This Italian Lentil and Vegetable Soup tastes similar to a minestrone soup, but with the addition of hearty and protein rich lentils. It’s a thick, flavorful, healthy, vegetarian soup that’s completely satisfying!
Happy 2019 friends! I hope you all had a relaxing holiday and are ready to start the new year off on the right foot. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? It’s not really my thing because I never seem to stick to them. I just try to be better than I was the year before.
To ease you (and myself) back into the land of real food and help you forget about all the Christmas cookies, cocktails and indulgences you may have helped yourself to over the last few weeks, I made this hearty Italian Lentil and Vegetable Soup. Soup is always welcomed in January because here in Denver it’s generally the coldest month of the year.
This Italian Lentil and Vegetable Soup has tons of flavor and even though there’s no meat, you’ll still get protein from the lentils. This is a vegetarian soup, but can easily be made vegan simply by omitting the parmesan cheese rind and cheese. Yes, that’s right the cheese rind.
If you’ve never stuck a parmesan cheese rind into a pot of soup, you’re missing out. It adds so much cheesy, nutty flavor to the soup. To store the rind just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, put it in a freezer bag and keep it in the freezer until you need it. If you’re using Parmigiano Reggiano (which you should be) it’s a great way to get every penny out of it, because as you probably know it can be pricey.
This soup is made on the stovetop and takes about 45 minutes to cook. All of the garlic, onion and Italian seasoning will make your house smell like an Italian restaurant, which is never a bad thing. Along with the lentils there are plenty of vegetables in it as well, because I know there was probably been a shortage of them being eaten in the past month.
Carrots, canned tomatoes, kale and zucchini round out the heartiness and fiber in this soup. It’s a great soup to make for meal prepping if you’re giving that a try this year, as the lentils hold up well and the flavor just get’s better as the days go on. Serve this soup with slices of toasted baguette for a healthy and cozy dinner to kick off the new year!
More Vegetarian Soup Recipes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, unsalted
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups dried green or brown lentils, picked through for debris and rinsed
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup water, rinse out the tomato cans with it
- 48 ounces low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 4 cups roughly chopped kale, stems removed
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and carrots and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté another minute.
- Add in the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, lentils, vegetable broth, parmesan cheese rind, balsamic vinegar, water and vegetable broth. Season with salt and pepper and stir everything together.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the kale and zucchini and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the soup is extra thick add in another 1/2-1 cup of water or broth. Serve the soup topped with shredded parmesan cheese and slices of baguette if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 525mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 8gSugar: 9gProtein: 9g