, which says a lot, because my boys aren’t often big on soups. But they love it because it’s colorful, cheesy, and fun, which makes my mom heart happy. Anytime I can get my boys to find a healthy dish that they love to eat, is a “win” in my book!

But back to the soup. This recipe comes together in only 10 steps, so it’s perfect for weeknights, or any time that you find yourself, well… strapped for time. And like I mentioned earlier, it is perfect for meal prepping. I love to double or even triple this recipe when I make it, and store it in mason jars in my fridge, or in a freezer-safe container in the freezer. Then, I simply thaw and/or reheat when I’m ready to eat it, and I’ve got a delicious soup ready anytime!

What You Need to Make This Lemony Lentil Soup

  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is my favorite for soups, because it’s heart-healthy and full of healthy fats. I recommend using a high-quality olive oil if you can – Trader Joe’s has a great California Olive Oil for only $9!
  • Yellow Onion: Yellow Onion adds a mild, neutral oniony flavor for this soup, which is perfect. It’s not overpowering, but just adds the perfect amount of flavor.
  • Celery: Celery adds crunch and fiber to this soup, and what’s not to love about that?!
  • Garlic: I always recommend using fresh garlic if/when you can, because it adds the most vibrant flavor. However, you can also use minced garlic if it’s all you have. Work with what you’ve got!
  • Carrots: Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, and add vibrancy, flavor, and a “bite” to this soup!
  • Tomato Paste: Tomato paste is perfect for this soup, because it adds tomato flavor in a simple and easy step!
  • Seasonings: In this recipe, we’ll be seasoning our soup with cumin, sea salt, pepper, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper flakes. Yum!
  • Lentils: Lentils are loaded with plant-based protein and are an excellent source of iron! You can use green or brown lentils here – either one works!
  • Vegetable Broth: Any vegetable broth works here – you can use a store-bought broth, or a homemade one!
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice or bottled lemon juice works here. If using fresh, I recommend juicing about two large lemons!
  • Parmesan Cheese: This one feels self-explanatory: who doesn’t love parmesan cheese?! If you are lactose intolerant or otherwise dairy-free, you can skip the cheese or opt for a dairy-free alternative.
  • Parsley: This one is optional, but I highly recommend garnishing your soup with some fresh parsley. It not only adds vibrancy and color, but flavor-wise, makes for a beautiful addition to this soup!

How to Make This Lemony Lentil Soup

  1. Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on the stove over medium heat and add in your olive oil.
  2. While the oil is heating up, prepare your vegetables. Chop your onion, carrots, celery, and mash your garlic.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add your veggies into the pot along with the cumin. Stir until they start to soften, about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Next, add in the tomato paste, making sure that it coats the veggies well. Cook for about 1 more minute.
  5. Then, add in the lentils, broth, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Stir again to coat everything well.
  6. Bring your mixture to a gentle boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat. Then, take off the cover and remove the bay leaves.
  8. Next, stir in the lemon juice, crushed red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese.
  9. Taste, and adjust with more salt and pepper as needed.
  10. Serve your soup in a bowl with olive oil, lots of chopped parsley, and an extra sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

I hope you guys love this recipe! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you think! And if you post to Instagram, I repost your remakes on my IG stories! xx

Lemony Lentil Soup

5 from 4 votes
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
SERVES 6 Servings
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This cozy, hearty soup is perfect for anytime of year. My Lemony Lentil Soup is full of vibrant veggies, hearty lentils, and a rich, lemony broth that is sure to make your heart, and your belly, happy. Plus, it's gluten-free, full of plant-based protein, and is perfect for the entire family!

Ingredients

For the Soup

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Yellow Onions finely chopped
  • 2 Stalks Celery chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic mashed
  • 3 Carrots chopped into coins
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 Cups Green OR Brown lentils
  • 8 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice this is about two whole lemons
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

For Garnishing (optional)

  • Chopped Parsley
  • Olive Oil Drizzle
  • Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  • Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on the stove over medium heat and add in your olive oil.
  • While the oil is heating up, prepare your vegetables. Chop your onion, carrots, celery, and mash your garlic.
  • Once the oil is hot, add your veggies into the pot along with the cumin. Stir until they start to soften, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Next, add in the tomato paste, making sure that it coats the veggies well. Cook for about 1 more minute.
  • Then, add in the lentils, broth, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Stir again to coat everything well.
  • Bring your mixture to a gentle boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Then, take off the cover and remove the bay leaves.
  • Next, stir in the lemon juice, crushed red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese.
  • Taste, and adjust with more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve your soup in a bowl with olive oil, lots of chopped parsley, and an extra sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made - tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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    • Woohoo! So thrilled to hear that Rachel! Thank you so much for making this recipe, and for leaving such a kind review!

    • I LOVE to hear that, Ashley!! If something is a hit with the toddler, then it’s gotta be good. 😉 Thank you so much for your review!

  1. This soup is perfect! I ate all the carrots, so I used butternut squash! 🙂 It’s so flavorful and easy. Love the lemon. Looking forward to eating it all week and making it again! Thank you!

    • I am SO thrilled to hear that, Shelley! And butternut squash sounds delicious in this recipe. 🙂 Thank you so much for leaving such a sweet review!

  2. 5 stars
    This soup was amazing! Added some extra red pepper flakes and chopped acorn squash (had to use it up), already looking forward to making it again.

    • Yum! That sounds delicious, Rachel! Thank you so much for sharing such a sweet review, I am so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit!