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- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots (3 medium)
- 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onions (1 medium)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 4 (14.5 oz) cans vegetable broth
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 1/4 cups dried brown lentils , rinsed and picked over
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini (1 medium)
- 2 cups packed chopped kale or spinach
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Parmesan cheese , for serving (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add carrots and onions and saute 2 minutes then add garlic and saute 2 minutes longer.
- Pour in vegetable broth and tomatoes. Add in lentils, basil, oregano, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in zucchini and kale and simmer 10 minutes longer, if using spinach wait to add it until the last 2 minutes.
- Stir in lemon juice and add up to 1 cup of water to thin as needed (as the soup rests the lentils soak up more of the broth).
- Serve warm with parmesan cheese if desired.
- Stick with brown or green lentils or adjust the cooking time. Red lentils cook in over half the cooking time of brown and green.
- If you don’t have have the dried herbs listed here, you could also substitute 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning instead of basil, oregano and thyme.
- If you are out of vegetable broth, chicken broth will work too.
- Don’t skip the lemon. Even though it’s a small amount it adds a nice hint of brightness.