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Bruce Bradley's lentil soup is a rich and savory way to treat your family to a warm, delicious meal packed with protein-rich lentils and tons of veggies!

Recipe: Rich and Savory Lentil Soup

Bruce Bradley
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course and Broths, Chilis, Soups
Servings 8 -12 servings



  • 2 cups dry green lentils (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil see notes
  • 2 cups onion chopped fine
  • 2 cup carrots chopped
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced (about 6 cloves garlic)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 14.5 ounce
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8-9 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons parsley chopped OR 3 cups baby spinach or escarole, chopped

Garnish Ideas:

  • chopped green onions
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped parsley
  • sour cream
  • grated cheese parmesan or whatever kind you prefer
  • sliced almonds toasted
  • pistachios
  • balsamic vinegar
  • hot sauce


  • Inspect and sort lentils to make sure no small stones or foreign bits are mixed in. Rinse lentils in cold water. Set aside.
  • In an 8-quart pot warm olive oil over medium low heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery until vegetables start getting soft and onions become translucent. Add garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes, thyme, basil, and oregano. Cook for 1 minute. Add lentils, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes until the lentils start to darken and the vegetables are soft.
  • Add broth and turn up heat to high. Bring soup to simmer and lower temperature to medium low and maintain the simmer. Add wine. Cook for about 30 minutes until lentils are tender. Add vinegar and remove the bay leaves.
  • For a thicker soup, using an immersion blender, pulse the soup until the desired thickness is achieved. You can also remove 5-6 cups of the soup and purée in a blender.
  • Serve up in bowls and garnish. My favorite way to garnish this soup is with some sour cream, cilantro, pistachios, and then I drizzle balsamic vinegar and hot sauce on top. Yum!


We recommend using organic ingredients when possible.
I think French green lentils work best. They tend to be a little firmer and less mushy than brown or regular green lentils. That said, green and brown lentils work fine.
Slow cooker option: Cultures that cook with lentils often (like India) recommended sweating the lentils first so they retain their shape and firmness. This involves cooking the lentils first with something acidic (in this case tomatoes) and salt. If you care about a firmer lentil, then follow the order of the directions above. If texture doesn’t matter so much to you, you can opt to cook this soup in a slow cooker. Simply cook all the ingredients except for the wine and vinegar for 6-8 hours over low heat. Then add the wine and vinegar and follow the remaining directions above.
If you prefer, instead of using olive oil you can substitute 6 slices of bacon that have been cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Fry the bacon over medium heat. Add vegetables before the bacon starts to brown.
I prefer making a big batch of soup so there’s plenty for leftovers and to freeze. If you prefer, this recipe can easily be cut in half.
Did you make this recipe?Let us know how it was!