by Olena

Lentil Spinach Soup

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 24 votes

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Lentil Spinach Soup with green lentils, diced tomatoes and lots of Parmesan cheese. Healthy, easy, low calorie and hearty soup from my Italian neighbour.

Other lentil soup recipes my kids love are red lentil soup, chicken and lentil soup and this vegetarian lentil soup. They love lentils!

Lentil Spinach Soup

The Best Lentil Soup

Lentil and spinach soup recipe with green lentils, diced tomatoes and lots of Parmesan cheese I got from my Italian neighbour back in 2014 and improved upon with a few spices.

This healthy soup is cheap, easy and fast weeknight dinner or all weekend lunch + dinner (make once, eat five times – I am good at that).

Are Lentils Good for You?

With about 30% of their calories from protein, green lentils have the third-highest level of protein of any legume or nut, after soybeans and hemp. Lentils are also full of fiber, folate, vitamin B1 and a good source of iron. They help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Their soluble fiber traps carbohydrates and stabilizes blood sugar levels – an example how complex carbs are healthy vs. simple carbs.

Lentils are also low in calories and dare me to say help with weight loss. 1 cup contains 230 calories but leaves you full and satisfied for long.

Lentil Spinach Soup

Lentil and Spinach Soup Ingredients

  • Green lentils – Both brown and green lentils retain their shape well, so consistency of the soup won’t change. You can use red lentils but because they are split, they tend to almost disintegrate in the soup.
  • Diced tomatoes – Low sodium are the best. You can also use tomato sauce.
  • Veggies – Onion, carrot and celery.
  • Spices and low sodium vegetable broth
  • Fresh or frozen spinach – We buy 3 boxes at a time and freeze 2. Once you add spinach to hot soup it wilts right away anyways. Use frozen spinach in spinach dip or healthy spinach artichoke dip, too!

frozen spinach

FAQ About Lentils

  • Are lentils same as beans? Lentils are legumes just like beans but are relatively quick and easy to prepare. That’s why you rarely see canned lentils in stores.
  • Do I need to soak lentils? No, just like you don’t have to soak split peas, just FYI. It is a good idea to rinse lentils and then they should take about 30 minutes to cook. Other than that lentils do not require soaking like beans which makes them convenient for quick night vegetarian meals like green lentil curry. Or learn how to make Instant Pot lentil soup for completely hands off meal.

How to Make Lentil Spinach Soup

Full recipe card is located below.

  • Sauté veggies with spices until veggies are translucent and spices fragrant.
  • Add lentils and sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring here and there.
  • Add liquids and spices and cook for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  • Add spinach and garnishes: It is enough to let fresh or frozen spinach wilt in hot soup in order “to cook” it.
  • Serve hot: Garnished with Parmesan cheese and a side of baby kale salad or crustless spinach quiche for a full meal.

How to Make Lentil Spinach SoupLentil Spinach Soup

How to Store and Freeze

Storing soup leftovers: Lentil soup will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge. Reheat desired amount by simmering on low in a small pot.

Freezing soup leftovers: Lentil soup freezes beautifully. I usually transfer leftovers to a large glass container leaving some room for soup to expand, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Thawing lentil soup: To thaw, just remove frozen soup from the freezer the night before and defrost in the fridge overnight. Chances are it still will be somewhat frozen after 24 hours, so I put it on a counter for a few hours. And if I remove soup from the freezer in the morning and would like to reheat for lunch, I just thaw it on the counter. It won’t spoil.

More Favorite Recipes

Lentil Spinach Soup

Lentil Spinach Soup

Lentil Spinach Soup with green lentils, diced tomatoes and lots of Parmesan cheese. Healthy, easy, low calorie and hearty.
4.92 from 24 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 269kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 2 1/2 cups green lentils rinsed & drained
  • 5 garlic cloves minced & divided
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks chopped
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes low sodium
  • 12 cups vegetable broth low sodium
  • 2 tsp cumin ground
  • 2 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 cup parsley finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese grated (for garnish)


  • Preheat large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add half the garlic and all onion; sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and celery; sauté for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cumin, oregano and lentils; sauté for another 3 minutes.
  • Add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cover, bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Add spinach, remaining garlic, parsley and stir. Serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese.


  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 730mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4247IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 5mg
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79 comments on “Lentil Spinach Soup

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  1. 5 stars
    What a great soup! Very easy to prepare and so hearty. I do not care for the taste of cumin so I did not add any. I used chicken stock instead of vegetable stock as that is all I had. I did add pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon as I had read in other lentil soup recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    Very yummy! My picky husband liked it too! I used an immersion blender to puree some of it and squeezed in a little lemon juice at the end. We will make this recipe again! So good!

  3. 4 stars
    I used only a half teaspoon of cumin and added crumbled Italian sausage. Served with ciabatta bread. A tasty and hearty meal. Very good!

  4. 5 stars
    Wow! Hi there, Panos from Athens, Greece. I made this and it was quite fantastic! My 2-year-old loves lentils so we had a nice feast altogether. It worked perfectly well with the brown lentils we have originally. For me, it just needed an extra 5 mins in order to end up with the consistency and the level of crunchiness I like.

  5. Making this tonight! but which should I make? This recipe or the Instant Pot one? Do you have a preference? Thank you!

