This Mediterranean lentil soup with potatoes and spinach is hearty, healthy, and easy to make! It takes a little time to simmer, but it makes a large pot of delicious soup.
You will love the Mediterranean flavors in this hearty soup. It's an easy recipe that doesn't require much hands on time.
I've made this soup many times and it's really important to season it liberally. Check it every so often while it simmers and feel free to add more salt or spices if necessary. Lentils are truly delicious, but they're even better when they are well-spiced.
This healthy soup is hearty and delicious - perfect if you are following a Mediterranean diet or trying to eat more plant-based. It’s so full of wonderful flavor because it’s packed with spices. This recipe is made in one pot so there’s very little clean-up.
It’s a perfect weeknight meal recipe - it’s affordable, only takes 20 minutes of prep, it’s full of fiber and protein, and it freezes well. Since it makes 6 servings, you’ll be able to pack some for lunch the next day or save it in the freezer for later.
Here are the basic ingredients you'll need to make this easy lentil soup recipe. It calls for a few fresh ingredients but most are pantry staples.
- Dried Lentils (Green lentils or Brown Lentils)
- Vegetable broth
- Diced tomatoes
- Baby Carrots
- Baby Potatoes (yellow potatoes, if possible)
- Baby Spinach
- Yellow Onion
- Cloves of Garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Ground Cumin
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Coriander
- Ground Turmeric
- Sea Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
See the recipe card for full details.
What makes this the ultimate lentil soup recipe is the spices! A big pot of lentils, while filling, can be bland unless they are well-spiced.
This soup has a wonderful mix of spices that blend to create the Moroccan spice called Ras el Hanout, which in Arabic means "head of the shop”. The name basically means it’s top-shelf, signifying that this spice blend is usually the best thing in the shop.
It can be made from a variety of spices you probably already have and it usually includes cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, paprika, ginger, and cardamom. There's no one canonical recipe for Ras el Hanout, so if there's a spice that you think you'd like to add to this soup, I say go for it!
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion when the oil is hot and let sauté for 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the carrots and potatoes and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
Then add all the spices from cumin to salt and pepper and stir continuously for 30 seconds.
Add the lentils, vegetable broth, and tomatoes to the pot. Stir to combine, cover with a lid, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 2 hours.
Add the spinach to the pot and stir to combine, gently wilting the leaves. Serve immediately. If you are not immediately serving the soup, only add the spinach when you reheat it, ensuring the spinach will stay bright green.
Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately with an optional topping of chopped herbs (like fresh parsley or basil) and a piece of crusty bread or pita bread.
Optional - give the soup a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving.
More Delicious Soup Recipes
If you like soup (and I mean, who doesn’t?) you’ll love these other delicious soup recipes:
- Awesome Mexican Veggie Soup
- Udon Noodle Soup with Mushrooms
- The Ultimate Vegan Chili
- Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
- Miso Ramen with Bok Choy
- Ribollita Soup
Variations & Substitutions
- Lentil Varieties - you can use other kinds of lentils if you'd prefer. Red lentils will work in this soup as well but won't hold their shape as well. The soup will be a little thicker.
- Spices - if you'd like to add some heat, feel free to add some chili powder or cayenne pepper to the spice blend.
You can save this soup for up to 4 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.
You can freeze it for up to 6 months in a freezer-safe container or ziptop bag.
Tips for Making this Recipe
Cooking Tips - Stir the soup occasionally (every 30 minutes or so) to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Ingredient Tip - Dice the potatoes, carrots, and onion into small pieces - this soup tastes best when you get a little of everything in each bite.
Recommended Tools - I highly recommend using a large, heavy-bottomed pot like a Dutch oven to make this recipe. It will keep the heat consistent while you simmer the soup.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 15 baby carrots, sliced
- 8 baby potatoes, diced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon each salt & pepper
- 2 cups dried green or brown lentils
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups baby spinach
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion when the oil is hot and let sauté for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add the carrots and potatoes and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Then add all the spices from cumin to salt and pepper and stir continuously for 30 seconds.
- Add the lentils, vegetable broth, and tomatoes to the pot. Stir to combine, cover with a lid, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 2 hours.
- Add the spinach to the pot and stir to combine, gently wilting the leaves. Serve immediately. If you are not immediately serving the soup, only add the spinach when you reheat it, ensuring the spinach will stay bright green.
- Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1206mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g