Italian Lentil Soup

vegan it real italian lentil soup

Soup. It does the body good! And, this hearty, nutrient-packed Italian lentil version is just what the doctored ordered. Colds, viruses, or life just got you down? A bowl of this nourishing, veg-filled goodness may be what your mind, body and soul crave.

In actuality, this is more like a stoup, than a soup. You know, the combo between a stew and a soup? It’s comforting, like a warm blanket, and it’s the perfect go-to when it’s cold, you’re cold, or you have a cold 🤷‍♀️. Seriously, tho’ you don’t have to actually be sick or even wait to feel run down before conjuring up a batch of this delicious REAL food.

The “Italian” in this soup comes from the fact that I love Italy and I SO wanted to be Italian when I was growing up. And, I am probably only about 10% Italian. When I was a tot in Rochester, NY there were a couple of Italian women in our neighborhood that my mom was friends with, and from whom she picked up a few cooking tips. I took all that I could absorb from watching my mom over the years and ran with it. I will always remember that killer red sauce she made every Sunday using that old Italian recipe she held secret nearly all her life.

The flavors here are developed slowly and methodically and it does take a bit of time for the final product, so be patient. I use tons of mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery, and sundried-tomatoes. The herbs are the classics we all know and love…oregano, basil and thyme. And, is it really an Italian dish if I don’t include a fair share of garlic? There is definitely some of that!

This soup is a failsafe. Foolproof. Delicious. Whatever you want to call it. It’s perfect to cook a big batch all at once to freeze for later, or, it is also perfect to feed lots of mouths right now 🤭. The kids will love it, the non-vegans will love it, the mother-in-law will love it. It’s that good.

I like adding pasta to my soups, too. Sometimes it’s orzo, sometimes orecchiette, maybe even a little pastina. For me, everything is just better with a noodle.

I would love to hear if you try out this recipe and as always I encourage you to play with the ingredients a little to make it yours!

Happy souping!


vegan it real italian lentil soup

Italian Lentil Soup

Jennifer Markell
Soup? Stew? Stoup? Make it your own! After learning the basics for this Italian Lentil Soup recipe you'll be creating all sorts of versions. The key to making this dish failsafe, start with this recipe and get the technique right to develop the most flavor. Then the next time you create it, the world is your oyster...mushroom! Simple, classic flavors with hearty pasta and fresh nutrient-packed veg, will certainly make this a family favorite!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 1 1/12 cups green or sprouted lentils - uncooked and rinsed thoroughly green lentils hold their shape a little longer during the cooking process; the lentils in the pictures are three types of sprouted lentils.
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 oz chopped (not sliced) mushrooms I like wild or baby bella
  • 1 small yellow onion - chopped you can also use 1/2 chopped leeks
  • 1 cup celery - small dice
  • 1 cup carrots - small dice
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic - chopped
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes the dried kind, not the kind in oil; if that's all you can find then drain the oil and rinse the tomatoes first
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes add more if you like spice
  • salt & pepper the key to developing flavor is to use little pinches of salt as you add ingredients
  • 6-8 cups vegetable broth you are adding this slowly and it will depend on how thick or "watery" you like your soup
  • 1 cup cooked pasta of choice I like orecchiette or orzo
  • 1 cup chopped kale optional - I love adding dark chopped greens to my soups and stews


  • Heat a dutch oven on the stove-top over medium-high heat. Once the pan starts to heat, add the oil and the chopped mushrooms. And add a pinch of salt. Let the mushrooms saute for about 10 minutes until they start to sear, then add the onions and another pinch of salt.
  • After the onions start to become translucent stir in the celery, the carrots and the garlic, mixing all the veg together. Add a pinch of salt and a large pinch of pepper (or grind it!). Add the bay leaf. NOTE: If the bottom of the pan becomes overly dry/too hot at any time during this process, add just a touch of broth to loosen the delicious bits from the bottom. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Stir in the sundried tomatoes and then the lentils. Continue to stir all of the veg and lentils together. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the spices, oregano thru red pepper flakes. Stir everything to combine.
  • Add 1/2 of the broth and turn the heat to low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. The lentils will start to cook down and absorb the broth. After about 10 minutes add more broth and another pinch of salt. Let simmer. After approx. 10 more minutes add the remaining broth and turn the heat to low and simmer until the veg and lentils soften. If you are adding greens, add them now.
    Vegan It Real - Italian Lentil Soup
  • Once the lentils are at your desired consistency (I like them on the mushy side) stir in your cooked pasta and let simmer for another few minutes to develop the flavor. Serve and enjoy.
    Any leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or can be frozen for up to 4 months. When reheating, if the soup is too thick, just add more water and/or veggie broth to reconstitute.
Keyword Italian, Italian soup, lentil, mushrooms, soup, Vegan, vegan lentil soup

Here is another version where I added nutty farro and sauteed kale on top!

Note: Nutrition Facts on all recipes are an approximation only, using the Very Well Fit recipe nutrition calculator.


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  1. Sarah Camp on at

    This looks delicious! I’ll have to give this a shot. I’ve never actually made Italian soup before but this looks straight forward!

    • Jennifer on at

      Very straightforward and nearly fail-safe! 😉 Let me know!

  2. Beth on at

    5 stars
    I’d forgotten about the term stoup, but it’s perfect for this hearty dish. Love the kale, both what is in the stoup and what’s piled on top in your last photo. Do you sprout your own lentils?

    • Jennifer on at

      I love that word…I love think soups that eat more like a stew! There should be a recipe at the bottom of the post with the ingredients. I don’t sprout my own lentils but, sprouting is on my list of things to do!

  3. judean on at

    Stoup…love it! This looks yummy!

  4. Myrka on at

    Our family loves eating lentil soup but we definitely have never made it an Italian way. Will have to add this recipe soon!

    • Jennifer on at

      This is such a great version. All my clients ask for it again! I switch it up…sometimes no pasta, sometimes orzo, sometimes potatoes! 😉 Thanks for the note.

  5. Will have to give this one a try.

  6. Angela on at

    This without the pasta was a great lentil soup – very hearty and filling for sure!

    • Jennifer on at

      Thanks! The pasta is totally optional! 😀 Glad you liked it.

  7. Emily on at

    This looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jennifer on at

      I hope you try it! So many ways to make it your own! 😉

  8. I love a good soup. Especially if it’s the meal! This looks amazing! going to give it a try!

  9. Cindy Mailhot on at

    I seem to always go for making an Italian Wedding soup when in the mood for an Italian soup but this does looks yummy…may have to give that a try.

  10. Annette on at

    This looks delicious!!! I love a good, healthy soup for rainy summer days.

  11. Tara on at

    This looks delicious & I love a good, hearty soup recipe in my repertoire. I’m also going to pin it for later.

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Meet Jennifer

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I'm Chef Jennifer! A trained and certified personal vegan chef, offering delicious and nutritious animal-free food through personalized, weekly meal-prep services. I also love advocating for the plant-based lifestyle. Changing lives, saving animals and veganizing the planet with REAL food, one plate at a time.🍎🥦🥕

Learn about me, why I started VIR and why I believe food is medicine...for real!


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