    1. Hi Elyse! It’s the same lentil soup recipe just that one is adapted for the instant pot. They should taste the same, so it’s really up to you how you want to cook it 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I chose this recipe for its high iron content and how healthy it is, not necessarily flavor – for having plain and ordinary ingredients I was expecting it to be bland – and I was VERY wrong, it tastes so flavorful – I have definitely found a new healthy go-to for my weightloss (and weight maintenance) lifestyle

    1. 5 stars
      This was very flavorful and delicious! Perfect for these cold days in Florida. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Dear Olena, I came upon your recipe for lentil spinach soup while looking for a gluten free soup to make for guests. I haven’t yet made your particular recipe, but intend to in a few days. What I was astonished to read was your ruminations on buying large quantities of spinach. Would you believe that only a few weeks ago did it occur to me that maybe I could find out if spinach could be frozen. My husband and I are never able to finish the large bags from Costco without maybe half of it going bad, which was exactly the situation you described. It was as though you were reading my mind! So, yes, as of three weeks ago, I now freeze small quantities in quart size zip lock bags, press out the air, and stack the bags in the freezer. I’m delighted that in this regard at least, I’m no longer being wasteful and still have “fresh” spinach at my disposal. As a grandmother, you’d think I would have figured this out a long time ago! Best wishes and continued success on your blog.

    1. Hello Lorraine. That is awesome. I know, such a simple hack and so much joy haha. You can also rinse and re-use same baggies to continue on no waste path. Happy New Year!

  8. 4 stars
    Gave it 4 because I made it! Not too sure about my cooking sometimes ?
    Loved the ingredients, used Rotel for the tomatoes. Tastes good and will make it again!

  9. 5 stars
    Hi Olena! … I made this soup last night. It was easy, tasty, and very healthy. Every body love it. Thank you very much for sharing it. God bless you & your family.

  10. Hello, I’m new to cooking and wonder if the vegetable broth is a completely different cooking exercise that needs to be prepared first.

    1. Hi Mark. No. You can buy it in cartons or buy vegetable bouillon cubes and dilute with water. For both preferably to buy low sodium and organic – less preservatives. But up to you. Or you can just use water this time.

  11. 5 stars
    thank you for this wonderful recipe. My daughter told me about it, and my husband and I just finished eating it. Thank you for including the points because I am a Weight Watchers member. This soup is definately a keeper. Thank you,

  12. 5 stars
    This soup was wonderful! I’m always looking for low calorie veggie soup options- so many soup recipes are just packed with heavy cream, bacon, cheese, etc. Not that those soups are bad of course 🙂 But I really appreciate this healthy recipe. I also really appreciate you including the nutrition information- one of the few food blogs I’ve seen that takes the time to do so. Thanks a bunch!
    Also don’t worry about the people freaking out about the chicken stock. Nothing wrong with providing options!

    1. I get you about the heavy stuff. America loves to add dairy everywhere! Haha, appreciation for nutrition info is nice because it takes me a good time to measure and calculate it. Some people just never will be happy. Especially online it’s easy to be mean and rude. Oh well. Thank you!

  13. 5 stars
    I made this soup and it was awesome. I used a little butter instead of spray, changed out the chicken stock for veggie then peeled off some parmesan strips to top it off. We all loved it and I kinda think about the soup daily. I’m vegetarian and I wasn’t at all disappointed nor was my meat-loving husband.

  14. Thank you for the recipe. I have people asking me for the it. I had another recipe that tasted similar, but had a lot more ingredients and steps, and was rather time-consuming. I much prefer this recipe. It is simple and delicious.

  15. Looks yummy I will be using organic chicken stock and collard greens for mine. Can’t wait to taste. Thanks for the recipe.

  16. 5 stars
    This recipe is definitely a keeper! But I have a question on your nutrition information; where did you calculate it? Its such a useful tool to have on hand. I used one (calorie Count about) on this and it came out at 307 calories a serving….I’m just curious which is the more accurate. It will help me out with calorie counting right now.
    Thanks so much!

  17. I agree, it is disappointing that you listed the chicken stock. It does make me less confident to want to try it as I was looking for something vegetarian that you feel confident enough in its flavor to not suggest that people use a meat base. Odd and a downer.

    1. I feel so confident this recipe is delicious that I even posted it for million people to make. Vegetable or chicken stock, both add flavour the same way. Not everyone is vegetarian and I try to give as many options as I can. I even make this soup with water and find it quite flavourful. So did many readers reported it was delicious. Please feel free to come up with your own soup recipe and skip mine. You know what is disappointing? Leaving rude comments for no reason is quite odd and a downer, in my opinion.

      1. I completely agree, if you have nothing to say, don’t say it. If you’re a vegetarian, just use the vegetable stock! why do you feel the need to criticize someone for sharing their recipe when you can just easily substitute?

      2. I just discovered you on FB and saw this recipe. I love that you put chicken stock and veggie stock. I like to know both will taste yummy and work well. Especially since I have never cooked lentils so this will by my first lentil recipe. I’ve had them sittng in my pantry for months! Photo is beautiful too!

        1. Hi Julie. Oh yes, any stock is interchangeable in all recipes, doesn’t matter, they all add flavour. Thank you for your kind words.:) Lentils are as easy to make as pasta.

  18. No, Kris. You’ll be cooking them with the other ingredients for 30 minutes. That should be plenty of time for them to be cooked. They’re pretty small beans.

  19. I made this and shared it with several neighbors…they all want to know when I will make more!

  20. The recipe does have garlic mentioned right on top ! It sounds super ,wil try it for sure .

  21. This looks lovely, but please just have vegetable stock in the recipe – it is not meatless if there is chicken stock in it! Hardly changes the flavor, so why bother listing it? And that way, vegetarians don’t have to worry they’re being fed chicken in their “meatless” soup. Thanks!

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