If you can’t get enough of the earthy, tender taste of lentils, you’re in luck! Once you try my French green lentil soup, I have so many other healthy green lentils recipes to try. My Butternut Squash Lentil Soup is just what you need to fill yourself with a deliciously fresh, belly-warming taste. Or, if you’re in the mood for a brighter, tangier option, my Lentil Quinoa Salad Recipe is perfect for summer potlucks, side dishes, and beyond.

A bowl of green lentil soup from the top view.

Lentil Soup Ingredients

The ingredients for lentil soup are some of the most basic, pantry-ready ingredients a home chef could hope for. With a simple mix of lentils, veggie stock, and sauteed vegetables, you’ll have a crowd-pleasing meal on the table in no time.

  • Olive oil: Smooth and rich, olive oil is my go-to when making lentil soup. However, avocado oil or unsalted butter would also work to cook your veggies before incorporating them into your recipe.
  • Vegetables: This green lentil vegetable soup gets its tender, nutritious taste from a classic mixture of onion, carrots, and celery—a combination often referred to as “mirepoix.”
  • Tomato paste
  • Fresh garlic cloves: Garlic is essential to giving this le puy lentils recipe its robust, buttery undertones. I recommend peeling and mincing your garlic before adding it to your soup mix to maximize its texture and taste.
  • Fresh or Canned tomatoes: You’ll need one can (14 or 15 oz.) of diced tomatoes to give this green lentil recipe bright, tomatoey notes. With that being said, during the summer months I use juicy tomatoes I pick from my garden. You’ll need about 3 large tomatoes for this recipe.
  • Fresh herbs and seasonings: The best way to flavor this French lentils recipe is with an herbaceous, aromatic mix of bay leaves, fresh thyme, and fresh parsley. Then, finish the dish with a dash of salt and pepper to bring out its natural richness.
French du puy lentils in a bowl.
  • Green lentils: French lentils—also known as du puy lentils—are my favorite type of lentils for this recipe due to their small size and deliciously nutty, peppery flavor. Furthermore, French green lentils are better at keeping their shape during the cooking process, making them particularly well-suited for long simmering times. You should be able to find lentils du puy at your local grocery store due to their increasing popularity, or you can purchase them online (affiliate link) if necessary. Many also make this recipe with brown lentils or regular green lentils, both of which offer a similarly tender, mild flavor profile. However, compared to Du puy lentils, brown and green lentils have a slightly more delicate texture, which may result in a thicker, more “mushy” soup after cooking. No matter which lentils you use, just be sure to rinse them and pick them over for debris, small rocks, and undesirable lentils.
  • Vegetable stock: Light and fresh, vegetable stock is my favorite base for homemade lentil soup—especially since it’s so easy to make Homemade Vegetable Stock! However, you could also make lentil soup with chicken broth or chicken stock if you prefer a richer, more savory taste.
  • Vinegar: The key to bringing out the nuanced flavors of this soup recipe is adding a splash of vinegar. I use balsamic vinegar due to its complexly sweet tartness and molasses-like finish. However, red or white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even lemon juice would also work.
Ingredients for green lentils soup recipe in cups.

Optional Add-Ins

  • Bacon or pancetta: While the recipe below is a vegan lentil soup, turning it to a lentil bacon soup (or even lentil pancetta soup!) is an easy way to add irresistibly savory, salty notes to your recipe. To make this variation, chop, saute, and drain the meat before adding it to your liquid. Or, if you want to cut down on your soup’s fat content, turkey bacon makes an excellent substitution. Alternatively, you can add precooked and chopped baked turkey bacon as a topping.
  • Meat: Want to turn your tasty soup into a hearty meal? Saute ½ lbs. of ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey just before adding your veggies to the pot. Alternatively, you can add two cups of leftover shredded chicken—about ½ lbs. in total—for extra easy meal prep.
  • Pasta: Tender and filling, pasta makes a great addition to this classic lentil soup recipe. Simply add one cup of your favorite small pasta (such as Ditalini or orzo) to your cooking liquid ten minutes before the soup is ready.
  • Leafy Greens: Adding fresh greens to your soup is perfect for anyone who loves a nutrient-packed meal. If you want to make a lentil and greens soup, I recommend adding two cups of kale leaves or baby spinach to your soup 7-8 minutes before the end of its cooking time.
  • Additional seasoning: Want to give your basic lentil soup recipe a spicier, more complex flavor profile? Paprika (or smoked paprika!), ground cumin, and red pepper flakes are all tasty seasoning options that will add a bold layer of spicy, savory, and smoky flavors to your bowl.
  • Optional flavorings: Once plated, you can finish it off with a drizzle of olive oil or sprinkle it with a few spoonfuls of shredded parmesan cheese.

