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Beef Lentil Soup

You can prepare this soup as the main course in a hearty lunch or dinner. But on cold winter evenings here in New England, I've often poured a steaming mugful and enjoyed it in front of our fireplace as well. —Guy Turnbull, Arlington, Massachusetts
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 70 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 can (46 ounces) tomato or V8 juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed


  • In a large stockpot, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the tomato juice, water, lentils, cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, green pepper, pepper, thyme and bay leaf.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Add spinach and heat through. Remove bay leaf.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 314 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 47mg cholesterol, 661mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 8g fiber), 27g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1-1/2 starch.

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  • mona4eyes
    Mar 16, 2020

    Loved all the veggies. Very hearty and filling.

  • janwood7
    Jan 15, 2020

    Loved the soup! I browned the ground beef with the onions, green pepper and three chopped garlic cloves. I also added some beef bullion. It was fabulous!

  • Ellen
    Jan 9, 2020

    Pretty bland and tomato-y made as directed. I added salt and a little concentrated beef soup base plus some minced garlic, and I browned the onion, peppers, and garlic before adding the juice and the other vegetables, then it was pretty good and still very healthy, unless you have to limit sodium. Be sure to use chopped spinach; I used whole leaf the first time, and it was a stringy mess.

  • rwippel
    Dec 8, 2019

    Solid, Hearty soup. I thought it would have been better without the spinach addition. Also, I purchased low sodium V8, so it required the addition of 1 Tbsp. Seasoning Salt. Not sure if this step would have been necessary with the regular V8.

  • robbrd
    Oct 30, 2019

    The ingredients in the soup are good but it lacked flavor. My husband commented that he felt like he was eating a Whole30 meal. It is definitely healthy for you. Two at the table added salt, one added Mrs. Dash no salt spice to it, and two just ate it because healthy isn't a bad thing. I believe I will make it again but I will definitely need to add some seasoning to it.

  • Brittany
    Jul 30, 2019

    This is amazing soup! Born, raised and still living in south Louisiana, we are picky about our recipes. If it's not cajun, it typically doesn't hit the kitchen table, but this recipe is a must-try! We doctored it up by adding lots of salt and Louisiana Hot Sauce. The only thing I wish is that it was a little more soupy.... maybe add a little more water?

  • JAREED55
    Oct 20, 2018

    Good for a cold day!

  • DDPLoeches
    Jan 25, 2017

    I left out the celery and green pepper (not my favorites) and added extra carrots. When I tasted it before the carrots were tender, I also thought it tasted bitter. I added about 1 and a half Tablespoons of sugar and let it cook longer, and that seemed to cure the bitter taste. We enjoyed it and I'll make it again. I think it's more than 6 servings, though! Four of us had generous servings, and there's enough to do it again.

  • KarenSere
    Jan 19, 2016

    This was fantastic! Such great flavor, very healthy and satisfying. I did substitute ground turkey because I don't normally use ground beef, but it was great! I even got my husband to eat & love it, & he doesn't 'do' lentils! This will definitely be on my list to make for winter soups.

  • Jellybug
    Dec 31, 2015

    Delicious and grand kids loved this soup. I added potatoes and served it with garlic knots...this recipe is a keeper...