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Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup

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This warming, satisfying lentil and vegetable soup comes together in just 30 minutes.

Photo by Johnny Miller (Clarkson Potter, 2021)

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

How To Make Smoky Chickpea, Red 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!

Step-by-Step Instructions

How To Make Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil, and Vegetable Soup

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.

How To Make Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil, and Vegetable Soup

Add the broth, tomatoes, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.

How To Make Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil, and Vegetable Soup

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and continue cooking 10 minutes more.

How To Make Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil, and Vegetable Soup

Remove a few cups of the soup and place in a blender or food processor.

How To Make Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil, and Vegetable Soup

Purée until smooth.

How To Make Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil, and Vegetable Soup

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.

How To Make Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil, and Vegetable Soup
Bring the soup back to a simmer and serve.

Photo by Johnny Miller (Clarkson Potter, 2021)

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Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup

This warming, satisfying lentil and vegetable soup comes together in just 30 minutes.

Servings: 6
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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.

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Comments

  • 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

    • — Joe on December 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Ramona on December 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it, and you were correct in draining and rinsing the chickpeas. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Deb on November 30, 2022
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  • 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!

    • — Listen Linda Listen on November 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just made this soup last night! It is sooo good! It will definitely be on my regular rotation from now on.

    • — Wendy on November 28, 2022
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  • 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!

    • — Vicki on November 27, 2022
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  • 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.

    • — Steph on November 27, 2022
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  • 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.

    • — Sandy on November 10, 2022
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  • Thank you for a great way how to include more veggies into our lunches, the soup tastes so delicious!

    • — Dolores on November 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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

    • — Liz on November 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on November 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is one of my absolute favourite soups! Soooo delicious!

    • — Judith K on October 27, 2022
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  • 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.

    • — Rae on October 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • would it be possible to have it in metric please?

    • — ambra on October 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Ambra, I just added them. Hope you enjoy the soup!

      • — Jenn on October 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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!
    Diane Demers

    • — Diane Demers on October 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Diane, I think chicken would be a nice addition here. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on October 14, 2022
      • Reply
      • It was a success….everyone loved it and it made a perfect fall filling meal! Thank you!

        • — Diane Demers on October 23, 2022
        • Reply
        • So glad to hear it — thanks for the follow-up! 🙂

          • — Jenn on October 24, 2022
          • Reply
          • 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!!

            • — Debbie on November 8, 2022
  • Making it for the second time. It is very good and not difficult to make. Even my meat loving husband enjoys it.

    • — Teri on September 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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

    • — Polly on September 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Katherine on September 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    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!
    Thank you,
    Londa

    • — Londa on September 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • My pleasure — so glad you enjoyed it!

      • — Jenn on September 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Karen M on August 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Alex O on May 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • 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.

      • — Alex O on May 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — SF Ana on May 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Janine on May 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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!!

    • — Diane on April 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2022
      • Reply
    • 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.

      • — Gr8ladyh on August 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Trevor Christiansen on March 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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!!

    • — Luana on March 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • I totally agree with you! Jenn’s recipes make me look like a rock star in the kitchen!

      • — Marcia on September 25, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Michelle on March 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was so delicious and super-simple to make. Will be a go-to recipe for me.

    • — Ruth on March 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Carol on March 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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?)

    • — Allison on February 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on February 28, 2022
      • Reply
    • Simply perfect. Easy to pull together and delicious. Thank you for such a yummy soup.

      • — Michelle K on March 5, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Diana Yudina Desai on February 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Sissy on February 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Love this soup make it often.

    • — Judith A. Harley on February 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Jan Myhre on February 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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. 😊

    • — Lori on February 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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

    • — Sandy Martin on February 14, 2022
    • Reply

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