This one-pot lentil quinoa soup is my favorite easy soup. When I worked as a private chef, a 13 year old who was a super picky eater, practically lived on this soup. And for sure you could almost live on this soup. It is nutritionally balanced, hearty and satisfying and inexpensive! And bonus this soup is vegan too. I normally add butter to all my creamy soups (the French-trained chef in me) but the lentils and quinoa create a nice creamy texture.
Creamy Lentil Soup
This lentil quinoa soup can be left as is once fully cooked, or you can give this soup even more body. I use my immersion blender in the fully cooked soup to blend it. Put the immersion blender in one spot and blend for 15 seconds or so. The idea is to blend a small portion of the soup, that once stirred in, will create a creamier texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove one cup of the soup from the pot and puree that small amount in the blender. Pour the puree back in with the rest of the soup and stir.
Most of the liquid in this soup is vegan broth. I highly recommend using Imagine Low-Sodium “No Chicken” broth. It is the best vegetable broth you can buy. I find that most other vegetable broths taste a lot like carrots. This “No Chicken” broth gives the soup a perfect savory flavor.
Be sure to use low-sodium broth so that you can better control the salt level. Once the soup is cooked, you’ll add salt a little bit at a time and taste to determine exactly how much salt is needed. All low-sodium broths are not the same, so the taste and add method is best.
Herbs and Spices
I love the flavors of thyme, bay and parsley leaf in a soup but if you have favorite fresh herbs, this soup is a great base for many flavors. Dill, sage or cilantro would work well too,
A slightly sweet element works so well in this soup. Allspice adds that warm and sweet winter flavor. If you are not a fan of allspice it is okay to leave it out. Curry powder would also add a wonderful sweet and warm flavor to this lentil soup.
This soup benefits from a little tang so vegan yogurt or even sour cream are a great way to add the tang and richness. Kite Hill Sour Cream Alternative is my favorite vegan topping.
If I have to be completely honest, this soup is not the prettiest looking on its own. So I like to add some garnishes to please the eye. Early in the recipe, you will set aside some of the sautéed celery, carrot and onion to use as a garnish. Chopped fresh herbs also add a nice pop of green and vegan yogurt or sour cream add a pop of white. And finally, my all time favorite soup garnish is my gluten-free baguette croutons!
Lentil Quinoa Soup
- 2 tbsps oil olive, sunflower, avocado
- 3/4 c finely chopped celery 2-3 stalks
- 1/2 c finely chopped carrot 1 carrot
- 1/2 medium sized onion minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 3 stalks fresh parsley
- 1 c dry lentils
- 4 c low-sodium vegan broth (see recommendation below)
- 1/2 c uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 c hot water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp allspice optional
- juice of one lemon
- 1/4 c vegan yogurt or sour cream
- Heat a large pot over high heat for 1-2 minutes (longer for heavy bottom pots).
- Add the oil and heat 30 seconds more. Add the celery, onion and carrot and turn the heat down to medium-high.
- Sautee, stirring every minute or so. At 4 minutes remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside for garnish. Continue sautéing until the celery and onion are translucent, about 3-4 minutes more.
- Add the lentils, bay leaf, parsley, thyme and broth and turn the heat back up to high.
- Bring the liquid to a boil. Then turn the heat down to low, put a lit on the pot leaving it tilted to allow a little steam to escape. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the quinoa, hot water and just ½ tsp of the salt.
- Simmer 12-15 minutes more or until the lentils are tender.
- Remove the bay leaf, thyme stem and parsley.
- Stir in the yogurt, lemon juice and allspice if using. Taste the soup. Depending on the broth that you used, the soup may need more salt. If it’s blah, add another ½ tsp salt. Taste again and add the remaining ½ tsp salt if needed.
- If you like a more creamy texture to your soup, use an immersion blender in one spot for about 10-15 seconds. Stir. This will puree a small portion of the soup
- Serve the soup garnished with fresh chopped herbs and the celery, carrot, onion reserved from earlier.