Lentil Soup with Ground Beef
Lentil Soup with Ground Beef is a tasty soup that’s made with brown rice and it’s easy enough to make for a work-night dinner! If you prefer a lower-carb soup, make this soup with cauliflower rice or check out Instant Pot Ground Beef Soup with Cauliflower for a low-carb soup with similar flavors.
I first made this Lentil Soup with Ground Beef years ago on a day I was too sick to go the store, and I don’t think there’s anything that tastes as good or as comforting as soup when you’re not feeling great and it’s cold outside. Then on a day that was soup weather again, I made this soup, took some better photos, and enjoyed it that night for dinner.
A lot of the good flavor in this lentil soup recipe comes from the homemade beef stock and homemade chicken stock I always try to have in the freezer, but even if you use canned beef broth and canned chicken broth this will still be delicious. Use the low salt version if you used canned broth, and don’t get in too much of a hurry and shorten the simmering time, because that’s another step that builds flavor.
I did add some balsamic vinegar to the finished soup this time, and I loved the way it perked up the flavor so I’m updating the recipe to include that. And this soup uses the kind of ingredients many people always have in the pantry, so it might become one of your favorites.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- ground beef
- Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- Dried Parsley (affiliate link)
- Dried Thyme (affiliate link)
- ground cumin (affiliate link)
- homemade Beef Stock or canned beef broth (affiliate link)
- homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth (affiliate link)
- water, as needed
- brown lentils
- brown rice or cauliflower rice (see notes)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- white balsamic vinegar (affiliate link) (optional, but it adds a lot of flavor)
What are lentils?
Lentils (also called pulses in some parts of the world) are the dried seeds of the lentil plant, and they are a legume. They’re never eaten fresh but always dried after ripening. Here is more information about lentils, including examples of different types.
What kind of lentils did I use in the Lentil Soup with Ground Beef?
I used ordinary brown lentils (affiliate link) for this recipe, which are probably the most common kind. However in some soups I love to use red lentils that will dissolve more into the soup, and I think various types of lentils are pretty interchangeable in recipes.
How to make a ground beef lentil soup that’s lower in carbs?
You might be surprised if you check the nutritional information because this soup only has 11 net carbs per serving. But if a soup with both lentils and brown rice seems too high in carbs for you, just replace the brown rice with about 1 1/2 cups frozen cauliflower rice. Or check out Instant Pot Ground Beef Soup with Cauliflower for a similar soup that’s low-carb and made in the Instant Pot.
More Lentil Soups To Try
How to make Lentil Soup with Ground Beef:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- If you buy lentils in bulk, they may need to be rinsed.
- Heat a small amount of olive oil and cook the ground beef until it’s nicely browned.
- Move ground beef to soup pot.
- Heat more olive oil and cook the onions and celery until they’re starting to soften.
- Then add the garlic, dried thyme, ground cumin, and dried parsley and saute a couple of minutes more.
- Add the vegetables to the soup pot with the ground beef and rinse out the frying pan with 2 cups water and add to the soup.
- Add beef stock or broth, chicken stock or broth, lentils, and chopped carrots and let the soup cook at a very low simmer for about 60 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
- When the lentils are tender, add a bit more water if needed and then add the rice (or cauliflower rice) and cook 30-40 minutes more, or until the rice is done.
- Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, stir in balsamic vinegar if desired, and serve hot.
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe for lentil soup that has ground beef, lentils, carrots, and rice (or cauliflower rice) has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 tsp. olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 T minced garlic or garlic puree (or less if you don’t like garlic as much as I do)
- 1 T dried parsley
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 4 cups beef broth (see notes)
- 2 cups chicken broth (see notes)
- 2 cups water, plus more as needed
- 2/3 cup brown lentils
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 T balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in heavy frying pan, add ground beef and cook until meat is well browned, using a turner to break up into small pieces.
- Remove meat to heavy soup pot.
- Add another tsp. olive oil to frying pan and add onions and celery and cook 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are starting to soften.
- Add garlic, dried thyme, ground cumin, and dried parsley and saute 1-2 minutes more.
- Add vegetables to soup pot with meat, and rinse out frying pan with the 2 cups of water and add to soup pot.
- Add beef stock, chicken stock, lentils, and chopped carrots to pot and cook at a very low simmer about 60 minutes, or until lentils are quite soft.
- Taste soup and decide whether to add a small amount of water. (There should be quite a bit of liquid, and the broth should be flavorful but not too strong tasting. If there isn’t very much liquid or broth seems too strong add more water at this point.)
- Add brown rice and continue to simmer soup 30-40 more minutes, or until rice is done but still a bit chewy.
- Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper (I did not add salt.)
- Stir in balsamic vinegar if desired. Serve hot.
I would always use homemade beef stock and homemade chicken stock in soup if I have some, but canned broth will also be delicious.
This soup freezes well. You may need to add more liquid when the soup is reheated, because some will be absorbed by the rice.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1095mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 26g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This soup doesn’t have that much lentils or brown rice so it only has 11 net carbs per serving, but use cauliflower rice if you prefer, or check out Instant Pot Ground Beef Soup with Cauliflower for a low-carb soup with similar flavors. If you’re a South Beach Dieter, be sure to use low fat ground beef, and the use of carrots and brown rice would make this Lentil Soup with Ground Beef limited to phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes to find more tasty recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for This Recipe:
Lentil Soup with Ground Beef was originally posted in 2007! The recipe was updated in 2021 with the option to use cauliflower rice, and was last updated with more information in 2024.