Although I am a bit of a lizard and I can’t think of anything better than bake in the sun all day long (you might wonder what I’m doing in Yorkshire but that’s another story for another day), there is a positive when it comes to cold weather: soup!
Yep, soup is something I get very excited about and today I am sharing a recipe that, believe it or not, I have been enjoying since I was a little kiddo back in Italy.
In fact, this Super Easy Green Lentil Soup isn’t my creation but my father’s. With both mum and dad being incredibly busy all the time (they both used to be doctors), they always shared cooking duties and Lentil Soup was always one of dad’s specialties since I can remember. Despite not being brought up as vegetarian (I stopped eating meat and fish in 2013, you can read more about it here), lentils were something that we would eat often in winter and still to this day they are my favourite pulses.
So I guess you could say this is a true family recipe which I hope my daughter Dinky, who’s already a fan, will enjoy for many years to come.
What always amazes me about this humble Green Lentil Soup is how a few ingredients can create something so damn tasty and soul-warming.
You start off by gently cooking the onion, garlic, celery and carrot, then you tip in the dried lentils and tomato puree. Next you add the stock (I’m a huge fan of Marigold Vegan Bouillon Powder – read more in the notes below the recipe) and the SECRET INGREDIENT, make a cuppa and watch some telly…and the soup is done. It’s that easy.
I like to blend about 1/4 of the soup using a hand blender and mix this back with the rest of the soup. This gives it a creamier texture without having to add any other ingredient such as dairy or coconut milk.
So what’s secret ingredient you might be wondering? Bay leaves! You can still make this Lentil Soup without but they give the soup such an amazing flavour they are well worth adding to your shopping list. Trust me on this one.
You’ll normally find them with the rest of the herbs/spices or in the World Foods sections (they’re often used in Indian cooking so some supermarkets will have them there).
A simple and soul-warming Green Lentil Soup that the whole family will love. Great on a chilly day with homemade focaccia bread.
- 2 tbsp of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large clove of garlic, crushed
- 4 medium carrots, diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 200g dried green lentils
- 4 small dried bay leaves
- 2l vegetable stock
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Vegetarian Italian hard cheese to serve (optional)
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a soup pot, then add the onion and fry until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and cook together for approximately 30 seconds, stirring continuously.
- Add the carrots and the celery and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree and the lentils and mix well. Then pour in the stock, add the bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cook for 50 minutes to an hour until the lentils are soft and the stock has reduced down (see notes).
- Transfer about a 1/4 of the soup in a blender or tall beaker if you’re using a hand blender (and pulse until smooth. Add the blended lentil soup back to the pot and stir to combine.
- Season to taste and serve hot with a sprinkle of grated vegetarian Italian hard cheese (I like to use Ocado’s) and fresh crusty bread or homemade focaccia.
- Skip the parmesan or use your favourite dairy-free cheese to make it vegan
- Marigold Vegan Bouillon Powder is my absolute favourite as it’s tasty, made with completely natural ingredients and contains less salt compared to most stock cubes. It’s not always available from supermarkets but Amazon stock it – it works out cheaper and the big tub will last for ages.
- In my experience, the time of cooking varies a lot depending on which brand of lentils you are using. Should the lentils still be hard after 50 minutes, just add a little more hot water and continue cooking until soft.
- Blending part of this lentil soup is not strictly necessary but it does give it a creamier texture that I love.
- This soup can be frozen in airtight containers for up to 3 months.
Use a hand blender for super smooth soup and easy cleaning
Leakproof and perfect size for soup. Freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe
This flask will keep your soup hot for up to 9 hours
This recipe was originally published in September 2014 and has now been updated with better images and a slight tweak to the method.
Don’t forget to save this recipe to your favourite Pinterest board for later!
Lentil soup is a staple for many vegetarians and vegans – do you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share? Please comment below!