Lentil Tomato Soup
This easy vegan lentil tomato soup is nutritious, full of flavour and ready to enjoy in about 30 minutes.
About this Recipe
This healthy lentil tomato soup is just simple, wholesome goodness. It features a flavourful base of veggies, tomato-y broth with Italian herbs and hearty red lentils that add a nice thickness to the soup.
The recipe is easy to whip up in 30 minutes and makes a wonderfully comforting dish during the colder months, especially when served with a nice slab of fresh bread! Enjoy this soup any night of the week for a quick, healthy meal.
- Ready in 30 minutes with minimal prep time.
- Budget-friendly simple ingredients.
- Can be made in advance and freezer well
- Vegan, gluten-free and can be oil-free.
- Rich in plant-based protein and fiber.
- Low in fat.
A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Olive Oil: I like to use a little olive oil for the veggies but you can use water or broth for an oil-free soup.
- Onion: White or yellow onion works.
- Carrot: You’ll need about 3 medium carrots but the amount doesn’t have to be exact.
- Celery: Use about 4 stalks of celery, again, the amount doesn’t have to be exact.
- Garlic: I used quite a bit of garlic – 5 cloves! Feel free to use a bit less if you think that might be too overpowering.
- Stock: You can use any store-bought or homemade vegetable stock or broth.
- Red Lentils: The recipe calls for red lentils, which are soft when cooked. You could use brown or green lentils but the soup will have a longer cooking time and a different texture.
- Diced Tomato: You’ll need a 28 oz can of diced tomato. I like fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavour! Love tomato? Add 1 tbsp tomato paste when you add the herbs in the recipe.
- Herbs: The recipe calls for oregano, basil and thyme. You can substitute 2 tsp Italian seasoning if you like. You can also substitute roughly 2 tbsp minced fresh herbs for each dried herb.
- Bay Leaf: Adds a bit of extra savory flavour to the soup but is technically optional so don’t worry if you don’t have any.
- Lemon: I like to add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to brighten things up.
Step 1. Start by chopping the onions, garlic, celery and carrots and assembling the dried herbs so you’re ready to go.
Once you’ve prepped everything, heat the oil (if using) in a large soup pot or large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for a few minutes to soften.
Add the garlic, celery and carrot and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often.
Add the pepper, dried herbs, chili flakes (if using) and the bay leaf and cook for another minute while stirring, then add the lentils, stock and diced tomatoes.
Simmer the soup, uncovered, until the lentils are tender. This should take 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice, taste the soup and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
That’s it! Serve your yummy soup right away sprinkled with fresh parsley and black pepper, if you like, or let it cool and pack it for meal prep or a freezer meal.
Notes & Tips
- Oil-Free Option: Omit the oil and use a bit of water or broth to saute the veggies.
- For spicy lentil soup, use the red pepper flakes and increase up to 1/2 tsp (or more!) if you like heat. You could also use cayenne pepper.
- For greens and extra nutrition, add 2-3 handfuls of fresh baby spinach or kale at the end and stir in to wilt.
- For additional veggies, add 1 diced red bell pepper when you add the celery and carrot.
- For more texture, you can pulse the soup a few times with an immersion blender at the end or scoop 1-2 cups into a blender, puree soup, then pour back into the pot.
- Creamy Tomato Lentil Soup: For a completely creamy soup, remove the bay leaves and blend the entirety of the soup until smooth and creamy. Season and enjoy!
Sure! Let the soup cool completely then freeze in a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
When you’re ready to eat, thaw it in the fridge overnight or place it right into a large pot on the stovetop to reheat.
Yes. To make this recipe in a slow cooker, either saute the veggies on the stovetop first (recipe steps 1-4) before adding everything to the pot or just add everything to the crockpot and cook for 5-6 hours until the veggies and lentils are tender.
I would recommend using red lentils in this recipe. Red lentils have a soft, creamy texture when cooked which naturally thickens the soup.
You can, however, substitute brown lentils or green lentils. They will take 5-10 minutes longer to cook and the soup will have a different consistency but it will still be tasty.
Yes. To use canned lentils, reduce the broth to 3-4 cups. Simmer the soup without the lentils until the carrots are tender then mix in the lentils to heat through. Drain and rinse the canned lentils before using them.
- Let the soup cool before storing.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat the soup in a pot on the stovetop or in individual servings in the microwave in 30-45 second intervals, stirring between intervals, until heated through.
- Note that the soup will get thicker as it sits. You can stir in broth or water when you’re reheating the soup until you reach your desired consistency. You can also leave it thick like a hearty lentil stew!
- To freeze, cool, then transfer to freezer bags or a freezer-safe container. Freeze for 3-4 months. Thaw in the fridge or reheat from frozen in a large pot.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Vegan Tomato Lentil Soup
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegan
A simple, hearty and healthy plant-based lentil tomato soup that’s easy to make in about 30 minutes with everyday ingredients.
- 1 tbsp olive oil (use water or broth for oil-free)
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated (about 3 tbsp)
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced (approx. 1.5 cups)
- 4 stalks of celery, diced (approx. 1.5 cups)
- 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
- 5–6 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 cup uncooked red lentils
- 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes with the juices
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- sea salt and additional pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. If you’re not using oil, just add the onion with 1-2 tbsp water or broth.
- Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the garlic, celery and carrot and cook for another 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add the pepper, dried herbs, red pepper flakes, if using, and the bay leaf. Cook for 1 minute while stirring.
- Add the stock, red lentils and diced tomatoes and bring to a light simmer. Start with 5 cups of broth and if needed, slowly add a bit more as it cooks to adjust the thickness.
- Simmer lightly, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Season with salt and additional pepper, to taste, and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve right away.
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 and have a firmer texture in the final soup.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 193
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 138 mg
- Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 33 g
- Fiber: 8 g
- Protein: 10 g
Keywords: red lentil tomato soup
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on September 8, 2014.
So good and my 19 year old son loved it too! I used green lentils because that’s what was in the pantry. No basil or lemon in the house. Will definitely be making this again and again! Thank you!
This is now my “go to” lentil soup. It is amazing. I’m not sure if my red lentil are super small or if I just like a thicker soup because I double the amount of dried lentils. So good!
Hmm, not sure but either way, so glad you love it! Thanks for the review!
Just finished making this. Next time I will cook the veggies in the broth for about 10 or 15 minutes before I put in the lentils and then cook for additional 20 to 25 minutes as I found the veggies too crunchy. I used one 14.5 oz can of Italian diced tomatoes and one 14.5 oz can of regular diced tomatoes. I also used chicken stock because that’s all I had. Used the herbs according to recipe and followed the cooking directions. I put the lemon juice on the table because I don’t care for the sour punch but hubby does.
It was very good. I have been trying to find new ways to put fiber into our diets without getting carb overload. The hubster liked it as well. It’s only the two of us and we have lots leftover so I may freeze some.
Nice finding a recipe where I had most of the ingredients on hand and I could easily substitute for what I didn’t.
Thank for the recipe.
I made this for lunch today and it was amazing!! So so yummy! I cooked it for 8 min in the Instant Pot and it was perfect. I had leftover cauliflower and shredded cabbage that I threw in as well.
Delicious!! I substituted or added a few things based on what I had in my kitchen (red quinoa instead of lentils, and added chicken) and it came out amazing. Super easy and fool proof, will totally make again sometime!
First time making this my husband loved it…. added red bell pepper and jalapeno also and did it in the slow cooker. When I served it I added vegan sausage.
Sounds amazing, Jenny! Love those additions…sounds yummy. Thanks for adding your feedback.
Thank you for saying to rate after making it. So many recipe sites have comments about how good the food looks and I want to know how it tastes. So… this was great! I had lots of tomatoes left from my garden that I wanted to use. This was a delicious blend of red lentil and tomato soup flavors. Definitely a keeper!
I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Rita!! Sounds amazing with fresh tomatoes. Thanks for adding your feedback…like you said, it’s very helpful for others!
This soup was really good. It was easy and quick to make. I added some extra vegetables that I had from my garden. I am so glad I found your website Deryn. Looking forward to trying more recipes.
You’re welcome, Helen! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have fun trying some more recipes!
This recipe was absolutely wonderful for a comforting meal, and the proportions were perfect. I often find that lentil soup can get a little mushy, but this had a good amount of broth. I will admit, I made some changes/additions based on what I had on hand due to the quarantine:
– I didn’t have a large can of diced tomatoes so I used one 15oz can plus about a cup of tomato sauce (plain)
– I added a splash of cooking sherry between steps 2 and 3
– I added a couple teaspoons of low sodium chicken bouillon in with the vegetable broth
My meat-loving husband had 2 big bowls for dinner 🙂
Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for adding your feedback and changes! So glad you enjoyed it.
This was the best soup ever! Super easy to make and the flavor is so good…everyone loved it! Thanks!
Made this soup last night. It was super easy and very tasty. A definite keeper. Thanks.
Easy to put together and cooks up very fast. Added a little tomato paste and cayenne for a little heat.
Great with some fresh baked bread.
This soup is phenomenal! I used Black Beluga lentils (same cooking time as red) and used frozen peas and carrots mix as I didn’t have any carrots on hand! Delicious and hearty! Will definitely make again 🙂
Nice! I haven’t actually tried it with black lentils so good to know it worked well for you. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Turned out yummy!!! Sometimes I have to add more seasoning but Deryn’s recipe was on point! Will definitely make this again.
Excellent! So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know!
So unbelievably delicious! Fan favorite at my house. Very excited i found this lentil soup recipe! The red pepper flakes gives it the perfect amount of kick
Awesome! So glad you all enjoyed it. Thanks!
Loved this recipe! Everyone approved, even my picky eater! Thank you!! 💛
Oh yay, so glad you all enjoyed it!
Holy wow was this good!!
I made it with one 14 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes ( the ones I buy are spicy!) and one 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes instead of one large can of tomatoes. Otherwise it was as the recipe was written. Very savory, tomato-y. Soooooo flavorful.
Oh yum, sounds great with spicy fire-roasted tomatoes!! So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for leaving the review!
Good day, what is the nutritional information of this recipe (hearty tomato lentil soup)?
Hi, you can find the nutritional information listed just below the recipe.
Will regular lentils work?
You can use brown or green lentils but the soup will require a slightly longer cooking time. Just simmer until they’re tender and you’re good to go!
Made this today it was delicious, even my 4 year old thought so (I love it when that happens)
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it!