Italian Lentil Soup
There is no ham hock and no soaking of lentils required for this divine potato lentil soup. Everything goes in one pot like magic for a hearty, filling, simple, quick and easy to make vegan soup.
You can go for a touch of cumin here, or leave it out entirely If that spice seems overpowering to you or simply don’t fancy it. There’s already so much savory flavor happening here from the roasted pepper base that you won’t miss a thing. I also like to keep a rustic texture of the lentils here, so no need for blending anything either.
As is the case with most soups, this hearty soup is best served like you would a Ribollita, with a thick chunk of bruschetta or crusty bread to mop up all that delicious and good for you wonderful broth.
Let’s Talk Lentils
Red, green, yellow or black? Which one should you choose?
Personally I am partial to red when making this soup, but whatever you have in the pantry could work here, so don’t let that hold you back from making this. I love how the red lentils disintegrate into the soup naturally thickening it with a rustic, beautiful, buttery texture.
If you choose the brown or green lentils, just keep in mind that they take much longer to cook than the red, up to 45 minutes or so. Also consider that the color of your soup will change and become brown.
Add Ins Ideas
- Vegan Italian sausage or chorizo – diced up and pan seared then spoon on top of the soup when serving.
- Dark Leafy Greens – baby spinach, Tuscan kale, chard, escarole added in at the last minute of cooking to wilt from the steam. A great way to eat your salad too and the perfect way to bump up the nutritional value of this already good for you soup. As a huge fan of green peas I highly recommend adding a handful in here as well if you happen to have some in the freezer.
Italian Lentil Soup Recipe
- 1.5 cup red lentils
- 3 bell peppers -roasted, cleaned & chopped or pureed
- 3 golden potatoes -cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 tbsp water (or olive oil)
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup tomato paste ( or 15 oz can diced tomatoes)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 small yellow onion -diced
- 1 large carrot -sliced
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas (optional)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 leaf bay
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin + more to your taste
- 1 pinch sea salt (to your taste buds)
- 1/2 cup Herbs -for garnish
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
- 1 cup vegan sausage diced – optional
- 2.5 qt filtered water
- In a large cast iron pot heat up 2 tbsp of water (or olive oil) and cook the onion with a pinch of sea salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
- Add the tomato paste, paprika, cumin, bay leaf and thyme. Add the lentils and pour in the water. Add the diced potatoes and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Meanwhile add the chopped roasted peppers and the red wine vinegar. (or you can puree until smooth in a food processor then add it to the soup).Stir to combine, cover with a lid and allow the soup to simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until the lentils and potatoes are cooked through and the broth has reduced to a thick soup consistency. (If using green lentils they will need about 45 minutes to soften).Add the frozen green peas, simmer a few more minutes until heated through. Adjust seasoning to your taste with sea salt and serve hot garnished with fresh herbs, vegan sausage and a few toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Vegan Italian sausage or chorizo - diced up and pan seared then spoon on top of the soup when serving.
- Dark Leafy Greens - baby spinach, Tuscan kale, chard, escarole added in at the last minute of cooking to wilt from the steam. A great way to eat your salad too and the perfect way to bump up the nutritional value of this already good for you soup. As a huge fan of green peas I highly recommend adding a handful in here as well if you happen to have some in the freezer.