This Mediterranean Lentil Soup Recipe is made with onion, carrots, lentils, white wine, parsley, broth and whole peeled tomatoes.
Lentil soup is a comforting and nutritious dish that is perfect for cooler days or whenever you're craving a hearty and satisfying meal. Packed with protein, fiber, and an array of flavors, lentil soup is not only delicious but also incredibly nourishing. This recipe combines the earthy flavors of lentils with aromatic herbs and vegetables to create a wholesome and satisfying soup.
Whether you're a lentil lover or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, this lentil soup is a fantastic option. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a warm bowl of homemade lentil soup that will warm your body and soul.
- What is Lentil Soup?
- Why you will love this recipe
- Mediterranean Lentil Soup Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Mediterranean Lentil Soup
- What to serve with Mediterranean Lentil Soup
- Mediterranean Lentil Soup Recipe Variations
- How to store Mediterranean Lentil Soup
- Mediterranean Lentil Soup Recipe Top tips
- Mediterranean Lentil Soup
- Food safety
What is Lentil Soup?
Lentil soup is a type of soup made primarily with lentils, which are small legumes that come in various colors, including green, brown, red, and yellow. Lentils are known for their high nutritional value, as they are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Lentil soup is typically prepared by cooking lentils with a variety of vegetables, herbs, and spices in a broth or stock. The exact ingredients can vary depending on personal preferences and regional variations. Common additions to lentil soup include onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, and leafy greens such as spinach or kale. Herbs like thyme, cumin, coriander, and bay leaves are often used to enhance the flavor.
Why you will love this recipe
- Nutritional Value: Lentils are packed with nutrients, including protein, fiber, folate, iron, and potassium. Lentil soup provides a nutritious and well-rounded meal, especially for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
- High in Fiber: Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, promotes satiety, and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Lentil soup can be a satisfying and filling option, keeping you fuller for longer.
- Versatility: Lentil soup is incredibly versatile and adaptable to various flavors and ingredients. You can customize it based on your preferences by adding different vegetables, spices, herbs, and even proteins like chicken or sausage.
- Budget-Friendly: Lentils are an affordable source of plant-based protein, making lentil soup a cost-effective meal option. It is an excellent choice for those on a tight budget or looking for economical yet nutritious meals.
Mediterranean Lentil Soup Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Olive oil
- San Marzano Tomatoes
- White wine
- Salt and pepper
See recipe card for Mediterranean Lentil Soup Recipe quantities.
How to make Mediterranean Lentil Soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and sauté until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the marjoram and thyme, and cook for an additional minute to release their flavors.
Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices to the pot, along with the chicken or vegetable broth. Stir in the dried lentils and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Stir in the dry white wine and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chopped fresh parsley. Serve the lentil soup hot and enjoy!
What to serve with Mediterranean Lentil Soup
- Bread: Serve crusty bread such as baguette, ciabatta, or pita bread on the side. It's perfect for dipping into the soup or spreading with a little olive oil or hummus.
- Salad: A refreshing Mediterranean-inspired salad can be a great addition. Consider a Greek salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese, and olives dressed with lemon and olive oil. Or try a simple mixed green salad with a tangy vinaigrette.
- Yogurt: A dollop of plain Greek yogurt or tzatziki on top of the soup adds a creamy and tangy element that complements the flavors. It also helps balance any spiciness or richness in the soup.
- Onions: If you don't have onions, you can use shallots or leeks as a substitute. They provide a similar flavor profile to onions.
- Carrots: Carrots can be substituted with other root vegetables like parsnips or celery root, or with sweet potatoes or butternut squash for a slightly different flavor.
- Marjoram: If you don't have marjoram, you can substitute it with dried or fresh oregano, thyme, or basil. Each herb will add its own unique flavor to the soup.
- Thyme: If you don't have thyme, you can substitute it with dried or fresh rosemary, oregano, marjoram, or basil. Adjust the quantity according to your taste preference.
- San Marzano Tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes have a unique flavor, but if you can't find them, you can use regular canned peeled tomatoes or crushed tomatoes. Look for high-quality canned tomatoes for the best flavor.
- Broth: You can use vegetable broth or chicken broth depending on your dietary preferences. Alternatively, you can use water and enhance the flavor with additional herbs and spices.
- Lentils: Lentils come in various types and colors. If you don't have the specific lentils mentioned in the recipe, you can substitute with another type such as green lentils, brown lentils, or red lentils. Just keep in mind that different lentils may have different cooking times and textures.
- White Wine: If you prefer to omit white wine, you can replace it with vegetable broth or simply omit it altogether. The soup will still have plenty of flavors from other ingredients.
- Parsley: If you don't have parsley, you can substitute it with fresh cilantro or basil for a different herbaceous note. Alternatively, you can omit it if desired.
Mediterranean Lentil Soup Recipe Variations
Here are some variations you can try for a Mediterranean Lentil Soup recipe:
- Moroccan Spiced Lentil Soup: Add Moroccan spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger to give the soup a warm and aromatic flavor. You can also include ingredients like dried apricots, raisins, or preserved lemon for a touch of sweetness and tanginess.
