Vegan Lentil Soup

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

About the authorJ. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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Vegan Lentil Soup

About This Recipe

YIELD: Makes about 2 quarts, serving 3 to 4
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 1/2 hours
THIS RECIPE APPEARS IN: Vegan: How Not To Ruin Lentil Soup


  • 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 pound dried brown lentils, picked over
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts water or vegetable broth (sodium free)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper



    Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes (you may spray on Pam). Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add lentils and stir to combine. Add bay leaf and water (or broth). Bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, cover with lid slightly cracked, and cook until lentils are completely tender and falling apart, about 1 hour total, adding water as necessary (lentils should be completely covered at all times).



    Using a hand blender, blend soup until as smooth as desired. Alternatively, transfer half of soup to a standing blender, blend until smooth, and fold back into remaining soup. Whisk in lemon juice to taste, along with parsley (reserving some parsley for garnish). Season to taste with pepper and serve.

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