Mom’s Lentil Vegetable Soup

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

Post image for Mom’s Lentil Vegetable Soup

Try this quick and healthful version of my Mom’s Lentil Vegetable Soup with ingredients from your basic pantry items. Yes, you can get fancy with lentils but sometimes a simple and easy family meal and a crisp fresh salad is all you need.  Both of my mothers cooked simply, and now that summer has arrived this is a perfect meal for an outdoor dinner. Lentils are satisfying and have an outstanding nutritional punch – loaded with calcium, and vitamins A and B, and a good source of iron and phosphorus. Lentils are a staple in the Greek Diet, prepared weekly for family dinners.  Explore further with lentils from recipes highlighted at the end of this post and have fun with the many varieties that are available at your local market.

Lentils come in different varieties.

  • Brown and Green Lentils : They are bigger than the other kinds and have a flattened lens-like shape. These cook quickly within 30 minutes.
  • Red Lentils: These take about 20 minutes to cook, and when the skin of the red lentil splits, it breaks down quickly, turning mushy.
  • French : These speckled, greenish-bluish-greyish orbs, also called green French lentils  retain their shape when cooked. A bit longer to cook, 45-50 minutes. Because of the lack of mushiness makes them ideal for salads and sides.

Lentil picture

Picture from Bob’s Red Mill, which would be a great online site to purchase lentils from.

Mom's Lentil Vegetable Soup

Ordinary pantry ingredients turns this lentil soup into a lovely and healthful meal.
Course Soup
Cuisine Greek
Keyword Greek, lentils, soup
Servings 6
Author Mary Papoulias-Platis


  • 1 cup lentils rinsed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 leek, washed and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3-4 celery, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large can, 28oz. tomatoes in puree
  • 2-3 cups water or vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper


  1. In a large soup pot add olive oil and heat to medium.
  2. Add the onion, leek, garlic,1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and celery and saute for additional 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, lentils, water or vegetable broth. Start with 2 cups and add more water as needed.

  5. Cook for 40-50 minutes. Taste for more salt and pepper.

Recipe Notes

This soup can be served with grated Parmesan cheese, or as the Greeks do with a splash of vinegar. You can substitute canned tomatoes with 4 fresh chopped tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of tomato paste or 1/2 can tomato sauce.


You may enjoy a few of my other lentil recipes:

My Greek Lentil and Mint Salad

Cold Lentil Salad with Tomatoes, Basil and Feta

Red Lentil Salad with Red Peppers, Oranges and Basil

Enjoy my family recipe,


© 2013 – 2022, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator

This sounds so delicious, I might have to fire up the stove today!

2 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Stephanie, this is will be worth the hot stove misery – so healthy!

3 Eha

Posting from the freezing Southern Highland S of Sydnay Down Under, this surely is soulfood at the moment! Make mine very much the same way but had never tried the Greek ‘extra’ of vinegar – am making a pot for the weekend: guess what 🙂 !

4 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Eha, You can add any acid to the dish to brighten the flavors. Try lemon, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or a great salty cheese!

5 Luana

My mom’s lentil soup was very simple, no onion, no garlic, nothing cooked in olive oil; it was 5 or 6 carrots, chopped; 1 bunch celery, chopped; 1 bag lentils, rinsed and sorted; 1 small can tomato paste and several healthy splashes of red wine vinegar. Cook lentils, carrots and celery until lentils are tender; put one-third to one-half of the soup in blender with tomato paste and process until smooth. Pour back in the pot. It will be thick and wonderful. Add several splashes of red wine vinegar.

6 Mary Papoulias-Platis

That’s sounds wonderful too! Greeks eat simply and from the garden,a true gift they passed on to us!

7 Kim

Hi Mary! This looks like a winner for a MM meal. I’ve been making soups for the office, and this will be next on my list. Thank you for sharing!


8 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Hi Kim, I want to work with you! Thank you and enjoy!

9 Keri Douglas

I love your recipes! They are so easy to follow and try. And, they are always delicious!

10 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Oh thanks Keri!
Try and stay warm and healthy with these!

11 Vivian Hall

This recipe came out very tasty and was very easy and quick to prepare as the title states. I used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes and I added a yellow onion and about three cloves of garlic. I’m a vegetarian so I substituted the chicken broth and used two 14 ounce cans of vegetable broth and then added two “Not-Chick’N” bouillon cubes to give it more flavor. I used more carrots and green beans than the recipe called for. I also didn’t use the Creole seasoning only because I forgot to buy some but it still came out very well

12 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Hi Vivian, I love when people use a recipe as a guideline, and add whatever they have in their pantry or best for their diet!
Sounds delicious,

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