Easy Mediterranean Green Lentil Soup

4.67 from 205 votes
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Here’s a green lentil soup with a Mediterranean twist. Packed with vegetables and spices, this recipe proves that healthy soups don’t have to be bland!

This green lentil soup is great for weeknight dinners. Finally, a lentil soup recipe that's jam-packed with Mediterranean flavors!


 

We have many hearty soup recipes on this blog. Creamy and hearty soups such as curry lentil soup and chicken lentil soup are perfect for any day of the week and lighter soups like this Turkish red lentil soup, can be served as a nice appetizer. This green lentil soup is another one of our go-to recipes when we crave comfort and heartiness in a single bowl! 

Why this recipe works

A big bowl of this simple green lentil soup is pure comfort. The combination of potatoes, carrots and lentils topped with baby spinach is a delightful paring!

In general, lentils make a great addition to your meals. Regardless of their shape and color, lentils are high in protein and a good source of iron. Soup is not the only way to use lentils, but is probably the easiest one. You can check out this article to read more about the benefits of lentils. 

What I love the most about this healthy lentil soup is that it’s quick and easy. There is nothing fancy about it and even though it calls for basic ingredients it ends up bursting with flavor. This is a vegan lentil soup, meaning there is no meat or dairy used in it, yet it’s so delicious and creamy. The secret? A great combination of spices and fresh vegetables. Lentils start breaking down while simmering which gives the soup a fairly creamy texture. 

Ingredients

The ingredients to make this green lentil soup are lentils, carrots, onions, potatoes, garlic and spices.

You probably have all the ingredients for this soup at home right now:

  • Onion and garlic: The base of almost any delicious soup. It’s best to use freshly minced garlic, but you can also use jarred minced garlic.
  • Carrots and bell pepper: For a touch of sweetness. Red bell pepper works best in this recipe.
  • Green lentils: These are the most common type of lentils in the US. You can also use brown lentils. I don’t suggest using red lentils because they get mushy and lose their shape which is not what we want for this soup.
  • Spices: A combination of warm Mediterranean spices give this soup its distinctive flavor. You’ll need turmeric, paprika, cumin and salt. If you have seven spice on hand, you can use that instead of the mix of spices I have mentioned.
  • Spinach: Fresh baby spinach adds both nutrients and flavor. If using regular spinach, chop it before adding it to the soup.

Instructions

  • First, in a large pot, heat some olive oil and saute onion and garlic. Then add carrots, red bell pepper, potatoes and lentils.
  • Stir the pot well and then add in turmeric, cumin, paprika and tomato paste. Pour in vegetable stock or water and bring the soup to boil.
to make this simple vegetarian green lentil and spinach soup recipe saute onion and garlic, then add lentils, carrots, peppers and potatoes with spices.
  • Simmer for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are cooked. Add in the spinach and cook until they’re wilted.
Add spinach to the soup at the last minute and stir just enough for the leaves to wilt.

It doesn’t get much easier than this! In addition to including lots of ingredients that are good for you, this recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegan. 

Slow cooker instructions

Simply put all the ingredients (except spinach) in the slow cooker and cook on high for three hours (or on low for five hours) until the lentils are completely cooked. Stir in the spinach and cook on high for another 30 minutes.

Instant pot instructions

You can make almost anything in the instant pot. Everything you need to know about making soup in an instant pot is in this instant pot lentil soup recipe. Here are the instructions for this specific recipe:

  • Press the sauté function on the instant pot and heat the olive oil in it. 
  • Sauté onion and garlic until translucent.
  • Add in carrots, bell pepper, potatoes and lentils and cook for a few minutes.
  • Season with tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, paprika and salt. Pour in the water or vegetable stock.
  • Lock the lid and press cancel. Then press pressure cook (or manual) and set the timer for 15 minutes on high pressure.
  • Once the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release by turning the valve to venting.
  • Open the lid and stir in the spinach until it’s wilted. 
You can also make lentil soup recipe in a slow cooker

Variations

You can easily adjust this soup to your liking by adding a few other ingredients or spices. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Greens: Instead of spinach, you can add chopped leek, kale or dill.
  • Protein: You can add some cubed chicken breast to this soup (right after the onion is golden brown).
  • Potatoes: Swap sweet potatoes for russet potatoes if you like.
  • Squash: Cubed butternut squash would add some nice flavor to this soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze this soup? 

Soups in general freeze really well. As for this recipe, let it cool completely and then pour the soup into a freezer safe container and freeze for up to three month. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a pot over medium heat.

What to do with the leftovers?

Store the leftover soup in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. To reheat, use a microwave or a saucepan. 

Can I make this spicy?

Add 1/2 to one teaspoon cayenne pepper with the other spices.

