By mid-winter, it's safe to say your go-to vegetarian soup recipes have gotten a bit monotonous. Sure, at the start of the season, we couldn't get enough of rich butternut squash soup and creamy cauliflower soup, but now that January is almost here, we're looking to break out of our recipe rut. Enter: lentils. As it turns out, these extremely versatile legumes can be cooked up any number of ways. Spanning a Moroccan-inspired stew with spicy red harissa to a French soup filled with caramelized onions, these crazy-delicious lentil soup recipes are so good that you're going to want to keep them in heavy rotation until spring.
Craving cozy comfort food? Seven lentil soup recipes right this way.
The Recipe: Butternut Squash Lentil Stew
The Standout Ingredient: The fresh thyme. This seasonal, aromatic herb pairs well both butternut squash and lentils.
The Pro Tip: "After letting this soup cook for 2.5 hours, the flavors morph into something totally new," says Sarah of Broma Bakery. "Somehow during the slow and steady cooking process, magic happens."
The Recipe: Caramelized Onion French Lentil Soup
The Standout Ingredient: The caramelized onions. Cooked to golden perfection, this ingredient adds a rich depth of flavor to the soup reminiscent of French onion soup.
The Pro Tip: "I cooked the lentils in a mix of balsamic red wine and veggie broth, [and] then added a little fresh thyme, a bay leaf and a pretty good pinch of flaky sea salt," says Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "Hello to a warm and cozy flavor explosion!"
The Recipe: Crockpot Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup
The Standout Ingredient: The Moroccan-inspired blend of spices—cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, and red harissa—give the soup both its flavor and beautiful color.
The Pro Tip: "If the whipped goat cheese is feeling a little fancy for you, just top the soup with crumbled goat cheese or Greek yogurt," advises Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "Either way you serve it up, it's going to be GOOD."
The Recipe: Creamy French Lentils With Mushrooms and Kale
The Standout Ingredient: The mushroom puree, which gives this soup its creamy texture. Made with garlic, shallots, white wine, and nut milk, it's packed with flavor too.
The Pro Tip: "If you don't have any white wine around or you choose not to consume it, a teaspoon of white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice will substitute just fine," suggests Laura of The First Mess.
The Recipe: Lentil and Greens Soup
The Standout Ingredient: This recipe substitutes canned tomatoes for marinara sauce, which lends this stew extra layers of oniony, garlicky flavor.
The Pro Tip: "Soaking the lentils for at least eight hours is what cuts down on the cook time here," says Laura of The First Mess. "If you forgot to soak your lentils, give them an extra 10 minutes to simmer until slightly tender."
The Recipe: Spiced Indian Vegetable and Lentil Soup
The Standout Ingredients: The fresh lemon and mint give this hearty strew a dash of bright, fresh flavor that contrasts nicely with the Indian-inspired spice blend.
The Pro Tip: "If you want a thinner consistency, feel free to add a little extra stock," says Sarah of Stuck in the Kitchen. "I wouldn't recommend thinning with more coconut cream, as you will alter the flavour."
The Standout Ingredient: The grated sweet potatoes, which meld with the lentils to create a thick stew.
The Pro Tip: "I dropped a dense dollop of coconut milk yogurt on top of our servings and it was heavenly," says Laura of The First Mess. "Highly recommend it!"