This Italian style lentil potato soup is an incredibly flavorful and aromatic recipe. This soup is primarily served during the Lenten season and is the ideal comfort food to warm you up during the winter months. Thanks to the hearty lentils and potatoes, light tomato sauce, and excellent spices this dish is a one-pot wonder that’s so easy to make. We frequently cook a big pot and then store it in the fridge for small leftovers or freeze larger portions for later. Check out this yummy Mexican lentil soup for another delicious take on lentils.
This lentil and potato soup with Italian flavors is currently one our favorite recipes. It’s so easy to whip up and it’s meatless.
It relies heavily on pantry staples and a few vegetables. Therefore if you have a well stocked pantry you may already have most of the ingredients needed on hand.
If not, don’t worry! What I love about lentil soup is that it’s very adaptable to what you have available in your kitchen.
What are lentils?
Lentils are the star of this dish. What are they anyway? We’ll talk about lentils for a bit because frankly, it doesn’t get enough recognition.
Lentils are a type of legume. They are common ingredients in cuisines all around the world.
It’s a cheap and versatile ingredient popularly added to soups, salads and stews.
These small seed-like vegetables are similar to beans and chickpeas. They come in many varieties but a handful is frequently used in cooking and can be distinguished by their color.
Red and yellow (also called split lentils are mostly used for soups and stews and don’t hold their shape very well), green lentils (Puy or French Lentils are the most expensive), brown lentils (the most cost-efficient), and black lentils (the most nutritious of all lentils).
Are lentils a superfood?
Yes! Lentils are awesome superfoods. You can find a whole host of nutrients you need in lentils. They’re composed of complex carbohydrates – food that increases metabolism and aids in fat burning.
They’re an excellent source of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels, and magnesium, which lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. Lentils are also rich in protein, folate, and phytochemicals and are low in fat.
Doesn’t all of these sound absolutely fantastic? Well, having lentils in soup is even more amazing!
How do you prepare lentils?
To cook lentils you need not soak them unless they’ve been in your pantry for a long time. I like to wash and rinse dried lentils thoroughly because they’re known to have small pieces of foreign debris.
There are many ways of cooking this legume. The easiest way of cooking is just boiling them with water and a very little salt, then using them in various recipes.
You can also cook them in vegetable broth. Just remember, the older the lentils are, the more time they’ll need to cook. Lentils also absorb a lot of flavors when cooked whether stove-top or using a pressure cooker.
Lentil potato soup recipe ingredients
We’re using brown lentils for this soup but the green variety would also work well.
Seasonings and Spices
Second to our star ingredient are our seasoning and spices which will give amazing flavor to our broth. Our spices lend that nice smoky flavor and earthiness to our broth. Garlic, Bay Leaf, Parsley, Basil, Cloves, Salt, Thyme, Pepper, and Oregano all work hand in hand to create an aromatic and perfectly seasoned lentil soup. If you want the fresh kind, feel free to swap that for dried but we’re using the latter to make good use of our spice rack. We’re also using olive oil to sauté the ingredients. Finally, we’re adding heat with some red pepper flakes.
Water or broth
This recipe uses water however you could also use a good quality vegetable broth if you prefer. The water or broth is where the seasoning and lentils will simmer in. We’re adding color and emulsifying the broth with some canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.
We typically use onions, celery sticks, carrots, and a lot of gold potatoes to pack our soup with even more nutrients. With the base flavor of the onions and tomatoes coupled with the spices, you can use practically any vegetables you have on hand.
Parmesan rind and cheese
Adding a parmesan rind to the soup while it simmers adds an amazing flavor. We like to garnish our soup with some of the fresh grated cheese as well.
Our ingredients may seem like a lot but don’t feel daunted by them. You only need a few minutes of prep time to make this protein-dense soup, and then it simmers away on the stove by itself until it’s time to eat!
How to make dutch oven lentil soup
I like to make this soup in a dutch oven however you could always use a regular pot.
Heat up the dutch oven over medium heat and add the olive oil.
Once hot add the diced onion to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
Cook for a few minutes then add the minced garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
Next add the chopped carrots, celery and the potatoes.
Then go in with the oregano leaves, thyme leaves, basil leaves, parsley flakes and bay leaves.
Give it a good stir.
Now it’s time to add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, rinsed lentils, crushed red pepper, water and parmesan rind.
Give everything another good stir and bring to a boil.
Then reduce heat to medium low and cover.
Cook for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes have passed check the veggies and lentils to see if they are tender. Also check for salt and add some if needed.
If the veggies and lentils aren’t done continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until tender.
After the soup is done cooking make sure to remove the bay leaves before serving. You can also remove what’s left of the parmesan rind.
Looking for more delicious and easy soups?
Soups are probably our favorite things to make especially in the chilly Fall and Winter seasons. They’re yummy, easy and they make use of what you already have in your pantry and fridge.
One of the most economical yet tasty soups I like to make is this black bean soup with masa dumplings. My kids favorite soup is definitely this sopita recipe. What I like about both of these recipes is that they’re meatless.
When we’re feeling under the weather which happens more often than not during the winter season, I like to make Mexican chicken soup which is also known as “caldo de pollo”. It’s very comforting and helps us feel better.
Lentil and potato soup recipe
This lentil potato soup is just the thing you need to warm you up on a cold day. Not only is this soup super delicious, it’s also inexpensive as it makes good use of the spice cabinet and pantry.
I hope you give this recipe a try. If you do, I’d love to hear what you think of it in the comments below.
Thanks for visiting!
Italian style Lentil Potato Soup
This delicious Italian inspired lentil potato soup is easy to make and very economical.
- 2 cups brown lentils rinsed
- 3 whole carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 1/2 white onion diced
- 8 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 3/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp basil leaves
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 1 parmesan rind
- 8 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
- grated parmesan cheese for garnishing
Heat up a pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes.
Add the minced garlic to the pot and continue to cook for another minute.
Next add the carrots, celery and potatoes to the pot.
Then add the oregano, thyme, basil, parsley flakes and bay leaves. Stir.
Next add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, rinsed lentils, crushed red pepper, water and the parmesan rind. Stir well.
Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes check the lentils and veggies to see if they are tender. Also check for salt. If the lentils or veggies aren't done, continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until tender.
Serve and garnish with grated parmesan if desired. Enjoy!