This Vegan Lentil Soup recipe is so incredibly easy to make using very basic pantry staple ingredients! It is a 1 pot meal and 8 easy to find ingredients. This lentil soup recipe is packed with plant-based protein, low-fat, oil-free and is simple to make, not to mention loaded with delicious flavor!
Make sure to sort through and remove any debris from the lentils.
Also, SOAKING THEM first makes these cook in just about 15 minutes!
I chose to soak my lentils in a bowl filled with water for 2-4 hours because of better digestion. I have less bloating and tummy aches when I soak my lentils first, but this can totally be skipped if you don't want to soak them.
Rinse the lentils thoroughly even if you soaked them or not.
To a large pot, add about a 1/2 cup of water over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and carrots and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are almost fully tender.
Add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir for about 30 seconds to toast them and absorb any residual liquid left.
Add the vegetable broth, the 1 cup of water and the lentils.
Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover partially with a lid just letting a bit of steam escape and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender. PLEASE NOTE that since I soak mine for 2-4 hours first, they are beautifully tender by the 15 minute mark, but if you do not soak yours first, they make take twice as long to cook.
Add the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar and stir through to heat another minute or so.
Add the spinach if using and stir through just until wilted. Remove from the heat. Taste and add any salt and pepper if needed. This can vary due to the broth used. Top with red pepper flakes for a kick of heat (if desired) and fresh green onions.