This easy vegan lentil tomato soup is full of flavour, ready in about 30 minutes and made in 1-pot with simple, pantry ingredients.

A bowl of red lentil soup on a marble counter top.

Why Make this Recipe

  • quick – have it on the table in about 30 minutes
  • easy – you’ll need just a few minutes of prep time
  • pantry and budget-friendly – made with everyday ingredients like canned tomatoes, dried herbs, broth and red lentils
  • freezes well – leftovers keep well in the freezer for up to 2 months

What You’ll Need

Diced tomatoes, lentils, broth, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves in containers on a marble counter top.

Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.

  • soup basics – onion, garlic, celery and carrots
  • lentils – look for dry red lentils
  • broth – any vegetable broth, stock, store-bought or homemade works great…bouillon cubes work too!
  • diced tomatoes – choose organic when possible and if you can find them, choose fire-roasted for the best flavor
  • herbs and spices – you’ll need bay leaves, ground thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Start by chopping the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Once you’ve prepped everything, start sauteeing the onions, garlic and carrot. Cook them over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until soft and fragrant.

Chopped celery on a marble counter top.
Onions, carrots and garlic simmering in a soup pot with a wooden spoon.

Step 2. Next, add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a light simmer and cook uncovered until the lentils are tender. This should take about 20-25 minutes.

A hand pouring vegetable stock into a soup pot.
A hand pouring a bowl of red lentils into a soup pot on the stovetop.
A large pot of lentil tomato soup simmering on a stovetop.

FAQs and Tips

  • Make the recipe oil-free by omitting the oil and sautéing the veggies in broth or water.
  • This recipe works with brown or green lentils but will require a slightly longer cooking time.
  • Try different veggies like green beans, peas, potato, cauliflower, squash or bell pepper.
  • Stir in a handful of chopped kale or spinach at the end to add some extra nutriiton.
A bowl or tomato lentil soup with carrots and celery on a marble counter top.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yep! Let the soup cool completely then freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, either thaw in the fridge overnight or place in a large pot and reheat on the stovetop.

Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?

Yes, this soup can be made in a slow cooker. Add everything to your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours until the veggies and lentils are tender.

A close up image of a bowl of tomato lentil soup with carrots and celery.

More Soup Recipes

If you’re looking for more lentil recipes, I’ve got a great collection of vegan lentil recipes here.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review.

A bowl of red lentil soup on a marble counter top.

Vegan Tomato Lentil Soup

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

A simple, hearty and healthy red lentil soup that’s easy to make in about 30 minutes with everyday pantry items.



  • 1 tbsp olive oil (use water or broth for oil-free)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (about 34 tbsp, minced)
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced (approx. 1.5 cups)
  • 4 stalks celery, diced (approx. 1.5 cups)
  • 56 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes with the juices
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional, for heat
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and additional pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onion and carrots and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the celery, stock, lentils, tomatoes, herbs and spices and bring to a simmer. Start with 5 cups of broth and if needed, slowly add a little more as it cooks to adjust the thickness.
  4. Simmer lightly until lentils are soft and tender, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and additional pepper, to taste, and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and serve right away. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 day or frozen for up to 3 months.


Make the recipe oil-free by omitting the oil and sautéing the veggies in broth or water.

This recipe works with brown or green lentils but will require a slightly longer cooking time.

Keywords: lentil tomato soup, easy lentil soup, tomato lentil soup

UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on September 8, 2014. It was updated with new photos and text in April 2020.