Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup
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This warming, satisfying lentil and vegetable soup comes together in just 30 minutes.
For a vegetarian recipe made almost entirely from pantry staples (and I mean true staples, not staples from some well-stocked dream kitchen), this vegetable soup is surprisingly delicious. It’s thickened by pureeing a portion of the soup and then stirring it back into the pot. The soup takes just 30 minutes to come together, start to finish, yet tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen, and it’s good for you, too. For the cooked vegetables, feel free to use any quick-cooking, frozen, or leftover vegetables you have on hand. The recipe is extremely flexible and very hearty!
What you’ll need to make Chickpea, lentil and vegetable soup
Before we get started, a few words about the ingredients. It’s important to use red lentils, as opposed to another variety: they cook quickly, add wonderful flavor and thicken the soup nicely. The recipe only calls for a third of a cup; don’t be tempted to add more or your soup will turn to sludge.
As for the green vegetables, I like to use frozen peas and green beans but you can use any quick cooking, frozen or leftover vegetables you have on hand. The recipe is very flexible!
Begin by cooking the onions in olive oil until soft. Add the carrots, garlic, smoked paprika and cumin and cook until fragrant, a few minutes.
Add the broth, tomatoes, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and continue cooking 10 minutes more.
Remove a few cups of the soup and place in a blender or food processor.
Purée until smooth.
Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. Stir and taste; if you want the soup to be thicker, purée a bit more. Add the vegetables.
Bring the soup back to a simmer and serve.
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Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup
This warming, satisfying lentil and vegetable soup comes together in just 30 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- Heaping ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- ⅓ cup red lentils
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cooked vegetables, such as frozen peas or chopped green beans
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, smoked paprika and cumin; cook, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't brown, about 2 minutes more.
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes, red lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer; cook for ten minutes. Add the chickpeas, cover the pot and cook 10 minutes more. Fish out the bay leaves, then transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender and purée until smooth (be sure to remove the center knob on the blender and cover with a dishtowel to avoid splatters). Add the puréed soup back to the pot and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary; if you want the soup to be thicker, purée a bit more soup. Add the cooked vegetables and simmer until the soup is hot and the vegetables are warmed through. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. through.
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Serving size: about 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 222
- Fat: 7g
- Saturated fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 32g
- Sugar: 7g
- Fiber: 10g
- Protein: 10g
- Sodium: 622mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
This soup is amazing! I doubled the smoked paprika and added fresh mushrooms and fresh spinach. Had no green beans in the freezer but will plan for that next time. So good!
I tried this because I’m trying to develope a taste for cumin and this soup gently forced me to accept it! Your recipes haven’t let me down yet.
I tried this soup because the comments were so positive and they weren’t wrong! I added 28 fl oz can of diced tomato as that is what I had on hand. Threw in some spinach and red quinoa just because. What a tasty, hearty soup. Perfect comfort food on a cold, blustery day. Thanks for the inspiration
I have been making this this several times a month in the winter since I discovered this amazing blog 1o years ago. It is so tasty and all the ingredients are pantry staples, so I can make it even in a snowstorm! For my green veggies, my husband doesn’t like peas so. I usually shred curly kale and pop it in at the end to wilt in the steam. Goes very well with crusty bread and a little parmesan sprinkled top.
This soup is so delicious and clean tasting. I was looking for a soup that was healthy while also savory and this hit the spot!
Hi, this is my favorite soup! I’ve made it so many times already. I was curious if bone broth would be a good substitute sometimes instead of vegetable broth?
Sure, I think that would work well. Glad you enjoy the recipe!
I used it it gives it a deeper flavor which I love. 💗
A very lovely soup! A great big hug in a bowl!
Loved. Great flavour and healthy. Very easy to make.
I wanted a quick soup to try, and this was easy and delicious! I used peas only, as I had no other green veggies around. I also blended about 4 cups of the soup, to make it creamier. So good! This is a healthy soup, but really has a surprisingly rich flavor, even with no milk or heavy cream. My teen girls loved it, my husband even liked it, and he usually turns up his nose on anything that doesn’t have meat in it. I will definitely make this again.
My immersion blender blew up and my blender was visiting my daughter. So, I used my potato masher and my whisk. It was fine.
