Our lentil and spinach soup with lemon is deliciously hearty and bright. With simple ingredients like lentils, potatoes, sweet potato, lots of aromatics, and fresh lemon juice, this easy soup is a healthy, substantial meal. Dip a slice of toasted crusty sourdough bread for extra joy!
Why this recipe sings
This lentil spinach soup is hearty, filling and delicious. Made with many vegetables, aromatic herbs and extra virgin olive oil, it is a healthy, complete meal. The lemon juice is a must; it brings all other ingredients to life and makes the soup sing.
This spinach soup is vegan (if you use vegetable instead of chicken broth). However, you can serve it with crispy bacon on top and shaved parmesan or next to a charred Italian sausage and a sprinkle of feta cheese. It is a very versatile recipe and you can twist it to your liking. Check the recipe card for substitute ideas.
Here is what you need
- Lentils. Brown or large green lentils work well in this recipe.
- Yukon gold potatoes and seet potatoes. Make this soup hearty and filling.
- Onion, garlic cloves and celery.
- Baby spinach. It goes in at the last stage of cooking. Makes the soup extra healthy.
- Broth. Vegetable or chicken is fine.
- Cumin, dried oregano, bay leaves.
- Fresh herbs. Fresh oregano, thyme, or sage leaves, use whatever you have. They are optional so you can swap with their dried versions or omit them from recipe.
- Sweet red pepper flakes. These flakes are not spicy, they come from sweet red bell peppers and add great flavor in this soup.
- Lemons. Fresh lemon juice goes in the soup at the end of cooking. Lots of lemon wedges are also served arind the table to squeeze in the soup for extra zing!
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
This is how you make it
Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Add the sea salt and pepper to taste, and remove and discard the bay leaves.
Thinly slice one of the lemons and cut the other into wedges.
Just before serving, stir the lemon juice into the soup. Serve the soup hot with a lemon slice, and have extra lemon wedges at the table.
Lentil And Spinach Soup With Lemon
- 1½ cups brown or large green lentils rinsed and picked over
- 2 medium size sweet potato cut in 1/2-inch dice
- 3 Yukon gold potatoes cut in 1/2-inch dice
- 10 oz baby spinach chopped
- 1 red chili pepper stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs sliced
- 10 cups broth vegetable or chicken
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2-3 fresh oregano sprigs
- 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 lemons total, or juicing and slicing
- fresh ground pepper
- sea salt
- In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring, until it starts to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and cook, often stirring, until they soften, 3 minutes.
- Add the red chili, cumin, oregano, sweet red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the lentils and stock, the leaves from a couple of oregano sprigs and thyme sprigs, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.
- Add the spinach and potatoes, re-cover and cook another 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves.
- Thinly slice one of the lemons and cut the other into wedges. Just before serving, stir the lemon juice of one lemon into the soup. Serve the soup hot with a lemon slice and have extra lemon wedges at the table.
- The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.
- You can stir into the soup the baby spinach as is or chopped.
- Substitute fresh baby spinach with frozen. Thaw it out and pat dry with a kitchen towel to remove most moisture.
- Another green you can add to the soup is kale instead of baby spinach. Use the same amount of kale as you would spinach, similar cut, but add it to the soup with the lentils and broth at the beginning of the cooking time, rather than the last bit of the cooking, as you would with spinach.
- Butternut squash is a great substitute for sweet potatoes.
- Fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, or sage leaves are optional; you can swap them with dried versions or omit them from the recipe.