Lemony lentil soup with spinach gets a boost of flavor from cinnamon, cumin, and garlic.
It should come as no surprise that I love to include lemon in most of my cooking, so I also add it to my soups. My Lemony Lentil Soup with Spinach is a filling main course full of protein and fiber, minus the saturated fat and cholesterol that is typically associated with sources of protein. This hearty meal-in-a-bowl is the perfect solution for anyone looking to eat less meat. As much as a I love meat, I have found ways to incorporate other forms of protein into our diet that are a bit more budget-friendly, and who doesn’t like variety?
- Carrots: Slightly sweet in taste, carrots add color, flavor, and nutrients to this soup.
- Celery: Even when cooked, celery can maintain a bit of crunch which adds texture along with vitamins.
- Onions: White onion adds delicious flavor without overpowering the soup with onion taste.
- Garlic: Nutty and sweet when it’s cooked, it softens to a buttery consistency and becomes deliciously aromatic.
- Cinnamon: A warm spice and good source of antioxidants, it can be either sweet or more spicy depending on the variety.
- Cumin: Another earthy, rich, and warm spice that can borderline on spicy.
- Lentils: Delicious, hearty, and quick to cook, lentils are a great source of fiber, iron, folate, and other vitamins, while being relatively low in calories.
- Chicken broth: To keep this dish vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead as a flavorful base for the soup.
- Bay leaf: While you wouldn’t want to actually eat it, bay leaves add an aromatic, peppery, somewhat bitter taste that balances out and enhances other flavors in a soup.
- Spinach: Fresh or frozen, this leafy green is high in iron, vitamin C, and calcium and an excellent source of fiber.
- Lemon juice: Bright, acidic, fresh flavor that pairs well with the spinach and lentils.
How to Make Lemony Lentil Soup with Spinach
Start your soup by preparing your ingredients, including washing and chopping your celery, carrots, and onion.
Then in a large pot, add some oil and heat over medium-high. Add the diced onion, carrot, and celery with some salt and pepper and sauté until it starts to caramelize.
You can mince your garlic, or use a microplane to grate it straight into the pot. Cook until aromatic.
Add in your cinnamon and cumin to the cooked vegetables.
Stir until evenly incorporated, and cook an additional couple minutes to release the spices flavor.
Then you’ll add the dried lentils to the pot, and sauté an additional couple minutes.
Add the water, broth, and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
Season with some additional salt and pepper, reduce the heat, and let cook for about 35 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and tender.
Once lentils are cooked to desired doneness, add in your spinach leaves.
Finish your soup off with the fresh lemon juice.
Remove the bay leaf, and then serve and enjoy your Lemony Lentil Soup with Spinach!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What color lentils are the healthiest?
All lentils are good for you and are pretty balanced with nutrients, but black lentils are considered the most nutritious variety.
What protein pairs well with lentils?
Lentils are high in protein themselves, but to create a full protein, they’re best paired with wild rice, sesame seeds, or nuts.
Can I freeze lentil soup?
Yes you can! Seal it in an airtight, freezer safe container or resealable bag, and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Soup Recipes
- Chicken Tortilla Soup with Hominy
- Green Chile Stew
- Stuffed Pepper Soup with Beef and Rice
- Slow Cooker Caldo de Pollo
- Creamy Vegan Mushroom Wild Rice Soup
Did you try this soup and like it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your dish.
Whether meal prepping for lunches for the week, or you’re in need for a new one-bowl dinner, my Lemony Lentil Soup with Spinach is sure to please.
Your spoon is waiting.
Lemony Lentil Soup with Spinach
- 2 cups carrots (chopped)
- 2 cups celery (chopped)
- 2 cups onions (diced)
- 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 cup lentils (rinsed and sorted)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 10 oz boxes frozen leaf spinach (or fresh)
- 1 Juice of lemon
- Spray a large soup pot with non-stick spray and heat over medium-high.
- Sautee carrots, celery, onions and garlic for 3-6 minutes or until they start to tenderize.
- Add salt and pepper to season and help release juices.
- Add cinnamon and cumin directly to the vegetables and stir.
- Cook for an additional 2 minutes to bring out spices.
- Add lentils and sautee an additional 2 minutes.
- Season with pepper and add water, chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce for 30-45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Just before serving, add spinach and lemon juice. Bring to a boil then simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Feel free to add more cinnamon, cumin, salt or pepper.
- Remove bay leaf before serving.