I should have checked to make sure the carrots were done before I scooped up a bowl as they could have been cooked a bit longer. And I had soaked & cooked my own chickpeas and they as well could have cooked just a touch longer. And I forgot to add the green peas even though they were sitting right on the counter 🙂 But despite all this, it was so good! And the smell of my apartment, heavenly. I also added a cashew cream over the top of it which made it even more delicious. I’m always trying to be so perfect when I cook, so now I’m allowing mistakes and justing going with it, and it is turning out good so far! Also, I made my own vegetable broth for this recipe 🙂
It was delicious! I added baby spinach that was frozen which I defrosted first and squeezed water out before adding. I added an extra clove of garlic and served it with naan.
This soup is fabulous!!! I added some chopped celery and leaves. Other than that I’d say double it when you make it! Thank you for the recipe.
Wow, great recipe, even if I only got to taste it whilst cooking!
Swapped out chickpeas for lentils which seemed to work OK
Another winner delicious with the right amount of spice perfect for a cool late fall day! Pretty much followed ingredient list when serving added a dash of Frank’s but definitely not needed
Hey. I just made the soup and it’s delish! I only have one question, should I have used the liquid from the chickpeas? I’m in the habit of rinsing most canned beans off because of the effect it has on my digestive system. Thanks.
Glad you liked it, and you were correct in draining and rinsing the chickpeas. 🙂
Fantastic soup that will be in our regular rotation! The only change I made was adding about 2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat. Definitely improves with time so I’ll make it a day or two before eating.
Oh my goodness, this is an absolute winner! A delicious, nourishing soup for so little time and effort. The addition of smoked paprika is\ magic. And I didn’t have to go grocery shopping because everything was in my fridge or pantry! The Thanks so much, Jenn!
Just made this soup last night! It is sooo good! It will definitely be on my regular rotation from now on.
Can I use green lentils instead of red? Thx.
Hi Val, You can get away with green lentils — the soup may just a bit longer to cook. Please LMK how it turns out!
I made this soup tonight and we really enjoyed it. Like others I used an immersion blender and it worked just fine. Also I added another 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp more smoked paprika. A great warming soup for a cold rainy day!
Really flavorful soup. I often make it on Sunday to have for quick lunches during the week. I occasionally add cooked quinoa for a protein boost.
I really liked this soup. It had a lot of flavor. We don’t usually eat many suppers without some sort of meat but we did with this soup and really enjoyed it. I’m sure I will make it again. It did take me an hour or more to make it but it didn’t matter because we liked it.
Thank you for a great way how to include more veggies into our lunches, the soup tastes so delicious!
To add fresh kale to this soup, when would you suggest adding it? Or cook it ahead of time and then add it in at the end? Thanks, Liz
Hi Liz, I’d saute it – I’d add it along with the garlic and carrots. I’d love to hear how it turns out with kale!
This is one of my absolute favourite soups! Soooo delicious!
This soup is really good. Excellent left over too. I chopped and sauteed a link of chicken sausage and added it for my husband but I loved it as is.
would it be possible to have it in metric please?
Hi Ambra, I just added them. Hope you enjoy the soup!
This soups looks so delicious! I want to make the soup as a meal…would adding cooked pieces of chicken be appropriate and the right meat for this soup? Thank you!
Sure, Diane, I think chicken would be a nice addition here. I’d love to hear how it turns out!
It was a success….everyone loved it and it made a perfect fall filling meal! Thank you!
So glad to hear it — thanks for the follow-up! 🙂
This soup has become a family favorite and i make it often. I love how quick and easy it is to make.
I increase the amount of smoked paprika and cumin, add lots of fresh chopped parsley – sometimes instead of peas, and squeeze in fresh lemon juice just before serving. Yumminess in a bowl!!
Making it for the second time. It is very good and not difficult to make. Even my meat loving husband enjoys it.
Just made the soup today. Easy recipe and we loved it. Great taste, flavorful and good source of protein. will make it again for sure
This is absolutely delicious. I subbed home cooked white beans for garbanzos and raw string beans for peas, made small adjustments in timings to ensure they cooked. Vegan w veg broth. Added a tiny drizzle of truffle oil to finish for fun. Smoky flavor is subtle and perfect. Five stars.
Just wanted to say thanks for answering my question about this soup. I made it and it’s soooo good! Glad I doubled it because everyone wanted seconds!
My pleasure — so glad you enjoyed it!
Made this soup yesterday for dinner, ate together with pita bread. My husband and I loved it. Very clean taste but still flavorful. I used an entire can of red lentils, rinsed first. I also used an immersion blender directly in the pot to blend some parts of the soup (lazy trick but worked). Will definitely make it again. Thank you.