- Greek-Inspired Lentil Soup: Enhance the Mediterranean flavors by adding Greek herbs such as oregano and dill. Consider including ingredients like chopped spinach or Swiss chard for extra greens. Serve the soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese.
- Lemon and Herb Lentil Soup: Brighten the flavors by adding fresh lemon juice and zest to the soup. Increase the amount of fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary for an herbaceous twist. The lemon adds a refreshing and tangy element to the soup.
- Roasted Vegetable Lentil Soup: Roast a variety of Mediterranean vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers before adding them to the soup. This adds depth and smokiness to the flavors. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast until tender before adding them to the soup.
Check out my Lentil Soup with Leeks.
To make lentil soup, you will need the following equipment:
- Large Soup Pot: A sturdy and spacious soup pot or Dutch oven is essential for cooking the soup. It should be able to hold all the ingredients and allow for simmering without overflowing.
- Cutting Board and Knife: A cutting board and a sharp knife will be needed to chop the vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and any other ingredients that require slicing or dicing.
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula: A wooden spoon or spatula is useful for stirring the soup and ensuring the ingredients are well mixed. It is preferable to use a non-reactive utensil, such as wood or silicone, when working with acidic ingredients like tomatoes.
- Ladle: A ladle is handy for serving the soup into bowls without making a mess. It helps control portion sizes and makes serving easier.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are essential for accurately measuring the ingredients, especially when it comes to spices, herbs, and liquids.
- Can Opener: If using canned tomatoes or other canned ingredients, a can opener will be needed to open the cans.
- Colander or Strainer: A colander or strainer can be helpful when rinsing lentils before cooking to remove any impurities or debris.
- Heatproof Trivet or Pot Holders: These are necessary for handling the hot soup pot and preventing burns when moving it or placing it on a surface.
- Serving Bowls and Soup Spoons: Have bowls and soup spoons ready for serving the delicious lentil soup to enjoy.
How to store Mediterranean Lentil Soup
To store Mediterranean lentil soup properly, follow these steps:
- Cool the Soup: Allow the soup to cool completely before storing it. You can let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour or transfer it to the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
- Choose Storage Containers: Select appropriate storage containers based on the quantity of soup you want to store. You can use airtight containers, such as glass jars, plastic containers with tight-fitting lids, or resealable freezer bags. Make sure the containers are clean and food-safe.
- Portion the Soup: If you plan to consume the soup in smaller portions, divide it into individual servings before storing. This will make it easier to thaw and reheat only the amount you need, minimizing waste.
- Label and Date: It's essential to label each container or bag with the contents and date of preparation. This information will help you keep track of the stored soup and ensure you use it within a reasonable timeframe.
- Store in the Refrigerator or Freezer: Depending on your needs, you can store the lentil soup in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Refrigerator: If you plan to consume the soup within the next few days, store it in the refrigerator. Ensure that the containers are airtight to prevent any cross-contamination or odors from other foods. Properly stored, Mediterranean lentil soup can last in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- Freezer: If you want to store the soup for a longer period, freezing is a suitable option. Pour the soup into freezer-safe containers, leaving some headspace for expansion during freezing. Alternatively, you can use freezer bags, removing excess air before sealing. Frozen lentil soup can retain its quality for up to 3 months.
- Thaw and Reheat: When you're ready to enjoy the stored soup, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost function on a microwave if you're in a hurry. Once thawed, reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.
Mediterranean Lentil Soup Recipe Top tips
- Use High-Quality Ingredients: Choose high-quality ingredients, such as fresh vegetables, aromatic herbs, and flavorful spices. This will enhance the overall taste and ensure a satisfying soup.
- Sauté the Vegetables: Sautéing the onions, carrots, and other vegetables before adding the liquids and lentils can deepen their flavors. It adds a caramelized sweetness and complexity to the soup.
- Don't Overcook the Lentils: Keep an eye on the lentils while they cook. Overcooking can result in mushy lentils, which may affect the texture of the soup. Cook them until they are tender but still hold their shape.
- Add Fresh Herbs at the End: To maximize the freshness and aroma of herbs like parsley or cilantro, add them towards the end of the cooking process. This helps to retain their vibrant flavors.
- Adjust the Thickness: Lentil soup tends to thicken upon standing or refrigeration. If the soup becomes too thick for your liking, you can add more broth or water when reheating. Adjust the consistency to your preference.
- Season Gradually: Start with a conservative amount of salt and pepper, and gradually adjust the seasoning as you taste the soup. This allows you to control the flavor and ensure it's perfectly balanced.
- Allow the Soup to Rest: After cooking, let the soup rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more harmonious and flavorful soup.
- Garnish with Fresh Lemon Juice: Just before serving, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the soup. The acidity of the lemon brightens the flavors and adds a refreshing touch.
- Serve with a Drizzle of Olive Oil: Finish each bowl of lentil soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It adds richness and enhances the Mediterranean flavors.
- Pair with Crusty Bread: Serve the Mediterranean lentil soup with some crusty bread on the side. It's perfect for dipping and adds an enjoyable textural element to the meal.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove