This cozy Vegan Red Lentil Leek Soup is packed with nutrients and flavor. The lentils give the soup a creamy texture and pack it with protein making it a hearty and delicious meal.
You guys have to try this soup! I can’t claim full credit for the recipe, as it was my Mom’s creation first! I put a few tweaks on it, but she is ultimately the genius behind this one – thanks Mom!
I was a little skeptical at first because when I think of lentil soup, mush immediately pops into my head. But in this recipe the lentils really break down giving it a nice smooth texture. It’s so rich and creamy you would think it was made with a cream base, but the recipe is 100% vegan!
What are red lentils?
Lentils are a member of the legume family, similar to beans, but packed with a lot more protein. Because of this, lentils make a great meat substitute from a nutrient perspective. There are many different kinds of lentils, like green, brown and black. Red lentils are great for soups because they cook in just about 20 minutes and once their skin splits they break down easily.
You can buy whole or split red lentils, either will work for this recipe. Red lentils can be found in most grocery stores and are usually either sold with the grains or dried beans.
What Part of the Leek do I use?
I had not cooked with leeks before, but I am totally in to them now! They are similar to an onion in flavor, but actually not part of the same family. They get very soft and almost melt into the soup, giving it a delicious, mild leek flavor throughout.
You can find them in most grocery stores, usually they are sold with the herbs. You buy them whole, but only a portion of the leek is eatable. See the photo above – cut off the bottom inch off the leek and discard, use the remain white part up through the light greenish/yellow part, do not use the dark green leafy top part. Wash them well, there are lots of places for dirt to hide. Use a knife to slice the eatable part of the leak into thin strips and then roughly chop before adding to the soup.
What other vegetables are used in the soup?
This soup also has onions, garlic, shallot, carrots and zucchini. The onions, garlic and shallot add additional flavor alongside the leeks. The carrots and zucchini add a subtle hint of sweetness as well as some additional texture. The main stables are the soup are the lentils and the leaks, if you need to omit one of the other vegetables the soup will still turn out great!
Can this be a make-ahead meal?
You can absolutely make this soup in advance. It keeps well in the refrigerator up to 5 days and tastes just as good reheated. You can also freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
This Vegan Red Lentil Leek Soup is packed with nutrients and flavor. It gets it’s creamy texture from the lentils which also make it hearty and filling.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup white onion, sliced thin
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 leeks, chopped*
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils
1 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf**
juice of 1/2 lemon
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven
Add the onions, carrots and shallot, working with a wooden spoon sauté 2-3 minutes
Add the garlic, leeks and zucchini
Season with salt and pepper
Sauté 4-5 more minutes until all the vegetables start to soften
Pour in the vegetable broth and add stir in the red lentils, cumin and add the bay leaf
Bring the soup to a boil
Cover and reduce to simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour
Finish the soup off with lemon juice and salt to taste
Serve warm in soup bowls and garnish with optional toppings
*use only the light green and white part of the leek, see post for more details.
**just for seasoning, remove before eating
***if you are not concerned about keeping the recipe vegan you could also use heavy cream or greek yogurt
Soup keeps well refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen up to 3 months. If freezing, defrost on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- Category: Soup
Keywords: #wintersoups, #redlentilsoup, #lentilsoup, #heartysoups, #vegetablesoup, #vegansoup
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