This Tuscan veggie lentil soup is sure to warm and fill you up. It’s easy to make vegetarian and vegan, and packed with plant-based protein.
My love affair with all things Tuscan is no secret. Since I can’t be in Tuscany as often as I would like, I like to bring Tuscan inspired dishes into my kitchen so I can dream I’m there. Traditional Tuscan food is humble, hearty, and always great quality. Tomatoes, kale, and good olive oil are common. Although I’m not sure this soup is traditional, it was inspired by Tuscan flavors. One of my favorite meals ever was Pappa al Pomodoro, eaten in a cavernous restaurant on a cold day in Florence. This veggie lentil soup has a tomato base with kale wilted in at the end, and the fresh basil on top is key to freshening the whole bowl up.
I love lentils and am always thinking of new ways to use them in our weekly rotation. Lentil soups like this Lemony Lentil Soup are a fantastic source of plant based protein. Lentils are hearty and filling, so even carnivores (like my hubby) won’t miss the meat. They are high in vitamins and minerals, protein, and fiber. Lentils are also incredibly budget-friendly, at around $1.50 a pound! Swapping out a meat dinner for a lentil based dinner is a great way to save a little money and nourish your body with clean fuel.
I used baby kale, as that’s what I had in my fridge, but I would have preferred Tuscan/lacinato kale in this soup.
Top with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan and some croutons or crostini. Simply delectable!
Vegan friends can leave the Parmesan off. A great way to get that savory umami flavor without the cheese is a sprinkle of truffle salt or drizzle of truffle oil on top.
The ingredient list may look a little long, but this soup comes together fairly quickly and then can sit on the stove and simmer away. It’s also an easy 1-pot dinner. Buon Appetito!
2 cups French green lentils, rinsed and picked over for stones
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3-4 cups Tuscan kale, roughly chopped
grated Parmesan for serving
fresh basil, for garnish
croutons, crostini, or sliced crusty bread for serving
truffle oil (optional)
In a large stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes and saute until starting to soften. Add garlic and continue to saute another minute.
Add 6 cups vegetable broth, tomatoes, thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Stir in lentils and tomato paste. Partially cover pot and simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add more broth if needed, but I like this soup thick like a stew. Stir in kale. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
When you’re ready to eat, serve lentil soup with a generous topping of Parmesan, fresh basil, crostini, and a drizzle of truffle oil, if using. Buon Appetito!
I'm so glad you're here! I'm a busy mama to two sweet girls and a bunch of funny animals. I'm passionate about sharing the beauty of real food through plant based recipes. I hope you find many easy, nourishing, delicious recipes your family will love.