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Italian Lentil Soup

Prep Time:

10 Minutes

Cook Time:

30 Minutes





About the Recipe


  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 1 celery rib, chopped

  • Kosher salt

  • Black pepper

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes (I like San Marzano)

  • 5 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed (or brown lentils)

  • 2 cups baby spinach

  • 1 cup chopped parsley leaves

  • Splash red wine vinegar

  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)


1. Sauté the aromatics. In a large Dutch oven, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies are fragrant and somewhat tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Simmer. Add the tomatoes and lightly crush with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Stir in the vegetable broth, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and lentils. Season with another pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and partly cover the Dutch oven, leaving a little opening. Simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are very tender and cooked through, but still intact.

3. Finish and serve. Turn off the heat and stir in the baby spinach, parsley, and a splash of red wine vinegar. Taste and season with more vinegar, salt, and pepper to your liking. Transfer to serving bowls and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and Parmesan cheese, if using.


  • If you prefer a thicker soup, reduce the amount of broth to 4 cups. 

  • Leave out the parmesan cheese to make this lentil soup vegan.

  • To store leftovers, hold off on adding cheese. From there:

  • Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then transfer to airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. If you’re freezing soup, always leave some room at the top to allow it to expand in your freezer.

  • Defrost in your microwave or allow the soup to thaw in your refrigerator overnight. Reheat over medium-low heat, stirring until steaming and delicious, then top with freshly grated parmesan.  

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