French Lentil Soup With Smoked Paprika


I’ve tried dozens of lentil soup recipes but many of them are tasteless and mushy. This lentil soup from Plant-Powered Kitchen has great flavor and texture.


  • splash water (or 1/2 – 1 tablespoon olive oil)
  • 1½ cups diced onion
  • 1 cup carrot that has been cut in disks
  • 4 to 5 medium to large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1¼ to 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups French lentils, rinsed (see note)
  • 2 cups vegan vegetable stock (check label for allergens)
  • 5 cups water
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional, but nice)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives,for garnish (optional)


In a large pot over medium heat, combine the oil, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir, cover, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften. Add the lentils, stir, then add the vegetable stock, water, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or longer if needed, until the lentils are fully cooked through. Remove the bay leaf. Add the lemon juice, if using, stir, and serve, sprinkling with chopped chives, if desired.  Serves 4-5.

Kid-Friendly: Your little ones might like the smoky flavor, but if you aren’t sure, ease off on the smoked paprika, starting with just 3/4 to 1 teaspoon. You can also add precooked pasta shapes to this soup, for packing in lunches.

Savvy Subs and Adds: If you can’t find French lentils, brown (green) lentils substitute nicely.  Red lentils do not substitute well as they do not have a similar texture.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Plant-Powered Kitchen.

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