How to Make Green Lentil Soup?

Anyone can learn how to make lentil soup using these simple instructions. This foolproof guide will take you step-by-step through the recipe, ensuring your soup is as savory, nutritious, and tender as possible.

A collage of images showing how to make French green lentil soup recipe.
  1. Cook the veggies: Add the olive oil to a heavy bottom large pot (such as a Dutch oven) and warm it over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook them until they soften (10-12 minutes).
  2. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and herbs: Stir the tomato paste into the mirepoix veggies and cook for one minute. Then, add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute. Finally, mix in the tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme, then cook for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture becomes fragrant.
  3. Add the lentils: Add the dried lentils, salt, and pepper to the pot and stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  4. Boil: Pour the veggie stock over the lentil mixture, increase the heat to medium-high, and put the lid on. Cook until the liquid boils, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the soup cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring as necessary.
Person seasoning the soup with balsamic vinegar and chopped greens.
  1. Serve: Right before serving, remove the bay leaf and stir in the balsamic vinegar and chopped parsley. Ladle the green lentils soup into individual bowls, garnish with more parsley, and enjoy!

How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze?

One of the best parts about this green lentils recipe is how easy it is to store and reheat. With these pro storage tips, you can take the hassle out of weeknight meal prep whenever the craving strikes.

  • Storage: After cooking lentil soup, let it come to room temperature. Then, pour it into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: Freezing this recipe is a great way to ensure easy meal prep for months on end. First, bring your soup to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container. Then, store it in the freezer for up to three months, thawing it in the fridge overnight when ready to eat.
  • Reheat: You can reheat this lentil bean soup recipe on the stovetop or in the microwave for 30-second increments until warm.

What to Serve it With?

This traditional lentil soup recipe makes a delectable pair with countless other recipes. With my expertly catered list, you can quickly transform your simple soup into a restaurant-level menu.

  • Bread: If you love dipping a hearty slice of bread into a steaming bowl of soup, this pairing is just what you need. Any crusty bread will work perfectly alongside your lentils du puy recipe, from my No Knead Artisan Bread to my five-ingredient Olive Bread. Or, if you want a more decadent, robustly flavored side, you can whip up Air Fried Garlic Bread in just fifteen minutes.
  • Green salad: No pairing is as nutritious as a bowl of healthy lentil soup and a crisp, veggie-packed salad. I love pairing this lentil soup with a Butter Lettuce Salad during the springtime, as its mellow leaves, tangy vinaigrette, and colorful add-ins make every plate come to life. However, my Spring Mix Salad makes a delicious pairing year-round, balancing your hearty soup with crisp, juicy, and citrusy flavors.
  • Crackers and cheese: You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to fill out your weeknight menu. In fact, all you have to do is serve your lentil celery carrot soup along with your favorite cheese and crackers! I usually opt for artisan crackers or seeded crackers, as they have a nutty, buttery taste and an incomparable crunch. Plus, they pack tons of protein!

Expert Tips

It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first time making soup or you’re a professional chef. These pro tips will ensure your French green lentils recipe comes out as flavorful, tender, and filling as possible.

  • Preparation and sorting: If you’ve ever cooked with lentils, you know they often come with unwanted bits, such as small rocks and other debris. Be sure to rinse and pick through your lentils before adding them to this recipe to remove these non-edible pieces.
  • Thick lentil soup: If you want your recipe to have a thicker, creamier texture, try using an immersion blender to make a lentil puree soup instead. Be sure, however, to let the lentils simmer for 25-30 minutes before blending to avoid any gritty or undercooked bits.
  • Sauté vegetables: The key to making the best lentil soup recipe is taking your time when cooking your veggies. If you don’t thoroughly cook your vegetables, they’ll likely add a tough, fibrous, or “raw” texture to your soup. Therefore, I recommend sauteeing your vegetables for a minimum of 10-12 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.
  • Don’t overcook the lentils: Whenever possible, I recommend preparing this soup recipe with du puy lentils, as this type is best at maintaining its firmness during the long cooking process. However—no matter which of the lentil varieties you use—it’s essential to keep an eye on them to keep them from overcooking and becoming “mushy” while cooking.
  • Gets better the next day: One of my favorite parts about this French lentil soup recipe is that it tastes even better the day after you make it. This resting time allows the flavors to deepen and develop, resulting in a more savory, complex profile.
  • Adjust seasoning and balsamic vinegar: Adding a touch of acid and a mix of aromatic seasonings helps enliven the milder ingredients in this vegan French lentil soup. However, remember that my recipe only asks for a modest amount of these additions, so I highly recommend tasting your soup and adding more vinegar or seasonings if necessary. You can even serve extra balsamic vinegar on the side to ensure everyone can flavor their bowls according to their unique preference.
  • Quick lentil soup: If you want an extra-quick way to prepare this recipe (or if you want to make it ahead of time!), try making lentil soup with cooked lentils. Simply start the recipe with pre-cooked lentils, add the cooking liquid, and wait until the mixture comes to a boil. Then, serve your easy lentil soup while still hot.
Recipe for lentil soup - 2 bowls of easy lentil soup photographed from the top view


If you have any questions about this delicious soup recipe, I’ve got you covered! Below, you’ll find everything you need, whether you want to know how long to cook lentil soup or this recipe’s nutritional content.

How to prepare lentils for lentil soup?

The most crucial step in preparing lentils is rinsing and picking them over to remove unwanted debris before adding them to your recipe. When ready, you can add the rinsed lentils directly into your cooking liquid, letting it boil before lowering it to a simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Do I need to soak lentils for this lentil vegetable soup?

Though I recommend pre-rinsing your lentils for this recipe, you don’t need to soak them beforehand. Instead, they should naturally cook and tenderize while simmering in the veggie stock. 

How long does lentil soup take to cook?

Once you have all the ingredients together, this lentil soup recipe takes about 35-45 minutes to cook.

How much water (or stock) to add to lentil soup?

When it comes to cooking lentils by themselves, my lentil-to-liquid ratio is one to three. In other words, I use three cups of liquid (water or veggie stock) to cook one cup of lentils. However, I increased the amount of liquid for this lentil soup recipe—1 ½ cups of lentils in six cups of liquid—as I wanted this dish to have more of a soupy texture.

What are French du Puy Lentils, and how are they different from regular green lentils?

Regarding their basic “look,” French du Puy lentils are smaller than green lentils and have a slightly darker color. I generally prefer making soup with French lentils because they keep their shape and firmness while cooking, whereas green lentils often turn mushy when cooked for extended amounts of time. However, they are similar in taste, so you can use them interchangeably without compromising your dish’s overall flavor.

Is lentil soup healthy?

Absolutely! Green lentils are high in fiber and protein and low in fat, which makes them a great alternative to meat. They also pack significant amounts of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, potassium, iron, and magnesium. 

How to season lentil soup?

Because of its versatile, veggie-rich base, you can season this dish with whatever seasonings best suit your unique palate. However, if you want to stay true to this recipe’s Mediterranean roots, I suggest using a mixture of fresh thyme, fresh parsley, ground cumin, and paprika.

Can you freeze lentil soup?

Yes, you can. As a matter of fact, I usually make a big batch of this easy lentil soup recipe and freeze some of it for another day. Simply, let the soup come to room temperature, place it in airtight containers, and freeze for up to 3 months. A day before you are ready to serve, thaw in the fridge overnight.

Other vegan soup recipes you might like:

If you try this French Lentil Soup recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.

French Lentil Soup Recipe

4.94 from 16 votes
Yields6 servings
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Recipe for French Lentil Soup that you can make in under 45 minutes with tips, tricks, variations, and freezing instructions all in one blog post. If you are looking for a heart-healthy way to feed your family, this gluten-free and vegan French Lentil Soup will do the job perfectly.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, (14 ounce can)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups French Green lentils*, aka Lentils Du Puy, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, preferably homemade
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped – plus more as garnish


  • Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until they are softened, 10-12 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute.
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add French lentils, salt and pepper. Give it a big stir to make sure that everything is mixed evenly.
  • Pour in the vegetable stock, turn the heat up to medium-high, put the lid on and bring it to a boil. Once boiled, turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  • Right before serving, take out the bay leaf and stir in the balsamic vinegar and chopped parsley.
  • Pour the soup in individual bowls and garnish it with more parsley.



  • Yields: This lentil soup recipe makes about 7-8 cups of soup and is ideal for serving 6 people. The nutritional values you see below are per serving.
  • Green lentils: I made this recipe with French green lentils (aka du puy lentils). Compared to other types of lentils, they do a better job of keeping their shape and can stand longer simmering times. With that being said, you can make this recipe with regular green lentils and brown lentils. The texture of the soup could be a little bit mushy but it will still be good.
  • Storage: Bring the leftovers to room temperature, pour them into an airtight container, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: Bring your soup to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container. Then, store it in the freezer for up to three months, thawing it in the fridge overnight when ready to eat.
  • Reheat: Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave for 30-second increments until warm.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1377mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5872IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: French Cuisine
Tried this recipe?Mention @foolproofliving or tag #foolproofeats!

About Aysegul Sanford

Hello Friend! I'm Aysegul but you can call me “Ice." I’m the cook/recipe-tester/photographer behind this site.

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4.94 from 16 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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