Smoky Lentil Potato Soup! We are always looking for delicious ways to use lentils, and this wholesome soup totally delivers during those chilly fall days.
Budget-friendly lentils, hearty potatoes, and veggie packed broth come together in the most delicious ways in this oil free Smoky Lentil Potato Soup. Comforting and flavorful, you’ll have the whole family seated at the table in a flash with this healthy soup.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
This soup is so delicious. Dad was eating it like nobody’s business. He has a huge chunk of crusty Italian bread to soak up every last drop. This soup is hearty and delicious!
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: This soup is aromatic, hearty with lentil-packed goodness. The broth is smoky and utterly delicious. Potatoes round out the soup nicely.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is often used as a neutralizer for dishes that contain a lot of acidity, typically from tomatoes. We use it in this soup to remove some of the tomato acidity (from the tomato paste and petite diced tomatoes) without losing the tomatoey flavor. When you add it, the mixture may bubble up, then settle down as it neutralizes the acidity. However, if you prefer that ‘tinny’ flavor that comes from canned tomatoes, then leave out the baking soda or perhaps use a tiny pinch. Additionally, the baking soda also helps speed the cooking process of the lentils.
- Herbs/Spices: Do not taste test for herbs and spices until the very end after you have added the sea salt and vinegar and the lentils and potatoes are tender. Smoked paprika and chili need some time to merge with the broth and will mellow perfectly toward the end. Add more spices near the very end and simmer for several more minutes, if needed.
- Simmer Lentils: Do not cook lentils at a rolling bowl, they will cook too fast and cause them to split and get mushy.
- Potatoes: We tested both Russet and Golden potatoes in this recipe, both worked well. You can pretty much use any general or all-purpose potato (red, white, golden) you wish in this recipe. Peel the skin off if the skin is on the thick side. Cube the potatoes on the smaller size (1/2 inch) works best. Do not overcook or they will turn to mush. If you are uncomfortable on when exactly to add the cubed potatoes, feel free to cook them separately in a small pot until tender, then add them at the very end when the lentils are tender. Allow to sit in the soup for 10 minutes off the stove to ensure they soak up some of the hot soup broth. If you have refrigerated left-over boiled potatoes, you can add them at the end if you wish.
- Testing the Tenderness of the Lentils: Just pull out a few lentils and give them a taste to check for tenderness.
- Testing the Tenderness of the Potatoes: Just pull out a potato cube and give it a taste to check for tenderness.
- Hot Sauce: The Frank’s hot sauce is not prominent in this soup; however, it does add dimension. If unsure, use a smaller amount, but we absolutely loved it in the soup. It does not add heat to the soup.
- Low Fat Dish Expectations: This soup is designed to be a low-fat dish. It is not going to taste as decadent as a soup that has a higher fat content. It is very delicious, but we want to make sure the reader understands this.
- Adding of Sea Salt: We recommend adding the sea salt near the end as sea salt tends to toughen the shell of the lentils which may take the lentils longer to cook if added too early.
- Amount of Sea Salt: We had family members completely divided over the amount of sea salt needed to season this soup, feel free to adjust to suit your own tastes accordingly.
- Instant Pot: We get a lot of questions about converting recipes to use the Instant Pot. Unfortunately, we do not have Instant Pot directions for this recipe due to the timing of adding the lentils and potatoes.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop or in the microwave.
This dish can be frozen.
Pantry Products Used:
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
- Lentils: We used Palouse Brand Small Brown Lentils. They are delicious. They hold their shape well and have a slightly nutty taste to them. Feel free to use your favorite brown lentil or French lentils.
- Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium. You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.
- Hot Sauce: We used Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce.
- Regular Chili Powder: Feel free to use your favorite chili powder, just be sure to select a mild one and not one that has a lot of heat to it.
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Ceramic/Enamel Lined Dutch Oven or similarly large stock pot
If you try this comforting soup, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.Print
Smoky Lentil Potato Soup
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Cook Time: 60 Minutes
- Total Time: 75 Minutes
- Yield: 11 Cups 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Diet: Vegan
Budget-friendly lentils, hearty potatoes, and veggie packed broth come together in the most delicious ways in this oil free Smoky Lentil Potato Soup.
- 1 medium yellow onion, fine dice
- 1 red bell pepper, fine dice
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 5 cups water
- 1 – [ 14.5 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari *
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce *
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda *
- 1 cup uncooked brown lentils (or French lentils), picked through and rinsed *
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons smoked paprika (+/-) *
- ¾ teaspoon regular chili powder (+/-) *
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ to 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt (+/-) *
- 3 ½ to 4 cups potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, small cube
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients (except the sea salt and bay leaf) in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- In a large ceramic/enamel-lined Dutch oven or similar stock pot, add the diced onions and red bell peppers; sauté over medium heat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Add a tablespoon or so of vegetable broth or water if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
- Next add the minced garlic and tomato paste, sauté, stirring constantly for one minute, then add all the remaining Base Ingredients (except the baking soda and lentils) and the Spice/Herb Mix and bay leaf. Stir well to mix, bring to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer.
- Add the baking soda, stir constantly for 30 seconds to allow the baking soda to settle, then add the lentils, stir. Cover the pot, simmer with a gentle low boil for 30 to 40 minutes until the lentils are nearly done.
- When the lentils are nearly done, add the cubed potatoes, sea salt, and apple cider vinegar. Simmer covered for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until the lentils and potatoes are both perfectly tender. Remove the bay leaf, allow to sit for 10 minutes, serve, and enjoy.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 5 to 6 (makes 11 cups)
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Oh my goodness! Made this for dinner tonight and did use my instant pot because that is what I do and it was Fabulous! I cooked it for 12 minutes in the IP. I also chunk potatoes a bit bigger and only used 1 cup water. Thank you for another flavorful recipe.
Hi there Janell,
YAYYYYY!!! We are so happy that you gave this recipe a try and enjoyed it! Thank you so much for leaving us an awesome review.
-Ameera and Robin
Janell, am I reading correctly that instead of 5 cups of water, you used only 1? Was it more like a stew than a soup with less water? Thanks. I make almost everything in my IP, so always looking to adapt recipes, and this one looks great!
This is such a delicious recipe; I wish I had doubled it! Thank you, Ameera and Robin, for being so committed to helping people prepare tasty and healthful meals!
Hi there Karen,
YAYYY!!! We are so happy that you gave this recipe a try and enjoyed it! Thank you so much for the lovely comment.
-Ameera and Robin
Be careful putting baking soda in when making a double recipe, I made a mess
Oh no, we are sorry it bubbled up making a mess for you! We recommend using a bigger pot to avoid this in the future.