Savor the warmth and comfort of this hearty and healthy vegetable lentil soup. Packed with nutrients, fiber, and flavor, this delicious soup is easy to prepare and perfect for any occasion.
- 1 cup dried green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 bell pepper, any color, diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach or kale
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the diced onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute, stirring to prevent burning.
- Stir in the diced carrots, celery, zucchini, and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the ground cumin, paprika, coriander, and red pepper flakes (if used) to the pot. Stir well to coat the vegetables in the spices, and cook for another minute.
- Pour in the vegetable broth, followed by the rinsed lentils, diced tomatoes with juice, and bay leaves—season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Once the lentils are cooked, remove the bay leaves and discard them. Stir in the chopped spinach or kale and let it wilt for about 2 minutes.
- Finally, add the juice of 1 lemon and stir well. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Serve the soup hot with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley or cilantro and a side of crusty bread or a fresh salad.
Enjoy this hearty and healthy vegetable lentil soup as a satisfying and nutritious meal that will keep you warm and nourished. Feel free to customize the recipe with your favorite veggies or spices and make it your own.