This was alright, but I don’t think we’d make it again, and if we did, it would need some changes. We felt it was a bit bland. It could probably use double the cumin (preferably roasted) and some cayenne, and maybe a bit of roasted, ground corriander. It also might benefit from letting the onions caramelize a good bit. It just seemed kind’ve…dull…and that’s with using a homemade roasted veggie stock that I make that is waaaaay more flavorful than anything you can buy at a store. So, certainly not bad, but not something we’ll be making again.
Okay, I kind’ve take back a bit of what I said. After sitting overnight in the fridge the soup REALLY improved the next day. As is often the case with these things, the flavors seemed to really come together and the whole thing kind’ve gelled (flavor-wise) in a way it hadn’t the night before. I still think it needs more cumin and some red pepper, but we’d definitely make this again, although we would make it a day in advance.
Great flavor and easy to prepare. I use an immersion blender and add some heat (personal preference) – either sriracha or red pepper flakes. To extend it to serve more people, I add cooked brown rice. A keeper! Thank you, Jenn!
This is absolutely delicious! I am making meals ahead for my brother, who just had a quadruple bypass. I’d never made this soup before today but had all the ingredients on hand, including my own chicken stock that I made by stewing a Costco chicken carcass. I cut the 1 tsp of salt to 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt and it was just perfect. Threw in some frozen peas and Lima beans… yum! I bet spinach or kale wilted would be delicious too. I will be making this again and again.
Did you use split or whole red lentils? I could only find split red lentils. If using whole red lentils, where can they be found? Enjoy your recipes!!
Hi Diane, I use whole red lentils (and am able to find them at my local grocery store). I’ve never used split lentils before. I suspect they should work but will need less cooking time. I’d add them along with the chickpeas. Hope you enjoy!
Love me a lentil soup!
If you want the lentils firm substitute whole brown lentils. I’ve never seen whole (red or yellow) lentils only the split. Maybe a whole foods or specialty store may carry them.
From Google: Red lentils break down faster than other types of lentils when cooked. The texture quickly becomes soft and creamy, so red lentils are most often used in soups and curries. Red lentils cook quickly (and turn mushy quickly) because most red lentils sold in stores are split red lentils.
This one was really good, I am going to make it again, I used peas this first time. I think that I blended it a lot, and next time I will try less blending, but was still really good!
I’ve made this recipe a few times, as is and as a vegan option. It is so delicious and versatile that everyone has asked for the recipe!! I received one of Jenn’s cookbooks for Christmas and have since made 20+ of her recipes both from her cookbook and her blog. Every single recipe has been delicious and a “keeper”. You have become what I refer to as my ” go to girl” when I need a delicious and reliable recipe! Thank you for making me ” look good” with your great tips recipes!!
I totally agree with you! Jenn’s recipes make me look like a rock star in the kitchen!
Love this for a healthy weekday lunch and you can spruce it up with random vegetables you have on hand. I added spinach and frozen peas at the end, few red potatoes, topped with crushed tortilla chips. Yum!
This was so delicious and super-simple to make. Will be a go-to recipe for me.
I cook often and rarely comment but this soup is amazing. I used homemade chicken broth and substituted frozen corn for the green vegetable. I paired it with your recipe for naan for a great hearty meal!
Hi! This is a staple in my house! I want to make it for some girlfriends as part of a lunch. Can you recommend what I could pair with (either salad or sandwich?)
Hi Allison, Glad this makes frequent appearances in your kitchen. You could go with something that could be eaten with a fork or as a sandwich (like this egg salad or one of these chicken salads — but probably not the curried version). Hope that helps!
Simply perfect. Easy to pull together and delicious. Thank you for such a yummy soup.
My husband and I both agreed that this was THE best soup we have ever had. It was AMAZING ! The only thing I changed was adding some crushed red pepper flakes at the end.
BUT the only thing is this doesn’t take 30 minutes, it took me 1 hour to make. It was totally worth it though. Next time I’ll double the recipe so I have more left-overs.
Thank you Jen!
I love eating dishes that are heavy on beans and was excited to see this and went out to get the ingredients straight away. Of course, it turned out so tasty and it was so easy! As you with your Classic Turkey Chili, I added turkey balls to this meal. A very tasty meal.
Love this soup make it often.
Delicious! Will definitely make this again. A great way to use frozen garden produce including frozen tomatoes. I also used ham broth as this is what I had in the freezer and brown lentils as I didn’t have red.
Made as is – delicious!!! Another winner Jenn. I love how easy and tasty your soups are. Last week was your black bean soup. Next week I’m going to try your beef barley. 😊
I love smoked paprika so was immediately drawn to this recipe! I adapted it quite easily to my instapot, and will make again and again! Sandy