Spinach Lentil Soup For Cold Winter Nights

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If you come home feeling chilled to the bone, this warm and comforting spinach lentil soup is just the bowl of soup to warm you up from head to toe.

This delicious soup is the epitome of comfort food. It’s healthy, easy to make, and goes great with just about anything.

A white bowl filled with Spinach Lentil Soup sits on a saucer plate surrounded by carrots, celery and dried lentils.

Lentils are a very healthy addition to your eating plan. They are high in fiber and many other nutrients with very little fat. They also have plenty of plant-based protein in them.

This recipe is simple and uses basic ingredients you can find in any grocery store. In fact, you may already have all the ingredients you need at home.

FAQs

Can I Use Different Types Of Lentils?

You can, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time. This recipe calls for brown lentils.

Green lentils, if used, will take about 20-25 minutes longer to cook and may need more liquid as a result.

Red lentils can be used but require a shorter cooking time, so you’ll need to be sure your vegetables get cooked fully in that time. They only need about 20-25 minutes of cooking time at most, especially if they are split.

Please note that older lentils take longer to cook.

Are There Any Substitutes For The Spinach?

You can use any dark, leafy greens you prefer. Or you can omit the green completely. Your choice.

Can I Used Canned Lentils Instead Of Dried Lentils?

This should work if you cook everything else in the broth first, stirring in the lentils in the last 5 minutes of cooking just to warm them up.

Do I Need To Soak The Lentils Before Cooking Them?

You can if that’s your standard practice, but it’s not required for this recipe. Soaking may shorten the cooking time a bit, so keep an eye on it if you do.

Can I Make This In An Instant Pot Or Slow Cooker?

You could, but this is such a simple stovetop recipe that it seems kind of pointless to do that.

Can I Blend The Soup For A Smoother Texture?

I

You can blend the soup once everything is cooked. Blend until it reaches your desired texture.

Does This Spinach Lentil Soup Work For The Mediterranean Diet?

Yes, it does. While the flavor profile is not Mediterranean, the recipe itself fits perfectly for this style of eating.

Can I Make This Spinach Lentil Soup Spicy?

You can. Add some cayenne pepper or crushed red chili flakes to the soup with the other spices. Start small and taste to adjust.

My Soup Turned Out Too Thick. How Can I Thin It Out?

This can happen if the lentils soak up extra liquid in storage or if you cook the soup for too long, cooking down the broth. To remedy this, simply add more vegetable broth when you heat the soup.

What Kind Of Texture Does This Spinach Lentil Soup Have?

It’s a hearty, chunky soup that is soft and tender in texture.

An side view of a spoon lifting a spoonful of Spinach Lentil Soup our of a white bowl.

Dietary Concerns

Vegan – This recipe is naturally vegan.

Vegetarian – This recipe is naturally vegetarian.

Dairy-Free – This recipe is already dairy-free. No adjustments are needed.

Sugar-Free – You won’t find any sugar added here!

Serving Suggestions

This soup can be enjoyed at home or taken to work or school in a thermos. It’ll go great with any of the following:

  • As a first course to any multi-course dinner.
  • With garlic bread
  • With a side salad
  • With a sandwich
  • With a wrap

Suggested Serving Size

  • 1 cup will be plenty for a child
  • 1½ cups makes a light but filling lunch for an adult.
  • 2 cups make a hearty and very filling meal for an adult.
An overhead view of a white bowl filled with Spinach Lentil Soup surrounded by carrots, celery, dried lentils and fresh parsley.

Flavorful Additions And Variations

Try adding any of these if you feel your soup isn’t seasoned well enough.

  • Extra thyme -1 teaspoon should do the trick.
  • Cumin – 1-2 teaspoons.
  • Paprika – 1 teaspoon.
  • Garam Masala – Start with 1 teaspoon and move up to taste for a more Indian flavor profile.
  • Coconut milk – If you want this to have more of an Indian flavor profile, you can easily make this a creamier soup with the addition of coconut milk.
  • Red pepper flakes – Start with a quarter teaspoon and move up from there.
  • Fresh herbs for garnish – Try parsley, cilantro, or fresh thyme.

About The Ingredients

Dried brown lentils – Rinsed and drained.

Olive oil – Or any oil you prefer to cook with.

Onion – Chop this fine.

Garlic cloves – Or 1 tbsp. garlic granules

Carrots – Slice these thin.

Celery – Slice these thin.

Vegetable broth – No sugar added.

Canned diced tomatoes – No sugar added.

Dried thyme – You can use fresh if you prefer.

Bay leaves – Opt for larger leaves.

Salt and pepper – To taste

Fresh baby spinach leaves – Or whatever greens you prefer to use. Larger leaves should be chopped into smaller pieces.

Lemon juice – Fresh is best, but bottled will do.

Fresh parsley – Or cilantro for garnish.

How To Make Spinach Lentil Soup

Oil sitting in the bottom of a pot.
Chopped onions sitting in oil in a pot.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Sliced carrots and celery added to chopped onions and oil in a pot.

Stir in diced carrots and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

Rinsed lentils draining in a white seive.
Broth and spices added to a pot of sautéd vegetables.

Add rinsed lentils, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes (if using), dried thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Add fresh chopped spinach to the soup and let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes until the spinach wilts.

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with Spinach Lentil Soup, surrounded by produce and dried lentils.

Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you like, add a small splash of lemon juice to brighten up the flavor. No more than 1 tbsp. is needed. This is optional.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired, before serving.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.

Freezing

This can be frozen for up to 6 months without affecting the texture of the soup. I recommend freezing in individual portions for easy meals.

Reheating

From frozen – Thaw in the fridge for a full 24 hours, or defrost in a microwave.

From fridge – Reheat in a pot on the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.

An overhead view of a spoon lifting a spoonful of Spinach Lentil Soup our of a white bowl.

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A white bowl filled with Spinach Lentil Soup sits on a saucer plate surrounded by carrots, celery and dried lentils.

Spinach Lentil Soup For Cold Winter Nights

Delicious, hearty, lentil soup that will warm you up on a cold winter evening.
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 162kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Large soup pot

Ingredients

  • cups dried brown lentils (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 tbsp. oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (white onion works too)
  • 6 large garlic cloves (minced – or 1 tbsp. garlic granules)
  • 2 medium carrots (sliced thin)
  • 2 medium celery stalks (sliced thin)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (no sugar added)
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon juice (optional)
  • fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
    Chopped onions sitting in oil in a pot.
  • Stir in diced carrots and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
    Sliced carrots and celery added to chopped onions and oil in a pot.
  • Add rinsed lentils, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes (if using), dried thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
    Add fresh chopped spinach to the soup and let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes until the spinach wilts.
    Broth and spices added to a pot of sautéd vegetables.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you like, add a small splash of lemon juice to brighten up the flavor. No more than 1 tbsp. is needed. This is optional.
    Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired, before serving.
    An overhead view of a white bowl filled with Spinach Lentil Soup, surrounded by produce and dried lentils.

Notes

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

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 722mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4185IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 4mg

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