Favorite Lentil Soup: One-Pot, Vegan, Completely Delicious
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As this is the third time this lentil soup has made an appearance here, I’ll keep this brief: To make it, throw everything into a pot and simmer it for one hour. This soup has a nice, vinegary bite and gets better by the day. Soup + bread: what more do we need?
This is a recipe from my vegan cousin Christine — everyone in our family has been making it for years.
A few notes:
- Some people find 1/2 cup vinegar to be too much, but I find it to be just right. I use white balsamic vinegar (Colavita is my favorite). If you are using a different vinegar — white balsamic is on the sweet side — you may want to start with 1/4 cup vinegar and add more to taste by the tablespoon at the end.
- Crushed tomatoes: I love the Pomi brand, which has a nice, pure flavor, but use any crushed tomatoes you can find, preferably ones without any additional seasonings.
- On day two, much of the liquid will have been absorbed by the lentils and veggies. Just add a little more water to the pot as you reheat and adjust the seasoning as necessary — a pinch more salt usually does the trick.
- This recipe doubles well. Recently, when I made a double batch, I added 2 quarts of diced onions, 1 quart of diced carrots, 1 quart of diced celery, and a whole head of minced garlic, which I puréed in the food processor for ease.
- 1 1/4 cups French green lentils
- 12 oz crushed tomatoes — I like Pomi brand finely chopped tomatoes (1 1/2 cups), see notes above
- 2 large onions, chopped (about a quart of diced onions)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup white balsamic vinegar, see notes above
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, or if you are feeling lazy, a few whole springs
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced (1 to 2 cups)
- 3 celery stalks, diced (1 to 2 cups)
- crushed red pepper flakes to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Throw all ingredients together in a pot. Add 1½ qts. plus one cup of water (seven cups total) and bring to a boil. Simmer for one hour uncovered. Taste, adjust with more salt — I always add another teaspoon of kosher salt, sometimes more. Extract the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, if using, and discard. Serve with bread and lots of fresh cracked pepper.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American/French
Keywords: one-pot, lentil, vegan, soup, vegetarian, pantry