Lentil Soup – With Vegan Option

Lentil Soup – I love a hearty, wholesome, good for you soup that also tastes as good (or better) than it looks.  I’ve made this soup with meat and vegan.  The original recipe is from my childhood and was always vegan.  However, I have learned to love the rich flavors that the smoked ham hocks add to this soup.  Both choices are winners. 

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lentil soup

What Goes Into A Great Bowl Of Lentil Soup?

For soup to be great, it needs a rich, flavorful base.  If you love soups, you will want to make your own soup stock.  Learn how to make an amazing stock for either a Vegan or a meat based soup.  Take a quick look at this post on How to Homemade Stock with Kitchen Scraps.  When you start with a flavorful stock the rest is all about adding texture, color, and contrasting flavors.  The stock should be tasty enough to savor without adding anything else. 

Don’t you have any homemade stock?  Not to worry, your lentil soup will still be great made with purchased vegetable stock.  Just buy the low sodium stock or broth.  Purchase at a grocery store or click here.

Vegan soup ingredients
soup ingredients
With Smoked Ham Hocks

What Do I Add To The Stock? 

Lentils, after all, it’s lentil soup – right!  Did you notice the store sells yellow, red, green, and brown lentils?  Which ones did you buy?  If you purchased brown or green, right choice.  The yellow and red lentils are usually split and may soften to mush in the soup. 

In addition to the lentils, you will need carrots, onions, and celery.  That’s for Vegan Lentil Soup.  For the meat-lovers, don’t forget the ham hock.  Try to find a large, (about 2 lbs.) ham hock. If you can only see the small ones pick up a ham steak or some diced ham as well.  The small ham hocks add flavor but don’t have much meat on them.  

For seasonings a bay leaf, some garlic powder, and salt to taste.

ready to cook
hamhock in soup
diced ham

How Do I Make Lentil Soup?

Easy!  Dice up the vegetables.  Cut them up the way you like them.  I like to see the vegetables in my soup, so I cut them into bigger chunks.  Once the vegetables are all cut up, saute the onions and celery before adding them to the stock.  Make sure your kettle is at least 6-quarts.

Simmer the soup for 30 minutes with everything but the carrots in it.  At the end of 30 minutes add the carrots and simmer another 30 minutes.  Remove the ham-hock and bay leaf.  Cut the meat from the bone.  If there is no usable meat on the bone, than add a cup and a half of diced ham.  Add salt to taste, simmer another 10 minutes, serve and enjoy.  So simple. 

vegan lentil soup

Vegan Option: 

For a vegan soup, skip the ham-hock and diced ham.  Saute the onions and celery, then add everything but the carrots to the vegetable stock.  Simmer for 30 minutes, add the carrots, and simmer another 30 minutes.  Adjust the flavor with salt.  Remove the bay leaf, and simmer for 10 more minutes.  Serve and love this hearty, healthy, Vegan soup.

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5 from 1 vote

Lentil Soup With Vegan Option

This lentil soup is hearty, healthy, and loaded with flavor. Homemade vegetable stock is key. This recipe includes both a meat and Vegan option.
Servings 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


  • This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click a link, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you
  • 6 or 8-quart kettle


  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup celery diced, ¼ - ½inch pieces depending on preference.
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth Homemade is best, use low sodium if purchasing.
  • cups lentils dried green or brown
  • 2 lbs HamHock (optional) leave out for Vegan
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cup carrots diced, ¼ - 1/2 inch pieces depending on preference.
  • 1 tbsp shiitake mushroom powder (Umami)
  • salt to taste depends on how salty the broth is.


  • This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click a link, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.
  • To adjust the portions, click on the number of serving, and a slider will pop up. Adjusting the slider up or down will automatically calculate the amount needed for each ingredient.
  • Add the oil to a frying pan and saute the onions, garlic, and celery until the onions are translucent. Add to a 6-quart kettle.
    celery, onion,
  • Add the broth, lentils, bay leaf, and ham hock to the kettle.
    ready to cook
  • Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and simmer another 30 minutes.
    hamhock in soup
  • For Vegan soup, At the end of the hour, remove the bay leaf. Add the Shiitake mushroom powder, simmer 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
  • At the end of an hour remove the bay leaf and the ham hock. Cut the meat off the ham hock and dice into small pieces. Had the diced ham pieces and shiitake mushroom powder to the soup kettle.
  • Adjust the salt to taste and simmer another 5 minutes,
    lentil soup
  • Serve and enjoy.
    vegan lentil soup


The calories for  Vegan soup are 243 calories per 1 cup serving. 
Use green or brown lentils.  The yellow or red lentils are split and will disintegrate in the soup. 
Purchase vegetable stock at the grocery store or click here
Calories: 293kcal
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy, healthy soup, lentil soup, lentil soup recipe, vegan, vegetarian, winter soup


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 1012mg | Potassium: 741mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3579IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 5mg

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