Notes and tips

  • Your bell peppers should be sweet. You can use red, yellow or orange bell peppers.
  • To add a bit of brightness to the soup, add some lemon juice right before serving.
  • Don’t blend this lentil soup. Blending may result in an unappetizing color because of the cooked spinach.
  • If you don’t like garlic, reduce the amount or leave it out completely.
Two bowl of soup on a grey backdrop. Served with some toasted bread and lemon and topped with parsley.

More lentil recipes

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4.67 from 205 votes

Easy Mediterranean Green Lentil Soup

Here's a green lentil soup with a Mediterranean twist. Packed with vegetables and spices, this recipe proves that healthy soups don't have to be bland!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 yellow potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped

Instructions 

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until golden brown. 
  • Add in minced garlic, carrots and bell pepper. Stir and cook for one minute. 
  • Add in potatoes and lentils. Stir and cook for two minutes. 
  • Add in tomato paste, turmeric, paprika and cumin. 
  • Pour vegetable stock into the pot and stir. Bring the soup to boil and cover. Let it simmer for about thirty to forty minutes until lentils are completely cooked. 
  • Add in salt and baby spinach and cook until they’re wilted. 
  • Pour the soup into bowl and top with parsley. 
  • Top with chopped parsley. Serve with lemon juice and toasted bread. 

Video

Notes

  • Bell peppers used in this green lentil soup recipe should be sweet. You can use red, yellow or orange bell pepper.
  • To add a bit of brightness to the soup, add some lemon juice right before serving.
  • Don’t blend this lentil soup as it will have a not so appetizing color because of cooked spinach.
  • If you don’t like garlic, reduce the amount or leave it out completely.
  • To make this soup spicy, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper with other spices. If you have seven spice, you can use that instead of the spice mix mentioned in the recipe. 
  • Got leftovers? Store the leftover soup in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reheat, use a microwave or a saucepan. 
Slow cooker instructions:
Place all the ingredients except spinach in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 or on low for 5 hours until the lentils are cooked. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted. 
Instant pot instructions:
  • Press the sauté function and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
  • Add carrots, bell pepper, potatoes and lentils to the soup and stir well.
  • Add in the spices and tomato paste. Pour in the water or vegetable stock.
  • Lock the lid and press “cancel”. Press the “pressure cook” or “manual” function and set the timer for 15 minutes on high.
  • Once the cooking time is done, release the pressure naturally for 5 minutes and then do a quick release.
  • Open the lid and add the spinach. Stir until wilted and serve immediately. 

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1429mg | Potassium: 954mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 7007IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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4.67 from 205 votes (160 ratings without comment)

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73 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have been wanting to try a lentil recipe out on my family for a while now, and when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it! It turned out SO GOOD! We all loved it! Will definitely make it again!

  2. Hello,
    If i use water instead of vegetable stock, will it still be flavorful and taste good?
    Should i add something else?
    Thanks (:

  3. 5 stars
    I had purchased green lentils for another recipe and had extra which sent me on a hunt to find a way to use them up. I made this recipe exactly as you posted and it was absolutely delicious! The description you used “bursting with flavor” was not an exaggeration! The seasoning for the broth are perfection. This is a great fall soup and I will be making it again.

    I liked this recipe better than one I had purchased the lentils for to begin with 🙂

    1. Hi! Thank you for your kind comment! We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. And you’re right, it really is a good fall soup!

  4. 5 stars
    We used 1 1/2 c beet greens instead of 3 c spinach and put them in with the lentils to cook nice and soft. Very good!

  5. 3 stars
    I’m talking 2 stars away for not telling us if its tumeric powder or fresh. Also assuming cumin is the powdered form….
    will be making it and looking forward to it

    1. Hi Prickly Pear, thank you for your comment. Since in the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking turmeric is used in the form of powder, we assumed our readers would assume that as well. But since you mentioned, in this recipe we are using powdered turmeric and cumin 🙂 Hope you enjoy the recipe!

      1. 5 stars
        Deeeeeeeelicious. Thank you Shadi for sharing this recipe. I topped with fresh cilantro I already had, other than that I followed the recipe. When half way cooked I removed portions to freeze. I love having ready to heat-n-eat in my freezer!!! This recipe is a keeper!!!

      2. Thank you Michelle for your comment and kind review! I’m so happy you like this recipe!

  6. Just curious as to where the parsley is to be used? I’m in the process of making this. I’ll let you know how I like it. So far it smells great

    1. Hi Yassmin, You can either add it in the very end with spinach or simply top the soup with parsley. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve tried a few lentil soup recipes and this one is my favorite. Based on my soup preferences in general, I left out the potatoes and spinach. I also substituted curry powder for turmeric and smoked paprika for regular paprika. For additional spice, I added 1/8 tsp of cayenne powder. Delicious!

    1. Hi Jennifer! Glad to know you enjoyed this soup! This Mediterranean lentil soup is one of our favorites as well and I love that you added turmeric!