Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach has loads of flavor from the tomatoes, cumin, and other spices and this soup is also gluten-free.

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Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cumin finished soup in bowl

All winter I’ve been cooking and re-photographing some of my favorite soups from the past and now I’m feeling like I need to get them posted! My love of lentils is well documented on the blog, and this Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach is made from simple pantry ingredients, but it’s loaded with flavor due to the cumin seeds, ground coriander, onions, garlic, and paprika that flavor the soup. 

I added extra flavor to the soup by using vegetable stock in place of water. The soup has a strong cumin flavor, which was one of the things I loved, and it was the perfect way to use up the last bit of one of those huge tubs of spinach from Costco. If you like lentils and spinach I hope you’ll give it a try!

What ingredients do you need?

  • Olive Oil (affiliate link)
  • whole cumin seeds (affiliate link)
  • onion
  • Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
  • ground coriander (affiliate link)
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • paprika
  • brown lentils
  • canned vegetable broth
  • canned petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • chopped spinach (see notes)
  • salt to taste (I didn’t use any salt since I used canned vegetable broth)

What adds extra flavor to this Vegan Lentil Soup?

Using whole cumin seeds (affiliate link) and sizzling them in the hot oil adds a lot of flavor to this soup. If you only have ground cumin, don’t let that stop you from making the soup, but whole cumin will give more flavor. There’s also a lot of flavor from the onions, garlic, ground coriander, and paprika that’s cooked together before you add the lentils and vegetable broth.

Can you use other colors of lentils for this soup?

Lentils can be used quite interchangeably in recipes, although if you use red lentils for this Vegan Lentil Soup, they will soften much more quickly than the brown lentils the recipe calls for. You might enjoy using a combination of brown and red lentils if you have both types on hand!

What other types of greens could you use for Vegan Lentil Soup?

I love this soup with spinach but if you prefer a more assertive type of greens I think kale or swiss chard would also be delicious here. Other greens will take a bit longer to cook.

Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cumin found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach:

(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. In a large dutch oven type pan that will hold all the soup ingredients, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the cumin seeds, stirring a few times, until they’re fragrant and starting to pop, about 3 minutes. (If you’re a cumin fan like I am, you might even use a little more cumin.)
  2. Then add the onion, minced garlic, ground coriander, and black pepper and cook until the onions are softened and starting to slightly brown, about 4 minutes. Add the paprika and cook about 1 minute more.
  3. Measure 1 1/2 cups of plain brown lentils. (Lentils that are fresh will cook more quickly than those that have been sitting on the shelf in the store or in your pantry.)
  4. Add the lentils and vegetable broth, bring to a slight boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are quite tender. Here’s how the soup looked once the lentils were done.
  5. While the lentils cook, wash the spinach if needed and finely chop.
  6. Add the can of tomatoes and chopped spinach to the soup (and a little more vegetable stock if needed) and cook about 30 more minutes, or until the spinach is done and the flavors have blended. Serve hot.

More Delicious Soups with Lentils:

Mexican Red Lentil Stew

Black Bean and Rice Soup

Slow Cooker Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Soup

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep where you’ll find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cumin finished soup in bowl
Yield: 6 servings

Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach has plenty of flavor from the cumin and other spices used in this interesting soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds (or slightly more if you really like cumin)
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 T minced garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • four 14 oz. cans vegetable broth or water (see notes)
  • one 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups chopped spinach (see notes)
  • salt to taste (I didn’t use any salt since I used canned vegetable broth)

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in large heavy dutch oven, add cumin seeds and cook over medium heat until fragrant and starting to pop, about 3 minutes. (Stir a few times so they don’t burn.)
  2. Stir in onion, minced garlic, ground coriander (affiliate link), and black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook about 1 minute more.
  3. Add lentils and vegetable broth, bring to a low boil and then reduce heat, and simmer uncovered about 30-40 minutes, or until lentils are quite tender. (Depending on how much water has evaporated and how much the lentils have expanded you may want to add another can of broth or some water at this point. I added a whole can more vegetable broth)
  4. Add diced tomatoes and juice and chopped spinach and simmer uncovered 20-30 more minutes, until soup ingredients are well blended and lentils are starting to break apart.
  5. Season to taste with salt and serve hot.

Notes

Use about 7 cups broth, plus more as needed to thin the soup. I added another can of broth for a total of 5 cans. You need 4-5 oz spinach.

This recipe was slightly adapted from The Sugar Solution Cookbook.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 157Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1054mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 8g

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.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This tasty lentil soup with spinach is a perfect dish for low-glycemic diets or any phase of the original South Beach Diet, but dried beans and lentils are a limited food for South Beach Phase One. This is too high on carbs for traditional low-carb diet plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
Vegan Lentil Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cumin was first posted in 2008, updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions, March 2014, and last updated 2021.

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