Save on Pinterest

Italian-Style Lentil Soup

I cook with lentils often because they're a nutritious, inexpensive source of protein. This low-fat soup is one of my favorite ways to use them. To make it even heartier, add ground beef, cooked sausage or leftover cubed chicken. —Rachel Keller, Roanoke, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 40 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium beef bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 5-1/4 cups water
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese


  • In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrot; cook and stir until crisp-tender.
  • Stir in lentils, parsley, bouillon, pepper and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar and salt; heat through. Serve with cheese.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add a little water if necessary.
Health Tip: Unlike dried beans, lentils don’t have to be soaked before using. They are a quick-cooking source of iron, B vitamins and fiber.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 122 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 6g fiber), 6g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 starch.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • gaylene2
    Apr 13, 2020

    My husband enjoyed this soup but the rest of the family thought it was "too intense" or too "sweet". I like salt taste for a main dish. It was more like a sweet and sour sauce flavor that you would put on top of something else. Won't make again.

  • klabelle9
    Jan 21, 2020

    Followed recipe exactly and was just okay.

  • Mariann
    Oct 10, 2019

    Very tasty indeed. I did use suggestions as others used 32 oz 14.5 oz of beef broth and 1 1/4 c. water instead of beef bouillon granules and 5 1/4 c. water. Also added minced garlic and a dash of thyme. One thing I highly recommend it allowing it to simmer 40-50 minutes instead of 20-25 minutes. My lentils still had a bite to them and didn't realize they weren't fully cooked. Will definitely make again and maybe add Acini di Pepe pasta next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  • LeslieH
    Jan 29, 2019

    Very tasty and easy to make. I used a box(4cups) of low sodium beef broth plus 1 1/4 cups water instead of using beef bouillon. I also did as another reviewer and added a clove of minced garlic and a dash of thyme. I did not have fresh parsley so added less of dried instead. I would definitely make again.

  • lapodo
    Dec 3, 2018

    I've been using this recipe for a long time. It is so tasty and easy to make. I always make a double batch and freeze. Enjoy!

  • Bonnie
    Jan 2, 2018

    nice soup

  • Georgia Peach
    Dec 31, 2017

    Wonderful soup! I used homemade turkey broth and added some leftover rice that had been cooked in turkey broth in addition to the red lentils - everything else as per the recipe. Really enjoyed this one and will be sure to make it again!

  • BobbysChicagoBAbe
    Sep 27, 2015

    Really great flavor! Plan to make again!

  • valdater
    Apr 13, 2015

    This is one of the better lentil soups I have ever had. It was so easy to make and super cheap to make because I already had many of the ingredients on hand. It is hearty, healthy, and low fat. Very satisfying.

  • dotsie63
    Jan 4, 2015

    First time making lentil soup, excellent recipe, I added a couple cloves of garlic and a little bit of tyme.