Vegan Lentil Soup
Creamy, hearty, easy vegan lentil soup with mushrooms is sure to warm and nourish on cold days.
Are you laughing at me for posting yet another lentil recipe? I mean, I wouldn’t blame you! We’ve already had Lemon Lentil Soup, Mexican Lentil Soup, Tuscan Lentil Soup, and Instant Pot Lentil Soup! Then there’s the ever popular Vegan Lentil Loaf and even Lentil Meatballs. And we can’t forget about one of my favorite salads – Mediterranean Lentil Salad.
This easy vegan lentil soup is different though, and I had to share! Yummy Hubby said it’s possibly his favorite lentil soup yet. While many of my previous lentil soups have been tomato-based, the flavors in this lentil soup are rich and creamy with a bit of umami from mushrooms and tamari.
The idea for this vegan lentil soup came while perusing Instagram. One of my very favorite plant-based bloggers/YouTubers, Deliciously Ella, had posted a lovely soup filled with mushrooms, canned lentils, and black eyed peas. The use of coconut milk for the broth reminded me of another popular Yummy Mummy Kitchen recipe: Zuppa Toscana.
How to Cook Lentils
For this recipe we are using green or brown lentils. These lentils keep their shape, unlike red lentils which become much softer and fall apart. I use red lentils in this Red Lentil Dal and this Curried Pumpkin Lentil Soup.
It’s important to pick over your lentils for any little stones and give them a good rinse. For lentil salads, I cook lentils in water on the stove until tender. When making soup, I cook the lentils right in the pot with with rest of the ingredients. Lentils take about 30 minutes to cook (unless you’re pressure cooking).
When I’m short on time for dinner, I will use vacuum packed steamed lentils from Trader Joe’s or canned lentils from Whole Foods. Those are already cooked and can quickly be reheated. If you’d like to make this vegan lentil soup even faster, feel free to reduce the broth by about 2 cups and use pre-cooked/canned lentils.
How to Make Lentil Soup
Like many soups, I start by sauteeing onions, garlic, carrots and celery. This time I added a lot of sliced mushrooms. Mushrooms are really great for you, by the way. You can read more about their health promoting benefits on Dr. Fuhrman. Once the veggies have softened, add the broth and herbs and let it simmer until the lentils are tender.
Vegan Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot
Are you a “pothead” too? This vegan lentil soup is a great one to make in the Instant Pot pressure cooker, if you have one!
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Lentil Soup
Once the lentils are tender, the magic really happens. I’ve made this soup with half to a whole 13.5-oz. can of coconut milk. I like the one from Trader Joe’s. It’s organic, a good price, and tastes great. If you are concerned about tasting coconut, start with half a can. I could just barely detect coconut when using the whole can.
To add delicious flavor to this vegan lentil soup, and this is the tip I got from Ella’s Instagram, add tamari and apple cider vinegar. This might seem like an odd combination at first, but it’s delicious. You could also use liquid aminos.
Make-ahead tip: You can make this soup early and reheat. Don’t wilt in the spinach until just before serving, however.
Serving Your Lentil Soup
This creamy lentil soup makes a lovely, hearty vegan dinner balanced with protein, carbs, natural fats, and plenty of fiber. I like to top soups with heaps of fresh herbs, and serve with a chunk of crusty bread or crackers and cashew-based cheese like this one from Treeline.
- 1 teaspoon olive or avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced or sliced into coins
- 2 celery stalks, diced or sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 10-14 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
- 32 oz. vegetable broth
- 1.5 cups dried green lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 (13-oz.) can coconut milk
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 5 oz. baby spinach
- fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion, carrot, and celery until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms have softened.
- Add the vegetable broth, lentils, and herbs. Bring to a simmer, partially covered. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Carefully remove the bay leaf and thyme stems with tongs. Turn off the heat and stir in the coconut milk, tamari, vinegar, and spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve in bowls and garnish generously with fresh parsley.
Instant Pot Instructions: Follow the recipe, but instead of simmering on the stove, lock the Instant Pot lid to sealing and cook on manual for 6 minutes. Let the pot naturally depressurize for 10 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure. Stir in the coconut milk through spinach after cooking.
Nutrition information is approximate and calculated by a third party site. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6th recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 362 Total Fat: 12g Carbohydrates: 40g Fiber: 17g Protein: 20g