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This simple-as-it-gets Tomato Lentil Soup has a million variations. Stir in some cooked bulgur and a sprinkle of parmesan before serving. Or sauté a little curry powder with the onion. Or toss in baby spinach or kale for the last minute or two. Or add minced fresh herbs or pesto just before eating. For a creamy soup, purée 1 or 2 cups, then stir them back into the pot.

This recipe was developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 8 cups


  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil  
  • 1 large onion, chopped  
  • ¼ cup tomato paste  
  • 1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed  
  • 1 15 oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes  
  • 2 carrots, chopped  
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped  
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt  


  1. In a large heavy pot over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Sauté the onion until lightly browned, 5–7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste starts to darken, 1–2 minutes.   
  2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and 5 cups water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are tender, 15–20 minutes.   
  3. Season with the salt.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (1 cup):

  • Calories: 160
  • Total fat: 5 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 21 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Total sugar: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Sodium: 280 mg