by Olena

Spinach and Lentil Soup Recipe

by Olena

Spinach Lentil Soup Recipe with green lentils, diced tomatoes and lots of Parmesan cheese I got from my Italian neighbour. And we all know how food is in Italy, right?!

Lentil and Spinach Soup from My Italian Neighbour

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 in 2018.

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

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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.

EASY Spinach Lentil Soup Recipe with green or brown lentils from my Italian neighbour. And we all know how food is in Italy, right?!

What If I Don’t Like Lentils?

If you are not a huge-huge fan of lentils like me, I mean I like but don’t love lentils to death, I recommend a hefty dose of freshly grated Parmesan cheese melted right in your bowl of hot soup. And freshly toasted white pita. Makes ANY lentils taste like chicken. I promise, fixes everything!

OK, let’s go over the ingredients and make you fall in love with lentils. JK, at least like them like I do because they are so darn cheap and nutritious!

Lentil and Spinach Soup Ingredients

  • Green lentils
  • Low sodium diced tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Spices
  • Low sodium vegetable broth

Spinach Lentil Soup Recipe with green lentils, diced tomatoes and lots of Parmesan cheese I got from my Italian neighbour. And we all know how food is in Italy, right?!

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 you can try Instant Pot lentil soup or slow cooker vegetarian lentil soup for completely hands off meal.

Can I Use Brown Lentils?

Yes. Both brown and green lentils retain their shape well, so consistency of the soup won’t change.

Can I Use Red Lentils?

Yes, you can but red lentils are split and tend to almost disintegrate in the soup.

Can I Use Frozen Spinach?

OMG, I have to share with you the trick that daunted on me one Costco shopping trip. I was scratching my head in their freezing cold fridge how can I buy more cheap organic spinach without it going bad or me making another trip to the store.

Freeze it! Because reality is that I rarely make spinach salad but rather add it to a green smoothie and this soup. And that’s it. So we buy 2-3 boxes at $3.99 and don’t buy later at $5.99. Or buy it on sale and freeze – won’t go bad. Wahoo!

EASY Spinach Lentil Soup Recipe with green or brown lentils from my Italian neighbour. And we all know how food is in Italy, right?!

How to Make Lentil Spinach Soup

EASY Spinach Lentil Soup Recipe with green or brown lentils from my Italian neighbour. And we all know how food is in Italy, right?!

1. Sauté the Onion, Celery and Carrot

  • Start by sauteing onion and garlic. Preheat Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat and swirl 1 tbsp of oil to coat. Add half the garlic and all onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. This step will allow the onion to develop flavour and garlic not burn along with onion.
  • Then add carrots and celery and cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally but allowing vegetables to brown a bit.
  • Add oregano and cumin once vegetables are almost done and cook for 30 seconds. This will allow spices become more fragrant rather than throwing them in with liquids and dry ingredients.

2. Pre-cook Lentils

Add lentils and sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring here and there.

3. Add Liquids and Let Soup Cook

Add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cover, bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

4. Add Spinach and Garnishes

Add spinach, remaining garlic, parsley and stir. Serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese. Spinach Lentil Soup Recipe with green lentils, diced tomatoes and lots of Parmesan cheese I got from my Italian neighbour. And we all know how food is in Italy, right?!

Can I Freeze Leftovers?

Yes, this 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.

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 Tasty Lentil Soup Recipes

Print

Lentil and Spinach Soup Recipe

5 from 1 reviews

Spinach Lentil Soup Recipe with green lentils, diced tomatoes and lots of Parmesan cheese I got from my Italian neighbour. And we all know how food is in Italy, right?!

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Soup and Stew
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Add cumin, oregano and lentils; sauté for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cover, bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. 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.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

About Olena

Hi, I’m Olena and this is my healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I now live on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I’m here to help you with “What’s for dinner?”.

Made a recipe? Tag @ifoodreal or #ifoodreal on Instagram. I would love to share in the “Look what you made” stories.

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40 comments on “Spinach and Lentil Soup Recipe

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  1. 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,

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. Hello!
    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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!