Cozy up with this super easy and incredibly flavorful veggie lentil soup. This kid-favorite soup uses simple ingredients, one pot, is high in protein, full of flavor, and cooks in 30 minutes!
This lentil soup is perfect for kids! The color and flavor will have them sold. Plus, it's packed with protein and high in fiber, so it's perfectly filling. Your whole family will love it!
For another incredible soup recipe that kids love, you've got to make my Butternut Squash Soup! And, if you like cooking with kale, try my Easy Tuscan Kale Salad recipe. Both of these recipes are a hit with kids!
What Are Lentils
Lentils are a pulse (along with beans and peas). Pulses are a staple in the Mediterranean diet and are recognized for being rich in polyphenols, in addition to other nutrients. Studies have shown that the consumption of lentil is connected to the reduction of various diseases.
Lentils are considered a plant protein. They contain about 18 grams of protein per cup. Green lentils take a little longer to cook than brown lentils.
Why You'll Love This Lentil Soup
I was on a mission to find the best lentil soup recipe to make at home ever since my daughter devoured bowl of it at a restaurant. This is it!
- Uses basic pantry ingredients and simple spices.
- One pot = less mess!
- Easy plant-based meal.
- Ready in 30 minutes!
- High in protein and fiber so kids feel full longer.
- Kid approved!
- Can be made ahead.
- Great for packing lunches! We use our thermos for this.
- Lentils A good source of potassium, folate, manganese, fiber, and iron. Lentils are an inexpensive plant protein that can be stored in the cupboard.
- Carrots High in beta carotene and fiber. If you scrub the carrots well, there is no need to peel them first. But, if peeling is easier for you, do it!
- Kale Use curly kale. Can substitute spinach or use a mixture of both kale and spinach. Dark leafy greens contain fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and more.
- Spices Turmeric, cumin, and thyme make the perfect combination for lentil soup! Turmeric adds to the golden color of this soup. It contains curcumin which contains anti-inflammatory properties.
- Onion and Garlic Are on the list of foods that contain prebiotics. Prebiotics are good for gut health.
Here's a quick overview of the steps to make this soup. For the full list of ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.
- Chop carrots, onion, and garlic up into very small pieces using a good quality food chopper.
- Cook chopped vegetables and garlic in olive oil in a Dutch oven until the vegetables are tender.
- Add spices, lentils, and broth. Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30-35 minutes.
- Add balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and kale or spinach pieces. Stir.
- Remove from heat and enjoy!
- Green or red bell pepper can either be added or used in place of carrots.
- Use green or brown lentils. Do not use red lentils or else the soup will be mushy.
- Chopped potatoes or tomatoes would also make a nice addition.
- To make this vegan or vegetarian, use vegetable broth.
Allow your kids to explore new flavors and textures. Chopping up the carrots and onions into very small pieces allows them to blend in with the lentils, so there are no large chunks in this lentil soup with vegetables.
- To save time, use pre-packaged baby kale or spinach.
- Use kitchen shears to cut kale into small pieces.
- Make this soup ahead of time and reheat it either on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- Chopping the vegetables into very small pieces will help with the acceptance of the texture for kids.
- Up to two cups of the broth can be substituted with water, if needed.
- Either chicken broth, chicken stock, or vegetable broth can be used. If you don't have 6 cups of broth, two of the cups can be substituted with water. If using less-sodium broth, I do not suggest substituting any of it with water.
Serve this soup to kids in a small bowl and their favorite spoon. My kids like to eat this using a porcelain soup spoon.
No. Lentils should be rinsed, but do not need to be soaked. If you do soak lentils, reduce the cooking time.
Yes. This soup also freezes well. Simply, let it cool, place it in a freezer safe container or resealable bag, and freeze.
Serve this soup with a hearty piece of bread, a small salad, crackers, or their favorite wrap or sandwich.
My kids love it when I serve it with a small grilled cheese sandwich or Caesar salad.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
Be sure to comment below to share your feedback, and don't forget to snap a pic of this incredible lentil soup and tag @carrots.and.cookies on Instagram. Enjoy!
Veggie Lentil Soup
- 1 Dutch Oven I use Le Creuset but there are plenty of other alternatives out there that will work just as well!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 onion chopped.
- 3 carrots Medium sized. Washed and chopped - see notes.
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup lentils rinsed and drained
- 6 cups broth vegetable or chicken broth or stock - see notes.
- 2 cups kale or spinach If using kale, remove ribs and tear into pieces.
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste (see notes)
- Heat oil in a Dutch Oven.
- Add finely chopped onions and carrots. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic. Cook for one minute.
- Add cumin, turmeric, and thyme. Stir into vegetables.
- Stir in lentils and broth. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to bring it to a simmer. Cook for 30-35 minutes (see notes).
- Add balsamic vinegar and stir.
- Stir in spinach or kale pieces, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat.