Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

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 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!

How to make lentil and vegetable soup

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 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 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

  • Hi, would adding extra carrots throw off the recipe?

    • — Clara on January 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • That should be fine as long as you’re adding a reasonable amount. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 24, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made the soup this evening, it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes, this one is definitely a keeper.

    • — Margaret Vitale on January 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this soup, so easy and so very delicious!!! A firm favourite…….

    • — Susan Moore on January 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this once before and loved it. I don’t have any red lentils this time. Could I use green?

    • — MrsDLA on January 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend them here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • This soup is a must have – different, healthy, and very satisfying. I love the flexibility of veggies added at the end, and have sometimes used a veg. soup mix. This week made it with veg broth for my vegan sister and her was OMG that soup is amazing! Thanks Jenn. My only comment is that if one uses very fresh thyme, it can be overpowering, so I reduce the thyme. After all… you can always add more. Today I’m soaking beans for your Smoky white bean and ham soup – which is also a killer.

    • — Emily on January 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • Outstanding for a cold winter day especially because it’s quick and all of the ingredients were on hand. It’s now part of my soup rotation.

    • — John on January 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’m still marveling at how flavorful and delicious this soup is! Thanks Jenn for another amazing recipe!

    • — Patrice on January 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Another family favorite! My husband did not want to have anything to do with this dish because I said it was a veggie soup. He was willing to try a little, though, and his comment about where have I been hiding this recipe just cracked me up. He’s been so happy eating the best dishes at home from Jenn.

    • — Lulu on January 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi, Jenn 🙂 This is the first recipe I tried from your cookbook, and it was one of the best soups I’ve ever made!!! ♥ So flavorful and delicious! My whole family loved it and went back for more. I served it with Naan bread – which seemed like a perfect match with this soup. I only omitted the chickpeas since I’m the only one in my family who will eat them 😉 I added frozen peas and sweet corn to mine, but I think I’ll add some diced potatoes next time to bulk it up a bit more. Thank you so much for creating and sharing such a unique twist on an otherwise traditional vegetable soup!
    (p.s. I would love to see more vegetarian recipes on your site ♥)

    • — Kimberly on January 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’m not feeling so well today and wanted some soup. I love all your other recipes and came across this one and thought why not. It was so quick and easy to come together and absolutely delicious.

    • — Tania on January 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! Added leftover ham chunks and julienned spinach at end. Served with Naan bread. Thanks for another excellent recipe!

    • — Ria on January 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is an awesome recipe – fast, easy and makes just the right amount. I didn’t care for the green beans in it, but that might have been the quality of the frozen beans I purchased. However, I also added a 10 ounce bag of fresh spinach and loved this veggie in it. I might try some frozen corn with the spinach next time – and there will be a next time!

    • — Nancee Dahms-Stinson on December 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • If I add a meat protein, what would you recommend?
    Thanks,Diane

    • — Diane on December 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Diane, I think this would be nice with some pulled rotisserie chicken. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • Delicious!! I reduced the cumin to 1/2 tsp, as my Partner isn’t fond of it. I used an immersion blender which reduced splatter (if carefully handled!) and dishes. I topped the soup with some shredded poached chicken I had left over

    • — LFK on December 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’M SORRY!!!!! For ever doubting you. I tried soup somewhere in a middle of cooking and it tasted so watery with strong taste of tomatoes I thought there is no way it would come together. But it did! Wonderful with warm spices, comforting and healthy. My family loved it. They always do like dinners I have cooked from your recipes. Thank you!!!!

    • — kristine on December 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • I forgot to rate it – 5 stars 🙂

      • — kristine on December 14, 2021
      • Reply
  • This was SO yummy! First time I have come across your blog and SO glad I did! The soup is hearty and was a flavor explosion. My husband ate it up :). Bookmarked for our cold winter days here in Pittsburgh!

    • — Katie on December 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this once as written and froze the leftovers. It was perfect as written. The second time I added a half pound of cooked chorizo after puréing the soup and added 1 tsp of Zatar seasoning and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. It was also good. Thanks Jenn for your fabulous recipes! L

    • — Sandy M on December 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi. I haven’t made the soup yet, but wondering about your thoughts on vegetable broths. I’m concerned that using chicken broth would not be acceptable to the vegetarian in my life.

    • — Linda K on November 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, using vegetable broth is perfectly fine. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • Delicious! Made this tonight, only change was that I added some leftover chopped up bacon that I had from making breakfast this morning. I also added full cup of frozen peas and a full cup of frozen green beans to add some extra veg. So flavorful!! I served it with crusty bread. This will definitely go into my winter soup rotation. Thanks for another delicious recipe!

    • — Amy on November 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is truly a soup that you can pull together when you fridge is empty or when you have some questionable vegetables lurking in the back of the fridge. I had an abundance of roasted green beans, but you could add anything. I think I’ll add some butternut squash and spinach the next time I make it. The soup is smoky, filling and delicious. We ate with some crusty french bread and have plenty for leftovers for lunches this week.

    • — Elizabeth on November 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this twice now. Both times with collard greens and peas. It’s healthy, easy to make, and absolutely delicious.

    • — Rebecca McNamara on November 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi! What is the green leafy vegetable in your finished picture of the soup?
    Looks delicious
    Thank you!

    • — Lauren on October 31, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauren, that shot was taken by the photographer for my cookbook but I believe it’s kale. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • Best soup I ever make – never fails to impress.

    • — Aly on October 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Simple, delicious, and amenable to substitutions. I only had cannellini beans on hand, and though I’m sure chickpeas would have produced an even tastier result, mine was just fine. You will definitely enjoy warming up with this fabulous soup this fall!

    • — Drew on October 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Just delicious! I added some chopped red bell pepper and tossed it in with the carrots. Also added kale after reintroducing the puree. Finished off with some lemon zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. SO GOOD! Thank you. 🙂

    • — Jill G. on October 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’m a huge fan of your recipes and just got your new cookbook. I especially like the extra hints, pro notes and if the recipe can be frozen.

    I’m planning on making your chickpea and lentil soup but noticed the recipe didn’t call for soaking the lentils. I’m guessing since your recipes are all so well written and complete, I don’t need to soak them. Correct?
    Thank you and good luck to you in the future.
    Cindy

    • — Cindy Ghezzi on October 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipe and the cookbook! 🙂
      You’re correct, there is no need to soak the lentils here. Hope you enjoy the soup!

      • — Jenn on October 15, 2021
      • Reply
  • This recipe is so delicious, healthy, unique and even a joy to make! I make this recipe often, but I use the crockpot after initial saute. I also add more veggies as another reviewer does – just to increase the veggie intake. Thank you for sharing such an amazing soup/stew!

    • — Sue on October 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious soup. I added a little bit of black forest bacon for extra flavor.

    • — Ellen on October 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious & healthy dinner option. Add some Naan bread on the side.

    • — Paola S on October 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • What size is your Cuisinart Dutch Oven? Is lovely! Thank you for your recipes – they are absolutely the best!

    • — Deanne Kadlec on September 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Deanne, so glad you like the recipes! My Dutch oven is 5.5 quarts. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • Jenn you did it again. I made this lovely soup on the weekend and again yesterday for one of my kids. We had it with a salad and buttermilk biscuits. The soup is terrific as is but if you have some leftover ham, or chorizo put it in the pot! Congrats to you on your new book achieving the NYT bestsellers list. You deserve it. Soup gets 5 stars!
    ron vaage
    Vancouver BC Canada

    • — Ron Vaage on September 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed the soup and thanks for your nice words about the NYT list! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • Would it be OK to use unsalted chicken broth instead? Trying to limit salt intake.

    • — Sara on September 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, you just may need to add some salt to taste before serving. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi,
    Really enjoy all of your recipes. Is there anything to substitute for tomatoes in this yummy soup? Allergic to tomatoes. Appreciate recipes for vegetarians.
    Thank you,
    mjw

    • — Myra White on September 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Myra, that’s a tough one but I think you could use a can of pumpkin purée and a squeeze of lemon or lime to add a hint of acidity. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • Bonjour Jenn, chickpeas don’t agree with me. with what can I substitute. I just love lentils of all kinds.

    • — suzanne bussiere on September 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Suzanne, you could use cannellini beans in place of the lentils. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • I love this recipe and have made it countless times. Thanks Jenn.

    • — Melissa on August 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • Super recipe for a delicious soup. I made the soup according to the recipe and the result was great. My only change was to use dried chickpeas cooked at home. I will make it again and perhaps add some other spices and herbs. I’ve been known to add home made curry powder to just about everything from soup to tuna salad.

    • — Mary on May 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this soup . Delicous

    • — Elizabeth Pereira on April 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • So easy and nutritious! My daughter made this as she is watching her calorie intake and because the recipe is so easy to follow with nutritious ingredients. The outcome was amazing – as always! Next time she will try adding andouille sausage.

    • — Lulu on April 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • I loved the flavor of the broth and the heartiness of the beans and vegetables. It was also very simple to cook. I will definitely make this again.

    My kids did not love the texture of the red lentils. I may try to puree more of the soup, or sub cabbage for the lentils. Do you have any other suggestions Jenn?

    • — Aileen on April 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Aileen, You could give it a try with more chickpeas or more cooked veggies. Cabbage would also be an interesting additon; please LMK if you try it!

      • — Jenn on April 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • Decided on a gloomy Wednesday at 11:45AM that this soup would be just the thing for lunch…by 12:30 my husband and I were enjoying a delicious, warming meal!! Definitely a winner!

    • — Cindy B on March 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I don’t have smoked paprika, will Hungarian or regular work here?

    • — Samantha on March 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • This has been a go to recipe for much of the year for the past couple of years. Thank you for sharing such a wonderfully delicious yet simple dinner that my daughter (10!) often requests!

    • — Candice A on March 1, 2021
    • Reply

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