This is my new all-time favorite soup! I’ve already eaten two bowls since I made it today at lunch and I don’t think I’ll even need to freeze any because it will be gone fast. This super flavorful and hearty soup is a vegetarian take on the old classic Lentil & Sausage Stew from way back in 2010. I replaced sausage with black beans, added some tomatoes for brightness, and nixed the spinach. The black beans help make everything thick and creamy and the blend of herbs and spices just can’t be beat. It’s soooo good. So many colors, flavors, and textures in one bowl, and super cheap to boot!
The best part? I already had most of the ingredients on hand, so when I went to pick up the remaining items my total bill was about $3. It pays to shop in your pantry before you shop in the store!
Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- 2 cloves garlic $0.16
- 1 medium onion $0.50
- ½ lb. (3-4) carrots $0.55
- 3 ribs celery $0.80
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans $0.89
- 1 cup brown lentils $0.31
- 1 tsp cumin $0.10
- 1 tsp oregano $0.10
- ½ tsp smoked paprika $0.05
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
- Freshly ground black pepper $0.05
- 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes $0.85
- 4 cups vegetable broth $0.52*
- ½ tsp salt $0.02
- Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Cook both in a large pot with olive oil over medium heat until tender. Meanwhile, slice the celery and peel and slice the carrots. Add the celery and carrots to the pot and continue to sauté for about 5 more minutes.
- Drain the can of black beans and add it to the pot along with the dry lentils, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill). Finally, add the diced tomatoes (with juices) and vegetable broth, and stir to combine.
- Increase the heat to medium high and allow the pot to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, place a lid on top, and let it simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, test the lentils to make sure they are tender. If not, continue to simmer until they are tender.**
- Taste the soup and add salt as needed (I added ½ tsp). Serve hot.
**Brown lentils take about 20-30 minutes to cook, green or French lentils take closer to 45 minutes to cook.
A little dollop of sour cream is SO GOOD on this soup.
Step by Step Photos
Mince two cloves of garlic and dice one onion. Cook both in a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat until softened. I returned home from the store to find that I had actually used my last onion a few days ago, so I had to sub 1/2 tsp of onion powder. If you don’t like chunks of onion, you can go this route.
While the garlic and onion are cooking, clean and slice 1/2 lb. (3-4 medium) carrots and 3 ribs celery. Add them to the pot and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes. Most of my soups start with 1/2 lb. of carrots and 3-4 ribs of celery, so instead of just letting the other half of each rot in the fridge, I go ahead and slice them up then freeze them for the next soup. So, today I got to use carrots and celery that I had already sliced! I just poured them straight into the pot without thawing.
Once the carrots and celery have cooked a few minutes, add 1 cup dry brown lentils, 1 (15 oz.) can black beans (drained), 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and some freshly ground black pepper (about 10-15 cranks of a pepper mill). Stir to combine.
Add one 15 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes…
And 4 cups of vegetable broth. Stir well. Increase the heat to medium-high and let it come up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, place a lid on top, and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, test the lentils to make sure they are tender. If you have green or French lentils, they may need to simmer for 45 minutes or so to fully soften. Also taste the soup and add salt if desired (I added 1/2 tsp of salt). Now it’s ready to serve!
After sitting for a few minutes with the heat off (while I took pictures) it got even thicker and more delicious!
So freaking delicious!