This French lentil soup is full of earthy flavour and fragrant fresh herbs. Perfect for fall, this comforting vegetarian soup is quick and easy to make from mostly pantry ingredients.
I truly believe that the best thing about fall is all the soup. At least once a week I’ll have a pot of something going on the stove either for dinner or to pack away in the freezer for easy hot lunches – they are always a family favourite.
Vegetarian soups like this French lentil soup are some of my absolute favourites – lentils are one of my favourite plant based proteins. If you love lentils too make sure to also check out my Moroccan red lentil soup.
Fresh herbs are the key ingredient to a flavourful base in this soup, so don’t skip out on those.
This soup comes together pretty quickly, aside from dicing and sauteeing some vegetables, you just throw everything in the pot and let it simmer away for 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked and you are ready to go.
I use puy lentils (French lentils) in this soup – they have a bit of a firmer texture than green lentils but other than that they are pretty similar and if you can’t find them you can go ahead and just substitute for green lentils.
How to make French lentil soup
Heat a large soup pot over medium low heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is heated add the carrot, onion and celery and saute for a minute or two before adding the garlic, rosemary and thyme. I just throw in the full sprigs and remove the stems at the end. Season everything with sea salt and pepper and allow the veggies to cook until the herbs are fragrant in the air.
Add the puy lentils and stock to the pot then bring the pot to a boil. Cover and reduce to a low simmer then allow the lentils to cook for 30 minutes or until they are tender.
When the lentils are cooked, remove the stems from the herbs and the bay leaves from the pot before serving.
Tips and Tricks
- I love the firmer texture of the puy lentils in this soup, but if you can’t find them green lentils are a great substitute
- To add some extra veggies, stir in a couple of handfuls of chopped baby spinach or kale once the soup has cooked
- This soup will hold up well in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container. Try making a double batch!
- If you don’t want this soup to be strictly vegetarian, adding some chopped bacon to the pot before sauteeing the veggies adds a nice level of flavour
Dietary Considerations and Accommodations
This recipe for French lentil soup is suitable for the following diets:
- gluten free, dairy free, and allergy friendly
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French lentil soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1-2 bay leafs
- 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 cup dry French green lentils (puy lentils)
- 6 cup vegetable stock
- sea salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium low heat then add the onions, celery and carrot and season with sea salt and pepper. Saute for a minute or 2.
- Add the rosemary, bay leaves, thyme and garlic to the pot and sautee with the vegetables for 5-7 minutes – basically until you can smell the fragrance of the herbs in the air.
- Add the puy lentils and the stock to the pot.
- Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook the lentils for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and the stems from the rosemary and thyme before serving.