I never knew how much I'd dread the question, "What's for dinner, Mom?" when I grew up and had kids. But what I dread even more is the reaction I'm going to get when I answer. It's so unpredictable, especially when it's healthy food.
Obviously there are a lot of lentil soups out there. And I have tried too many to count, but seriously, this Red Lentil Spinach soup is sooo good, has a ton of flavor, and is, by far, my absolute fave! But what I love most about it is that it's super healthy and Weight Watchers friendly. This Lentil Soup recipe is very popular during the winter months (aka soup season)!
I remember what I used to say when I was a kid and my Mom made soup...
Although I'm a self-professed meat girl, eating vegetarian is something that I do quite often. But for me to give up eating meat at a meal, it's got to be damn good vegetarian! And by good, I mean tasty and HEARTY! That's what I love about this lentil soup- I don't even miss the meat.
It's really discouraging to spend so much time cooking, trying to balance a grocery budget and feed delicious and healthy food to your family to have your kids respond with that disappointed, "awww...." when you tell them it's soup for supper, when they were clearly hoping for pizza or something equally as junky. But that's exactly what I used to do to my Mom.
I really feel for my Mom now, especially when she made soup. However, as soon as I grew up and moved away, I totally craved her homemade soup. And this recipe is very similar to her lentil soup. It's actually a combination of hers and one I found years ago in a Good Housekeeping Magazine. Oh and the bonus is that my whole family loves it! I don't even get the dreaded "awww...." when I tell them this soup is for dinner.
For this easy soup, you'll need:
- olive oil
- diced tomatoes (canned)
- chicken bouillon or vegetable stock
- boiling water
- dried red lentils
- fresh baby spinach
- minced garlic
- salt and black pepper (optional)
📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Stock: This may seem odd, but I often use chicken bouillon instead of vegetable because I really like the flavor. It's not true vegetarian, but it's still a 'meatless' dish. You can use vegetable broth to make it truly vegetarian.
- Tomatoes: you can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned.
- Spinach: although fresh spinach is ideal, you can substitute frozen.
- Add-ins: you could use bay leaves, fresh thyme or Italian sausage as well
- Spicy: If you love it spicy, then simply add a ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper and a ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
🥗 Side dishes for lentil soup
If you're not sure what to serve with lentil soup, crusty bread and salad are always ideal. Here are a few WW friendly suggestions:
You will need a large soup pot or a large dutch oven (affiliate link) for this lentil and spinach soup.
This soup makes 6 servings. If you want to half, double or triple the recipe, simply click on the blue serving number, select the number of servings you'd like and the quantities will automatically adjust.
Make ahead: This is a quick and easy lentil and spinach soup that can be made in 30 minutes. You can make it when you get home from work or make it ahead. It will store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing: This soup freezes well for up to 6 months
💭Benefits of Lentils
Meat is really expensive and lentils are a really economical replacement for meat. I love lentils because they're not only quick and easy to prepare, they taste great! But I also eat them because they are really healthy! Packed with fiber, they're also a good source of protein, folate, iron and help to prevent chronic illness.
Red lentils are the best lentils for this soup because they soften up. But you have to be very careful not to cook them too long or they will turn to mush.
So, if you're looking for a quick, healthy, economical and easy dinner, give this Red Lentil Spinach Soup a try! And be sure to try my Lentil and Sausage Stew (with spinach) if you love lentils and spinach!
Interested in more healthy fall soups? Check out this collection of 31 Healthy Fall Soup Recipes!
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And if you love lentils, why not try my dessert lentil recipe: No Bake Healthy Chocolate Lentil Dessert Lasagna?!
📋 Red Lentil Spinach Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 carrots, chopped into ¼ inch circles
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 6 teaspoon chicken or vegetable stock
- 6 cups boiling water
- 2 cups of red lentils (dried)
- 5 cups fresh baby spinach
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- In a 4 qt sauce pan, heat oil and add carrots and onions and saute 10 mins or until light browned and tender.
- Add bouillon to boiling water and mix until dissolved
- Add tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, garlic, broth, lentils, cover heat on high until it starts to boil.
- Reduce to low heat and simmer covered, for about 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in spinach and serve.
I want to make this tomorrow but I am confused about the amount of baby spinach, 50 oz??
Seems like too much. Is this an error?
Also, I have a bag of regular spinach, if I chop it up how much? One cup?
Hi sorry for the confusion- something went wonky with the conversion in my recipe plug-in! It should be 5 cups. I will change it. Hope you enjoy the soup!
Still seems like a lot! I'm worried about the 4 carrots too. I will proceed with caution and report back,lol
It's good! I had to give the lentils more time to pop and added more water. I was cautious with the veggies and added a small can of chopped mushrooms.
Will make this again.
Glad you liked it! Yes, it's a lot of spinach but it shrinks quite a bit. But you don't have to use that much - it's personal preference . thanks!
I also added some spices, some of us like it hot!
Here is another recipe that I have had luck with https://www.bhg.com/recipe/soups/eggplant-soup/
I am mostly interested in vegetarian soups, however I do use chicken broth (homemade) as a base, so I am not strict about it. I also like a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on some soups.