This delicious and nutritious spinach lentil soup recipe is perfect for any meal. It’s full of flavor, yet light enough to enjoy all year round. Enjoy it for dinner or pack it for a healthy lunch.
No more boring lunch! That’s how I feel, and luckily, this soup is full of flavor and perfect for packing for lunch. The lentils and spinach provide plenty of protein and fiber, while the vegetables and seasonings add a burst of zest that makes it truly unique. Plus, it’s super simple to make!
This plant-based recipe is perfect for those who want a filling lunch. Both meat eaters and non-meat eaters will love it.
All you need is a few ingredients and a little time. Luckily, lentils are a quick cooking bean and can be ready in less than an hour. Make this on a weeknight or weekend and pack the rest for lunch.
Ingredients for Lentil Spinach Soup
- Aromatics – yellow onion, carrots, celery, garlic – This is what gives the soup an amazing flavor.
- Seasonings – ground cumin, dried oregano, salt, and pepper
- Lentils – I like to stick with brown lentils for this recipe. If using red lentils, reduce the cook time as red lentils cook quickly.
- Other ingredients – olive oil, vegetable broth, spinach, hot sauce.
How to Make Lentil Spinach Soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the cumin and oregano.
Add the lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the lentils are softened.
Add the spinach leaves, salt, and pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted and soup is heated through. Stir in hot sauce.
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve hot.
How to pack this lentil spinach soup for lunch
Once cooled, portion the spinach lentil soup into individual containers. To keep it fresh and flavorful, store it with a lid. Pack up your favorite sides, such as crackers, bread, or a fruit cup, for a complete meal. This spinach lentil soup will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.
For soup, I suggest 3-cup containers. Use glass or reusable plastic containers.
How to freeze this soup
If you have leftovers, spinach lentil soup also freezes beautifully. Simply place the cooled soup in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag and store for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, let thaw overnight in the fridge. Heat in the microwave until warmed through.
What to serve with this soup
I could eat this as is, but here are some suggested items to pack in your lunch box.
- Sour cream – as a topping
- Crackers or bread
- Fruit cup
- red pepper flakes – for additional spice
- lemon – if you’re not a fan of spice, omit the hot sauce and squeeze a little lemon before enjoying.
- Rinse and pick over the lentils before adding them to the soup. Sometimes little rocks and twigs are in the dried lentils.
- Cook the lentils to your desired tenderness. For brown lentils, that will take a little longer than 30 minutes.
- I use vegetable broth for this recipe but feel free to sub with chicken broth if you have it on hand.
Can I make this in an Instant Pot or slow cooker?
Yes. Here’s how.
This lentil spinach soup can easily be made in an Instant Pot. Begin by pressing the sauté button on your Instant Pot and add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the cumin and oregano. Add the lentils and vegetable broth. Secure the lid and seal the vent. Press “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” and set the timer for 20 minutes. When finished, carefully release the pressure valve and open the lid. Stir in spinach leaves, season with salt & pepper, and hot sauce.
To make spinach lentil soup in the slow cooker, begin by heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the cumin and oregano. Transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker, along with the vegetable broth and lentils. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Add spinach leaves when there are about 10 minutes left.
The cooking time for lentils varies depending on the size and type of lentil you are using. For brown or green lentils, which tend to be larger, it usually takes about 35-40 minutes. Red lentils cook much faster and will take only 15-20 minutes. To check if they are done, remove a few from the pot and taste test. They should be soft but not mushy.
Absolutely. I like to defrost frozen spinach and squeeze out the excess moisture before placing it in the soup.
Lentil Spinach Soup
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup brown lentils rinsed and picked over
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the cumin and oregano.
- Add the lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the lentils are softened.
- Add the spinach leaves, salt, and pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted and soup is heated through. Stir in hot sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve hot. Enjoy!