Warming Winter Lentil Soup

This simple, hearty, brothy lentil soup makes the house smell amazing, because of the aromatics like garlic, curry powder, thyme, and cumin.

This soup takes about 1 hour from start to finish, with about 20 minutes of active work. It makes 6 complete meals, and is perfect for batch cooking, eating some, and freezing the rest. It may seem like this soup contains a lot of oil, but it only ends up being about 1 Tbsp per serving, and the oil is an important part of what makes the soup so rich and flavorful.

Warming Winter Lentil Soup

Veggies | Protein | Fat
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Active Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 40 minutes
Servings 6



  • 1 lb diced onion
  • 1 lb chopped carrots, or just 2 lb total of onions and carrots
  • 2 large cans, 28-oz diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 cups chopped fresh collard greens or kale


  • 2 cups dry brown, green, or yellow large lentils, 16 oz


  • 3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil, 6 Tbsp

Condiments & Spices

  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp good quality sea salt, more to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Large pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 medium lemon, to taste


  • Heat the olive oil over a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  • Pour in the lentils, broth and the water.
  • Add salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  • Cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  • Optional: In a blender, puree 2 cups of the soup and return it to the pot, or use an immersion blender briefly to partially puree the soup for thickness.
  • Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth.
  • Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing.
  • Add the chopped greens. If batch cooking and freezing, I leave out the greens and just add them to individual bowls at the time of serving. I don’t really like how greens get when they are frozen. They don’t need to be cooked, they will wilt nicely into the hot soup.
  • Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or the soup can be frozen for several months.
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  1. I needed a lentil soup recipe and voila the recipe showed up in my email. I have it cooking in my pressure cooker right now! Can’t wait to try it. Thank you

  2. If you add quinoa, do you need to increase the vegetable broth and cooking time? This soup looks delicious!

  3. Anonymous

    I made this tonight and it was REALLY GOOD! Thank you for this recipe!

  4. Speaking of all the Katies, I admittedly mixed you up slightly just today! Sorry! But I did want to tell you how much I’ve appreciated your recipes. They have truly been invaluable to me in the beginning of my new journey (day 34 here). It was hard to figure out how to calculate sauces and combined foods yet I dreaded always eating the categories separately. I had the curry last night and i loved it. I would never be able to do this without something flavorful to eat. I seriously can’t thank you enough for being generous with your time and talents!

  5. I just made this soup and divided it into 6 portions and they are huge (3+ cups)! Is this the intended serving size?

  6. Kathy borden

    Than you Katie, this lentil soup recipe was delicious! It’s a keeper. It was we needed to chase the cold weather away. Thanks to Monica for calculating the serving size for us BLE eaters.

  7. Hi Katie! I’m on day 1 of BLE today and this recipe is dinner. Wow!! Delicious. Thank you so much for providing such amazing recipes!

  8. This looks delicious ! Is it 28oz can tomatoes x2 ? Or 2x14oz cans ? Is it 2lbs each of carrots and onions or 1lb of each ? Thank you !

  9. This soup is delicious! Even my husband liked it, and he swears that he doesn’t like lentils!!

  10. Thank you for this. I also follow the whole food plant based movement, which teaches the ill effects of oils in foods (because they are not whole, but processed and cause inflammation). For the past 10 years, I have been dry sauteeing or using broth or water to saute and it has been so healing for me. Do you think adding some nut butter or avocado would taste good in this recipe, to replace the oil?

    • Hmm, I don’t know. I don’t have any issues personally with oil but I totally respect people’s choice to omit it. Glad you have found healing. I think the oil is the reason this soup is so yummy and rich, so it would be different, although not bad without it. I would leave out the oil and eat avocado on top to garnish.

  11. Jeanne Adams

    I really enjoyed this recipe. My only question is that it says to drain the tomatoes, but not what to do with the juice. I ended up adding in the juice instead of water, just totaling the combination to 4 cups.

  12. Easy Peasy and soooooo delicious! Thanks Katie for this wonderful recipe 🙂

  13. Marie Murakami

    A real hit with me and my meat eating friends loved it!! thankyou so much.

    • Marie Murakami

      I am not a meat eater, just to be clear. Also I am in a really hot country so eating this soup still worked out great!

  14. You are a LIFE SAVER!! I think the hardest part of BLE is the measuring of these kinds of combined foods. This is perfect! Delicious and perfect. Thank you!!!

  15. Could this be made in the Instant Pot and if so how long would I cook it for?

  16. Just made this soup last night and it is delicious. I can’t believe the serving size and then have to eat an 8 oz salad with it. I will definitely make it again. Just forgot to add the kale the first meal I had of it.

  17. Barbara Colvin

    Katie, can you change the recipe instructions so that it’s ckearly two pounds TOTAL of chopped onion and carrots. I chopped four pounds total, then came to check comments because that looked like a LOT of carrots and onions! 🙂 thanks!

  18. Ashley Clementi

    This is delicious! I only used a minimal amount of oil, and added canned coconut milk for the rest of the fat. Amazing!

  19. My soup turned out very runny because it looked like the tomatoes and kale were included in the 2 pounds total of vegetables the way it was written. This should be clarified to say total of onions and carrots.
    Are you counting the vegetable broth as part of the veggies or do the tomatoes come up to that much? How do you come up with 14 ounces of veggies and six ounces of lentils? How many ounces is a serving?

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