Lentil Kale Soup

5 from 370 votes

Lentil Kale Soup is a hearty vegan recipe that is easy to throw together with green lentils, onions, celery, carrots and kale - 13 grams of protein/serving!

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For a wholesome, vegan and protein-packed soup recipe, try this Lentil Kale Soup. It’s made with simple vegetables like onions, celery and carrots, loaded with plant-protein rich lentils and then finished off with some kale. What I love about the lentil soup is that it’s nutritious, delicious and will leave you feeling so full and satisfied.

top down shot of bowls of lentil kale soup
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Lentils are made up of over 25% protein, which is an excellent source of protein if you are trying to avoid meat. They are also rich in fiber and a great source of iron, which can sometimes be lacking in vegan diets. They are so often overlooked, but it’s definitely a Mediterranean staple that I always have in my pantry to make dishes like Mujadara and this kale lentil soup.

How to make the lentil soup recipe

  1. Start by heating a deep pot with olive oil and adding the mirepoix – onions, celery and carrots.
  2. Cook those vegetables together until they become soft and aromatic. You can add the garlic in the final minute of cooking so that it softens but doesn’t brown.
  3. Next, add the dried green lentils and the seasoning. I’m using cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Give all that a good toss to combine and lightly toast the lentils.
  4. Add the vegetable broth or water and cook on low for 30 minutes. You want the lentils to become tender and the vegetable broth to thicken. This time may longer for different lentils.
  5. And that’s your cue to add in the kale or other leafy greens you might be using.
  6. When you notice the kale has wilted, it’s time to serve the lentil kale soup!
process shots of lentil kale soup being made in a pot

The result is a hearty lentil vegetable soup that you can enjoy as a starter or as a full meal. The spices give it a warm earthy flavor and the vegetables add great texture to the tender lentils.

Tips for making lentil kale soup

  1. Sift through the lentils and rinse them in a colander to remove any debris. It’s not always likely, but sometimes there are some tiny stones hidden between the lentils; and this tip limits any surprise bites 😉
  2. Read the package directions for the exact cooking time for the lentils you use. There are a variety of lentil types and brands, so just like cooking pasta, the cooking time may vary. 30 minutes of simmer should cover all types, but double check to be on the safe side. You can always test one by mashing with a fork.
  3. Chop the kale finely before adding to the soup. Even though kale wilts down when added to the hot broth, it doesn’t wilt as much as spinach. To make it easier to fit all the ingredients into a bite size, it’s best to chop it small.
  4. For a thicker base, use an immersion blender and lightly blend. I like seeing the vegetable chunks and whole lentils in this kale lentil soup. But if you wanted a thicker base, you can lightly blend the soup before adding the kale.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make this soup ahead of time?

Soup is such a great make ahead and freezer meal. I often make a big batch and freeze half. Let the soup cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. It will keep to four or 5 days in the fridge an up to 3 months in the freezer. Reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave from frozen or chilled.

What are the best lentils to use?

I like to use green lentils in this soup as they hold their shape really well when cooked, unlike red lentils which can get mushy. You can add the dried green lentils straight into he soup, no need to pre-cook them. If you only have red lentils, you can use these, but you will need to reduce the cooking time.

bowl of lentil kale soup with a ladle

More soup recipes

Lentil Kale soup is easy to make with a few basic vegetables and a humble bag of dried lentils. It’s has a hearty texture and it’s very nutritious to serve as a starter or as a full meal. It’s a healthy, affordable, well-balanced meal that really makes your body feel good!

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feelgood Lentil Kale Soup recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

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Lentil Kale Soup

Lentil Kale Soup is a hearty vegan recipe that is easy to throw together with green lentils, onions, celery, carrots and kale – 13 grams of protein/serving!
5 from 370 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Soup
Calories 221
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
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Video

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 1 ½ cup dried green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2-3 cups kale destemmed, roughly chopped

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat olive over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the green lentils, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and cook with the vegetables to lightly toast the lentils, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and then simmer on low for 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the broth thickens.
  • Stir in the kale and continue to simmer until the kale wilts, about 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: You can also freeze the soup for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing it individual portions for easier thawing. To re-heat, thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave until heated through. Or simply microwave straight from the freezer until heated through.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However feel free to add additional vegetables to the soup and substitute the kale with spinach if you’d like.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1355mg, Potassium: 637mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 6146IU, Vitamin C: 32mg, Calcium: 75mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Soup
5 from 370 votes (340 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Shawnna says:

    So good! Used stock I made from leek tops. Added fresh jalapeño pepper and some Yukon taters. Squeezed lemon juice in before serving. Sprinkled nooch atop. Yum.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Your tweaks sound amazing!! Especially homemade leek stock, yum!

