Chickpeas, lentils, and plenty of aromatics join forces in a comforting soup with rich depth of flavor. This hearty vegetarian main is brimming with plant-powered protein, fiber, and good-for-you nutrients. Few things are more welcoming than a hearty bowl of lentil soup. And you can’t beat the convenience of a one-dish meal simmering on the stovetop after a long day.
This one-hour soup is incredibly simple to make, yet boasts big flavors. It’s smoky and zesty with a jolt of spice to help you relax and feel cozy. In other words, it’s a big ol’ hug in a bowl. Pulses add hearty texture and staying-power, while kale adds earthy flavor and nutritional heft. Simmered in a light tomato broth with garlic, onions, carrots, and herbs, this soup is as virtuous as it is satisfying. Smoked paprika is the secret ingredient to adding satisfying smokiness with a warm, peppery edge.
And like most soups, it tastes even better the next day. Helloo leftovers!I love that this soup feels hearty enough for chilly evenings, yet it’s light enough to usher in spring (which, by the way, officially starts in a few weeks!). I’m honestly not ready to big adieu to the cold weather. Coming from Florida, this was the first winter i’ve ever experienced that actually FELT like winter. As in, temperatures below 80°F.
I thought i’d be a big ol’ whimp and hate it, but I LOVED it all. Cozy sweaters, boots, and nonexistent allergies. It was bliss. But it will be nice to see how Alabama transforms in the spring.
This recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan (if you omit the parmesan topping), but if you’re looking for extra “meatiness”, pancetta or bacon would add even more smokiness and great flavor.
Serve it with crusty, whole grain bread and a garden-fresh side salad and it’s the perfect meal. Enjoy!
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1½ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup green lentils
- 4 cups (32 oz.) unsalted vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 (16 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for topping (optional)
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cook 3 minutes, until softened. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add lentils, stock, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes, until lentils are al dente.
- Add chickpeas and kale; cook, uncovered, 10 minutes, until kale is wilted. Stir in lime and crushed red pepper, if desired. Spoon into bowls and top with parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.