[For an updated version of this soup, check out Lentil Soup with Cardamom and Cumin.]
The weather has been awful lately–cold and wet. Those of you who live north of here might say I’m being a big baby, but it’s all a matter of what you get used to, and I’m not used to highs in the 40’s. I’d been happily accepting days in the 60’s and 70’s as my Southern birthright when suddenly this blast of real winter knocked me back to reality: winter in the South is unpredictable, and I can’t let myself get suckered into thinking it’s over before it’s actually arrived!
So last night, we needed something warm and comforting, and nothing says comfort to me like a bowl of hot soup. This one’s a super-thick lentil soup, with hearty chunks of potatoes and carrots. It’ll warm up anyone–even you folks up north who get “real” winter weather.
Rainy Day Lentil Soup
2 cups lentils, uncooked
8 cups water or vegetable stock
1 med. onion, chopped
2 small carrots, thickly sliced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cut into large cubes
2 bay leaves
1 vegetable bouillon cube (optional, if water is used instead of stock)
1 tsp. crushed coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt, to taste
2-4 ounces fresh spinach (chopped if large leaves)
2 tsp. Red wine vinegar
Pick over the lentils and wash.
Start the water or stock heating in the pressure cooker while you chop the vegetables. Add all ingredients except the garlic, salt, spinach, and vinegar into the cooker and bring to a boil. Seal the cooker and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before using a quick-release method to release the pressure. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can simply cook this on the stove until the lentils are tender, about an hour.)
Check to make sure the lentils and potatoes are tender; if not, cook, covered but not at pressure, until done, adding water if it seems too thick. Add the garlic, salt and spinach, and check the seasonings, adding more cumin and coriander as needed. Cook for just a couple of minutes to wilt the spinach. Stir in the vinegar at the end and serve.
I served this with some fresh Brussels sprouts seasoned with garlic (no photo but they look a lot like the ones I made with lemon-mustard sauce). It was a simple meal that all of us enjoyed. And my daughter said to tell you that it’s kid-friendly! 🙂
AnonymousFebruary 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm
This is delicious!! I am eating it now and I love it. I am a recent vegetarian and I stumbled across your site and couldn't be happier! I have made a few other recipes so far and I love them. Please don't stop posting recipes!! 🙂 thanks, Jennifer
Anna Down UnderSeptember 29, 2010 at 8:49 am
Made it tonight, this was fabulous! I will probably throw the potato in later next time because it didn’t need as long to cook, but we really enjoyed this with a crusty roll tonight. Thanks Susan!
Rita EganFebruary 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm
This is gorgeous. If you leave out the coriander and cumin and use strong herbs like thyme and rosemary, it passes as a good hearty vegetarian Irish stew. A handful of pearl barley wouldn’t hurt either! Yum! Rita
Nadia HeydFebruary 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm
Where I am right now, the weather forecast is calling for a temperature of 5F. This soup is just the kind of thing I’d like to have for dinner tonight.
Thanks for posting,
Aussie in YanklandFebruary 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm
Looks great, and a printer version would be awesome 😀
Diana BFebruary 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm
printer-friendly for this recipe please?
SusanVFebruary 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm
Added! Thanks for the heads-up. 🙂
sarahfMay 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm
This is a lovely soup. Cooked it on the stove w/o the pressure cooker. Took less 2 hours from the start of prep to eating it 🙂 I added extra coriander and cumin and it was yummy.
OrthohawkJune 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm
Wow……after 5 years, I’m still finding hidden gems!! This was great! I’ve made lentil soup before (with the toss in whatever method) and it was OK but nothing special (I’m pretty unadventurous with spices and herbs). Now I have a company-worthy lentil soup. Thanks!
AlyssaAugust 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm
Perfection! I doubled the carrots, cumin, and corriander to make up for no broth/bouillon cube and it was exactly what I wanted. There are a thousand vegan lentil soup recipes out there, but this is the one I’ll make again! If a soup recipe can win me over in 110 degree Arizona August weather, I know it’s a keeper!
Marian GleasonAugust 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm
This sounds so YUMBO, Susan – can’t WAIT to make this soup. It’s really good to have a WHOLE PLANT FOOD EATEN WHOLE recipe all made up and in the fridge when I get hit by a snack attack!! 🙂
Melissa LangAugust 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm
I just got a pressure cooker so I decided to give this a try. So easy, so healthy, and most importantly, so delicious!!! Thank you for the wonderful recipes!!! I’ve tried several of yours and they never disappoint!
Jessica NallDecember 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm
Thanks so much for this recipe! It was delicious and my entire family loved it! I didn’t have any coriander in my cupboard, but didn’t even miss it!
virginiaJanuary 15, 2013 at 9:51 am
Hello, I’m a new “almost vegan” and am always looking for new recipes. This one sounds great! I received a 6 quart crockpot for Christmas and love to try new soups in it. Any suggestions for cooking times in the crockpot as opposed to the pressure cooker or on the stove? Thanks for your wonderful website and keep the yummy recipes coming!
Susan VoisinJanuary 15, 2013 at 9:57 am
I have heard that you can make this in the crockpot set on 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Good luck!
Christine PetersOctober 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm
Hi i wanted to ask you a question about a recipe i saw on the you tube website it is called rainy day lentil soup also known as vegan lentil soup, i am a prediabetic, and i have high cholesterol to, i portion out my food, and i use measuring cups, and measuring spoons to, i go on this website called sparkpeople.com it tracks all my carbs, calories, and sodium, and fat everyday for me, it is a free website and i love it, i can only have 1470 calories a day, anyway i did not see the nutritional information under the recipe and i wanted to know if you know the sodium, the carbs, the calories, and the fat please get back to me asap thankls from firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole SOctober 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm
I adore this soup—I wanted to know if you had suggestions if I wanted to slow cook it?
kensington cookerOctober 29, 2014 at 6:51 am
Nicole S, I tried this soup in the slow cooker. I added ingredients in this order: veggies (including the garlic), lentils, spices, and seven cups of broth. I cooked it on low for about eight hours ( since I wanted it a little thicker, I added about an hour more on high and next time will use less broth). I added the spinach for a few minutes on high at the end to wilt, and finally the salt, pepper, and vinegar. I should mention that my crock cooker is old, therefore it cooks at a lower temp than some of the newer ones. The result is very tasty–rainy day not required!