  2. C says:

    I think this recipe might be missing a critical piece of info, which is that the pot should be covered for the 30 minutes that the lentils are cooking. I left it uncovered (per the recipe) and they were almost raw after 30 minutes.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hmm, that’s odd. What kind of lentils did you use? As I mention in the recipe, different types on lentils can take longer to cook. I use whole green lentils and they are tender after simmering for 30 minutes uncovered.

  3. Julia says:

    This is a great lentil soup! I ended up doubling everything to have leftovers for us during the week, and the leftovers are almost better than the day of. I added in more chili flakes because I like it spicy, and then I topped it off with parmesan cheese and it’s soo good! This will definitely become a staple in our kitchen!

    1. Yumna says:

      Yay, thanks so much!

  4. Amira says:

    Made this today as an iftar side – so good! Thank you for another great recipe!

  5. Carol says:

    Made this today and I really like it! Lentils are a great, easy, healthy choice. Thanks for providing recipes for them. (I added a white potato because I wanted to use it up.) Ate this with pita bread. Mine became much thicker than yours looks. I will add more broth tomorrow. Keep those tasty recipes coming!

    1. Yumna says:

      Yay! So happy you liked it!

  6. Keenan says:

    I made this soup Sunday night and it was PERFECT! Very easy, delicious, AND nutritious! I’ll definitely make it again. 🙂

    1. Yumna says:

      So happy to hear!

  7. G says:

    Delicious! Added a Parmesan rind to the soup while simmering, added a great subtle flavor.

    1. Yumna says:

      Such a great way to add extra flavor, thanks for sharing!

  8. Julia says:

    This is so good! The kale gives it a meaty, heartiness that’s really delicious. We added a teaspoon or so of apple cider vinegar to each bowl as we served it but it’s great without it too.

    1. Yumna says:

      Sounds great!

  9. Les says:

    Super delicious/ super easy! Very nutritious! My elderly mother among many others, love the soup that comes from this recipe!

    1. Yumna says:

      Thanks for letting me know, so glad this was a hit!

  10. Jenn OB says:

    Delicious

    1. Yumna says:

      So happy you liked it!

  11. Tabitha says:

    This soup is INCREDIBLE!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much!

  12. Greg says:

    I’ve made this a few times for a few people and it is always a hit! About to make some more now

    1. Yumna J. says:

      So happy to hear that!

  13. Martin says:

    This went down very well, I added some spuds, lovely stuff, thanks!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you, Martin! Glad you enjoyed it!

  14. Claudia says:

    I made this soup today, so delicious!!
    Thanks!

  15. Christopher says:

    This is a great recipe that is very filling and delicious.
    The cumin and coriander combination makes a fantastic broth.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the spices in this recipe!

  16. Fran says:

    I have made this soup so many times, adding my “mamacoops potty mouth” sauce for some zip. It is a favourite with guests and family and so healthy!!!

    Love your recipes; simple and nutritious. Keep feeding bodies and souls Yumna!!!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’re loving this recipe! Yay!! Thank you so much.

  17. Vikki says:

    Wonderful recipe! Happy to report that even though I only had half of the brown lentils in my pantry, that the other half tasted great with a blend of other small beans. The spice level is perfect, and I love the kale greens added at the end for some more thickness. I’ll be making this often, thank you!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! I’m glad to hear it. Hope you continue to enjoy it!

  18. Brittany Baird says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I am fairly new to cooking and decided to try this recipe. The instructions were precise and easy to follow. The soup turned out amazing! Actually it was so amazing that I already have to make more and I just made some 2 days ago! I am going to make a double the amount next time!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      You’re so welcome! Glad you found it was easy and enjoyed it!

  19. Ruben says:

    Hi Yumna,

    Thanks for this delicious recipe!

    One question: Is there anything to be said against pre-cooking the lentils in another pot, rinsing them, and then adding them to the soup? Does cooking them with the soup add something extra?

    Reason that I ask is that I find that when cooking dried lentils they often produce this foam on top which I don’t find appetising.

