This Mediterranean lentil soup is super easy, healthy, and incredibly delicious. It can be vegetarian or vegan, made with essential ingredients, and cooked and ready in under an hour.

If you think lentils are bland and have no flavor, then you need to try this recipe. This soup is flavored with so many aromatics and spices. It will make you wonder where this soup has been all your life!

Why I love this soup

  • can be made on a budget since it is a vegetarian or vegan meal and there is no meat, so the price is quite inexpensive to make. (Of course, you can add meat if you want, but this is without.)
  • Quick to throw together, dump everything in the pot, allow it to cook for an hour, and you have a satisfying soup to enjoy.
  • can be prepared on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or in an instant pot.

Best Lentils to use

For this Mediterranean lentil soup, I like to use a combination of lentils for a variety of textures. I recommend using green and black lentils because they will retain their shape or structure, and red or yellow lentils because they cook fast and tend to lose their shape. This combination is great for a thick and creamy soup.

lentils: Brown lentil, green lentil, red lentil, green pea, split pea, black lentil
lentils: Brown lentil, green lentil, red lentil, green pea, split pea, black lentil

Ingredients you need to make Mediterranean lentil soup

  • Olive Oil I like to use good quality olive oil in this recipe that will give
  • Yellow Onion use a large onion, finely chopped
  • Garlic It is best to use freshly minced garlic, but jarred garlic is fine too.
  • Carrot and Bell Pepper for a touch of sweetness, I like to use red pepper but any bell pepper works.
  • Spices this recipe uses a combination of spices, turmeric, paprika, cumin, and salt. You also have the option of using a 7 spice blend which is great if you can find it.
  • Sugar will help bring out the sweetness of the lentils, but you can eliminate the sugar if you would like.
  • Vegetable Broth I prefer to use a low sodium version so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe. If you’re not wanting it to be vegetarian or vegan you can use beef or chicken stock as well.
  • Spinach you can use fresh or frozen spinach, if it’s frozen no need to worry about thawing it out just place it right into the soup if you’re using fresh cut it up a little bit before adding.
  • Lentils Green, black, or brown lentils. You can use any of them in this recipe I like to create a mixture for a variety of textures in this soup.
  • Lime Juice juice of 1 lime to finish the soup. The citrus will bring out the brightness in this soup.
  • Harissa paste is a spicy north American chili paste and is usually found in the international food section. If you are unable to find it you can use hot sauce or leave it out for a milder soup.
  • Diced Tomatoes use canned diced tomatoes that are packed in juice or sauce.
  • Liquid smoke is optional but adds a nice smokiness without having to use bacon

How to make Mediterranean Lentil Soup


  • In a large pot, heat good-quality olive oil and saute onion and garlic until translucent. Then add carrots, red peppers, and lentils.
  • Stir the pot well and add the spices (turmeric, cumin, paprika, and harissa paste).
  • Pour in the vegetable stock and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are cooked.
  • Add in the spinach and cook until wilted

Slow Cooker Instructions.

Place all the ingredients except the spinach into the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours until the lentils are completely cooked. Add in the spinach and cook on high for additional 30 minutes.

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Press the sauté function, heat the olive oil, and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.
  • Add carrots, bell peppers, and lentils, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Season with spices (turmeric, cumin, paprika, harissa paste, and liquid smoke) and pour in the vegetable stock and canned tomatoes.
  • Lock the lid and set the timer for 15 minutes on high pressure, or use the soup button.
  • Once the cooking time has been completed, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release by turning the valve to vent.
  • Open the lid and stir in the spinach until it’s wilted and enjoy!
Lentil soup in instant pot
Lentil soup in the instant pot


  • Green if you want to use something other than spinach, kale, leeks, or parsley.
  • Protein if you are wanting to make this a non-vegetarian you can add cubed chicken breast.
  • Potatoes add regular potatoes like a russet or sweet potato.
  • Squash cut butternut squash or your favorite squash.

Is lentil soup really good for you?

Yes, lentil soup is good for you. Lentils are nutritious, high in minerals and protein, and low in fat, but high in fiber. Legumes are a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

What I like about lentils is that they are a slow-burning carbohydrate, so they will keep you fuller for longer and are good for your heart health.

Do you have to soak lentils before making soup?

You don’t need to presoak lentils like you do beans or pulses, but you should always sort through and rinse them. Different types of lentils will cook at different times. Green and black beans take the longest to cook, so you could presoak them, but it is not necessary.

How long will lentil soup keep in the fridge?

Homemade, cooked lentil soup will last 3–4 days in the fridge in a resealable container. If you want it to last longer, I suggest placing it in the freezer.

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Delicious Mediterranean Lentil Soup

This Mediterranean lentil soup is super easy, healthy, and incredibly delicious. It can be vegetarian or vegan, made with basic ingredients, and cooked and ready in under an hour.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 Large Pot


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • 3-4 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 pound green, brown, and black lentils combination or choose you favorite of the lentils
  • 3 cups baby spinach


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until golden brown.
  • Add in minced garlic, carrots, and bell pepper. Stir and cook for one minute. 
  • Add in lentils. Stir and cook for two minutes. 
  • Add in diced tomato , turmeric, paprika, curry powder, harissa paste, and cumin. 
  • Pour vegetable stock into the pot and stir. Bring the soup to a boil and cover. Let it simmer for about thirty to forty minutes until the lentils are completely cooked.
  • Add in salt and baby spinach and cook until they're wilted. 
  • Pour the soup into a bowl and Enjoy!
Keyword lentil, soup

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