Of all the soups out there, lentil soup is easily my favourite. I love legumes and bean dishes and I absolutely love a good soup, whether it be a hearty bean stew or a creamy pumpkin soup, and I’m always looking at new ways to easily incorporate them into my regular diet. That’s why I’ve spent this time developing this easy lentil soup without tomatoes recipe so I can easily throw it together and be blessed with a delicious and healthy lunch or light dinner.
I wanted a lentil soup recipe that could be made without a blender and with ingredients everyone likely has in their own pantry. I was also looking for something that would be easy enough to throw together in about thirty minutes and would yield fantastic results. Finally, I wanted to develop a vegan recipe so that it was accessible to people of most diets without having to search high and low.
There are far too many lentil soup recipes out there that require a blender (who wants to dirty another appliance when throwing together an easy soup? I also don’t have a blender), call for things like chicken broth, making it not suitable for vegetarians, or use butter instead of oil, meaning that vegans can’t enjoy it either. I wanted to remedy this by making a profoundly flavourful yet completely vegan lentil soup without tomatoes. And if you’re looking for another vegetarian soup without tomatoes, check out my root vegetable soup recipe!
So if you’re on the hunt for the best lentil soup recipe, then look no further. This soup combines warm spices and the bright acidity of lemon to make one of the best vegan soups you will ever have!
How to Make Lentil Soup Without Tomatoes
This lentil soup recipe is so incredibly easy that you can whip it up in just about thirty minutes. Part of why it’s so quick to cook is that it uses small red lentils which cook up completely in about fifteen to twenty minutes. And to give the soup a bit more texture, this is lentil soup recipe doesn’t even require a blender so you don’t need to bother to get out and dirty another appliance. Nope, it’s just one pot and you’re done with this soup!
To make it, you start with sweating a finely diced yellow onion. You want this onion to get nice and soft but we’re not looking for any browning. So over medium-low heat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil until shimmering. Add in your onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly softened and translucent but not yet browned, about three to five minutes.
Now it’s time to add your spices. This lentil soup without tomatoes used a number of warm spices to give it a deep and complex flavour and one of the key steps to this soup recipe is to bloom the spices in with the onion before adding the lentils and stock.
So on top of your onions, add one and a half teaspoons of cumin, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ground ginger, half a teaspoon of ground coriander seed, a quarter teaspoon of ground cardamom, an eighth of a teaspoon of ground cloves and an eighth of a teaspoon chilli flakes. Cook the spices, stirring constantly, for about two minutes or until they are incredibly fragrant and completely coated in the oil.
Then, add your minced garlic and the zest of one lemon (make sure you zest the lemon before you juice it!), and stir until very fragrant, only about 30 seconds. Now, all you need to do is add in your lentils (about 175 grams worth) and a litre of vegetable stock (if you don’t care about making this vegetarian, then go ahead and use chicken stock here).
It may seem like this is too much stock or not enough lentils, but I assure you that it is. The lentils expand significantly as they cook and will thicken the soup quite a bit. If you use more lentils or less stock than the recipe calls for, then your soup will end up way too thick as the lentils begin to cook.
Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and allow the soup to bubble away until the lentils are completely cooked through and have begun to break down a bit, about twenty minutes or so.
Now it’s time to turn off the heat and take a whisk to your soup. Because this is a lentil soup without a blender, you do still need to do something that will slightly puree the lentils and give the soup a natural thickness.
This is where the whisk comes in. This will break up the lentils to an extent and get the soup nice and homogenous while still allowing for a bit of texture. Whisk your soup until the lentils begin to break down a bit, about thirty seconds.
Now, all you need to do is stir in your lemon juice. I call for 30 millilitres or about two tablespoons, which is about half a lemon. If you don’t like that much acidity, then only add half of the lemon juice and taste to see if it needs more. Stir in the juice, taste to see if you need more salt and pepper.
And that’s it! That is how easy this lentil soup without tomatoes is! Serve it up piping hot with a side of crusty bread for dipping. This soup is super hearty and you can at it either for a really fulfilling lunch or even or a lighter dinner, especially in the winter months where you need something super warming. All of the warm spices meld brilliantly with the brightness of the lemon that this is sure to become one of your absolute favourites.
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
- 175g (1 cup) dried red lentils
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- Salt & pepper
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened but not taken on any colour, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add cumin, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, cardamom, cloves and chilli flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until the spices have darkened and turned very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and lemon zest and cook for another 30 seconds
- Add lentils, stir to combine in the onion and spices mixture, then pour over vegetable stock. Increase the heat to medium, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are very tender and begin to break down, about 20 minutes.
- Once the lentils have cooked through, vigorously whisk the soup until it is slightly pureed, thickened and homogenous, about 30 seconds. Stir in the lemon juice, adjust for seasoning and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 813mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g
If you’re looking for the best lentil soup recipe without tomatoes then you needn’t look further! This easy red lentil soup is so warming and flavourful that you won’t ever want to look at making a more complicated kind of soup again!
Are you on the hunt for an easy lentil soup recipe? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments!