German Lentil Soup Recipe

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This German lentil soup recipe is absolute comfort food on a chilly day or evening.

This amazing recipe is one I grew up with. My grandmother always made lentils for me, so I eventually began to associate them with being “comfort food”. I loved them especially because they were always served with a bratwurst or some other German sausage.

A bowl of this clean eating german lentil soup recipe sits on a white plate with some crackers on the side.

When I moved to Germany, I was pleased as punch to find that they still made their lentils the same way. So now, I’m happy to share this fabulous recipe with you!
While the sausages may not be part of a clean eating plan, I promise, you don’t really need them for this tasty dish.

Note: Some folks like to soak their lentils overnight. While doing so is not necessary for digestion, it will cut the cooking time in half. However, I’ve never soaked any beans or legumes I’ve ever cooked. So do whatever comes naturally for you.


Lentil soup is generally made of lentils, broth, and any flavorings you want to add. Some people will cook lentils with meat to add flavor, but it’s not necessary as you will see in the recipe below.


Lentils are a very healthy legume. They have tons of fiber, they’re low in fat and have healthy doses of folate and magnesium.


You don’t have to soak them at all. While most beans and legumes benefit from soaking, lentils are not one of them. That being said, if you’re in a hurry, soaking lentils will generally cut stovetop cooking time in half.


No. A plain lentil soup will generally be very low in calories. But it will depend heavily on what you add to your soup. The lentils themselves offer only about 230 calories per cup of cooked lentils. Again, what you add to them can vary caloric intake considerably.



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A bowl of this clean eating german lentil soup recipe sits on a white plate with some crackers on the side.

German Lentil Soup

A deliciously simple lentil soup for chilly nights.
3.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Legumes, Soup
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 160kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 10 cups vegetable broth (you can also use water if you prefer)
  • 2 cups brown lentils (green lentils work too)
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste after cooking


  • Place all ingredients in a large pot, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat slightly to keep a nice soft rolling boil without having it cook over.
  • Cook until the lentils are completely soft. (This can vary by the age of your lentils. Older lentils will need to cook longer. Times can vary between 30 minutes and 1 hour)


Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 10g | Sodium: 945mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1000IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 3.2mg

This recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally posted 5/15/10.

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  1. Anna Johnston says:

    Hi Tiffany
    I’ve just come across you on Twitter & have been pouring over your recipes. I’ve never been ‘into’ lentils but you make it sound so great – even calling it ‘comfort food’! I’m going to try this clean eating lentil soup recipe.
    I’d love to keep in touch. Are you on Facebook? If so, come on over & we’ll keep in touch.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Hi Anna!

      Let me know what you think about the lentils. They are honestly comfort food for me. My grandma always made them for me on cold winter days. I’d come in wet from walking home from school in the rain and have a big bowl of hot, steamy lentils waiting for me. It was fabulous!

      Hope you enjoy them!
      (Following you on FB now)

      Take care.

  2. trude wofford says:

    I love lentils and will try this recipe of your very soon

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Trude – Thanks! It’s one of my favorites.

  3. Michele M says:

    This looks so good, it is going on the list for next week- my husband loves Lentils!

  4. Lydia maripoza75 says:

    I love lentils to my grandma use to make them for me too. Will give your recipe a try sounds good 😉

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lydia – Great! Let me know how you like them!

  5. Happened upon your site a week ago. Tried this recipe tonight and it ROCKS!! Thanks so much for sharing!! 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Julie – Fabulous! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! It’s definitely a family favorite for us.

  6. Yum!!! Question…do you have any recipes with plantains? Cuz they would go great with this soup. 🙂

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Letty – No, I don’t have much experience with them. Sorry!

  7. graciouspantry says:

    Dora – Cooking is great that way. You can add and subtract as you like! Personally, I wouldn’t care for it much in this recipe. But then I’m a bit partial to the way my grandmother made it. So I might be a little biased. Give it a try and see if you like it.

  8. graciouspantry says:

    Dora – This is a very simple soup. The seasonings are meant to be mild. However, you can add more vinegar, or any spice you like. Cumin might be a good option or garlic and onion powder. Even some curry would be good. The lentils are already a carb, so I would add protein to this in some way. Perhaps a side of chicken or pork? I’m sorry, I realize I’m not being very helpful here. I’ll have to try making the soup again to play around with it. I’ll let you know.

  9. graciouspantry says:

    Jan – Glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Elizabert49 says:

    Just put this in the crockpot using one box of good quality chicken stock, water, balsamic vinegar, coriander, onion powder. I cannot wait!

  11. graciouspantry says:

    There are some mild differences, yes.

  12. Do you know of any canned lentil soup that is clean , I would add my own stuff in too but I’m a currently a little injured so its hard for me to prepare my food like I am use too. So just looking for some clean eating easy food while I heal!i love your site
    Thanks 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Not off hand. If you have a Whole Foods in your area (or any health food store), they could probably point you to a good one.

  13. Hi Tiffany!
    I´m from Germany and I love your recipes and the lentil soup tastes amazing and it tastes exactly like my grandma´s lentil soup 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alisa – Yay!!! What part of Germany are you from? I miss it so much! I lived in Stuttgart for almost a year. One of the best years of my life, minus the homesickness.

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