Lentil - Vegetable Soup

An earthy, wholesome soup that makes for a nice lunch or small meal in the colder months of the year. This makes a large batch; freeze extra portions. Yields approximately 25 cups or 6 quarts and 1 cup.
Based on a recipe from Soups & Sides, Catherine Walthers, 2010, Lake, Isle Press, NY.
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Gluten Free, Soups, Vegetarian
Keyword: Freezes Well
Servings: 14 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 1 1/3 cups lentils rinsed (smaller lentils are preferable)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion diced 1/4", approximately 2 medium onions
  • 2 whole leeks approximately 3 cups, trimmed, white and tender green part, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed well and sliced 1/8" wide
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic approximately 4 average sized cloves
  • 3 cups carrots peeled and diced 1/4", approximately 6 medium carrots
  • 2 cups celery diced 1/4", approximately 4 stalks
  • 14 cups low sodium chicken broth preheat to reduce time (use vegetable broth for Vegetarians)
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 28 ounce can no sodium diced tomatoes with juices
  • 16 ounces spinach leaves , or 10 oz package frozen cut leaf spinach defrosted.
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt to taste


  • Fill a 2 quart saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and bay leaves and simmer, partially covered, 12 - 15 minutes until the lentils are "al dente"; they shouldn't be hard or mushy. Drain, rinse with cool water, shaking the strainer allow steam to escape. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in an 8 quart stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 6 - 8 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the leeks, garlic, carrots, and celery; sauté another 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Add the broth, oregano, tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until the vegetables are cooked, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach and lentils. Simmer on low for 2 to 3 minutes, until spinach is wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.


This makes a large batch, ideal for freezing. Scaling down will reduce overall time.
Copyright 2024, Catherine Christiano. Website by Catherine Christiano.