I cooked up this recipe for dinner and it took less than an hour from start to finish. It's incredibly easy (a big bonus for cooking on a busy night) and makes plenty of leftovers for fast dinners the rest of the week. What I love most about this dish, though, is how spicy it is. Lentil dishes have a reputation for being bland, but this soup packs a flavorful kick. If you don't love spiciness, you can adjust the spices while it's cooking, or you can simply add a dollop of sour cream to garnish a bowl of the stew. This is adapted from a recipe created by Kelly Rossiter.
lentil soup

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook time: 50 minutes 

Total time: 65 minutes 

Yield: 6-8 servings

Hearty Lentil Soup with Tomatoes


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, including liquid
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook them for about 5 minutes or until they turn translucent. Then add in the celery and carrots, and cook another 5 minutes or until they soften. 
  2. Add in the thyme, oregano, paprika and cayenne pepper along with the lentils, and stir until lentils and vegetables are coated with the spices. Then add the tomatoes and vegetable stock. Heat the soup to boiling, then reduce the heat and allow the soup to simmer until the lentils are cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
    lentil soup
  3. Using an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender, blend the soup so that it is smoother, but still contains chunks of vegetables.
  4. Ladle the hot soup into bowls, serve, and enjoy!

lentil soup

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Hearty Lentil Soup with Tomatoes
A classic recipe that's easy to make and comforting to eat.