Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup

OMG… This Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup 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, too!

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!

Photos updated 12-20-16

Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup

This easy Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup is packed with color, flavor, texture, and good-for-you vegetables! BudgetBytes.com

4.91 from 109 votes
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Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup

This Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup is packed with hearty flavor, texture, and good-for-you vegetables! 

Total Cost $5.24 recipe / $0.52 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 1.25 cups each

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 medium onion $0.50
  • 3-4 carrots (1/2 lb) $0.55
  • 3 ribs celery $0.80
  • 15 oz can black beans $0.89
  • 1 cup brown lentils $0.31
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10
  • 1 tsp oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • Freshly ground black pepper $0.05
  • 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes $0.85
  • 4 cups vegetable broth* $0.52
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Sauté both in a large pot with olive oil over medium heat until the onions are 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 minutes more.
  2. Drain the can of black beans and add it to the pot along with the diced tomatoes (with juices), dry lentils, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill). Finally, add the vegetable broth, and stir to combine.
  3. 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.**
  4. Taste the soup and add salt as needed (I added 1/2 tsp). Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

*I use Better Than Bouillon brand soup base to make my vegetable broth. It's less expensive than canned or boxed broths.

**Brown lentils take about 20-30 minutes to cook, green or French lentils take closer to 45 minutes to cook.

This easy Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup is packed with color, flavor, texture, and good-for-you vegetables! BudgetBytes.com

This easy Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup is packed with color, flavor, texture, and good-for-you vegetables! BudgetBytes.com

A little dollop of sour cream is SO GOOD on this Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup.

Step by Step Photos

Sauté Garlic and Onion

Mince two cloves of garlic and dice one onion. Sauté both in a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat until the onions have softened. 

 

Sauté Celery and Carrots

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.

Soup Starter

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 go limp in the fridge, I go ahead and slice them up then freeze them for the next soup. 

Add Beans Lentils Tomatoes and Spices

Once the carrots and celery have cooked a few minutes, add 1 cup dry brown lentils, one 15 oz. can black beans (drained), one 15oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 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 Vegetable Broth

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. 

Simmer Until Lentils are Tender

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!

This easy Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup is packed with color, flavor, texture, and good-for-you vegetables! BudgetBytes.com

This easy Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup is packed with color, flavor, texture, and good-for-you vegetables! BudgetBytes.com

Old/Original Photos

Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup - BudgetBytes.com

Chunky Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Chunky Lentil & Vegetable Soup