    Cheers,

    Ruben

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Happy to have shared! Cooking the lentils in the pot with the soup helps to thicken the broth, but you can go about it that way too! You may just have to reduce the amount of vegetable broth, as it won’t be absorbed by the lentils.

      1. Ruben says:

        I see, maybe it’s worth a try to cook them in the broth after all then.

        Thanks for your reply Yumna and have a great day!

        (PS Sorry for the double reply below, I clicked the wrong ‘reply’ button)

    2. Annette says:

      I’ve found that rinsing lentils and other beans very thoroughly helps reduce the foam. If foam does form while cooking I use a large spoon to skim it off.

      1. Yumna Jawad says:

        Great tip!

  20. Jeannie says:

    I was surprised at how good this was. Simple ingredients and minimal spices yielded a flavorful and hearty dinner soup! It will be on my regular menu rotation.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      I love that! So glad you love this recipe!

    2. Ruben says:

      I see, maybe it’s worth a try to cook them in the broth after all then.

      Thanks for your reply Yumna and have a great day!

  21. LindaLee says:

    DELICIOUS!!

    I saw this recipe early this morning and was on a mission to make it today. Mission completed!

    It was perfect and delicious. My sister kept raving about it…I said, “Yes, we love all of Yumna’s recipes I make!”. She wants it again and soon. LOL

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! That makes me so happy to hear!

  22. LindaLee says:

    This looks so delicious and I cannot wait to make it! It’s 5 AM and I’m tempted to go do it now. LOL

    Your recipes never disappoint and are instant favorites!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  23. Gail says:

    This soup was so good I made it just like the recipe. Froze half in small servings like you suggested

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Yay! I love that!

  24. Carrie says:

    Excellent. I was out of celery, but had high quality celery salt. I also added finely chopped asparagus that needed to get used. I had just made bone broth, so used that as well and then at the end (tasted good as is) added some left over ham. Great soup for using odds and ends.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! So glad you were able to make it work with what you had on hand and enjoyed it!

  25. Alexis says:

    This is an amazing soup. Simple ingredients that dime together for robust taste. I add some red pepper flakes for a bit of kick.

    Would it be ok to add potatoes to this or would I need to adjust other ingredients?

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! You could add potatoes to this, but I’d recommend adding more broth too in the case.

  26. Emma says:

    This is one of my favorite recipes from Feelgoodfoodie!!! It’s so hearty and filling. It turned my boyfriend into a kale lover! He usually wants soup as a side only but he REQUESTS this soup for dinner as a main! If you know a picky eater who wont touch kale normally, make them this soup!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      That makes me so incredibly happy to hear!!

  27. Jordyn says:

    This soup is SO delicious! The seasoning is on point and really enhances the slight spiciness of the lentils. I also added frozen green peas and frozen corn to give it even more substance. Will definitely be adding this to my fall/winter rotation!

  28. Annie says:

    Toasting the lentils made a subtle but noticeable difference. I also like that this didn’t include tomatoes as it can sometimes overpower lentil soups. Yummy!!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      So glad you liked it! Thank you!

  29. Veronica says:

    Made your lentil soup today for dinner and wow so good!!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      So glad to hear it! Thanks so much!!

  30. DoUblEhAul says:

    Tastes awesome!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thanks so much!

  31. Tamay Senkaya says:

    I tried this soup today but unfortunately the lentils were still hard after cooking them over 30 min. 🙁 Does that mean I should have soaked them in water before cooking? Definitely want to make this dish again.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Oh that’s odd. What kind of lentils do you use? Like I mention in the recipe, different kinds on lentils might take longer to cook. I use whole green lentils and they are tender in 30 minutes.

      1. Tamay Senkya says:

        I used green lentils from the Turkish market. I’ll try again, give them some more time cooking.

        1. Yumna Jawad says:

          Oh ok! I hope it works for you. And soaking them can definitely help, but it shouldn’t be necessary!

          1. Tamay Senkaya says:

            Thank you! 🙂 I will try my luck.

  32. Anastasia says:

    Vegan and protein packed soup. My type of soup. Followed your recipe and got a very fulfilling meal.
    Love your blog.

  33. Nayn says:

    Hi, I loved this recipe! I added parsnips and additional seasoning (like paprika & Cajun, couple chillies too) because I enjoy a little bit of heat to my soups. I can not fault the recipe, I was full all day! Really would recommend to anyone who fancies a substantial meal!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      So glad to hear that and I love that you added parsnips and more seasoning to it…seems like it would make it more delicious!!