Perfect Recipe for a Cold Colorado Day: Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup

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Lentil Soup


Thinking about something warm on a cold, snowy day? Try this delicious soup recipe that comes together quickly with most pantry ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
Juice of 1/2 to 1 medium lemon, to taste


  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. (1/4 cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.)
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  3. Pour in the lentils, broth and water. Add the salt and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil; then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  4. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Make sure to protect your hand from the steam with a tea towel placed over the lid. Purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot and add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the juice of half a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).


  • Recipe yields four large bowls of soup or six more modest servings.