French Lentil Soup

Cozy and comforting French Lentil Soup is ready to serve in just about 30 minutes. Packed with vegetables and delicate French lentils, this soup is not only satisfying but insanely delicious. We like to serve this lentil soup in big bowls with nutty parmesan cheese on top and lots of bread for dipping!

lentil soup in black bowl with napkin and spoons

Why You’ll Love This French Lentil Soup

When we’re looking for comfort food that doesn’t take all day to make, often we turn to recipes like this French Lentil Soup. It only takes minutes to put together and is packed with hearty and delicious vegetables that make us feel good about eating it.

  • Easy To Make: Since we’re using ready to eat, steamed French lentils, this soup is ready to serve in 30 minutes.
  • Meat Free Meal: If you’re trying to cut down on eating meat, or want an easy meat-free Monday recipe, this lentil soup is the one to make. Packed with vegetables and lentils, this soup won’t leave you wanting more.
  • Affordable: No meat usually means less money spent on ingredients, so you can serve a family of 4 in this case, for less than 20 dollars.
  • Perfect For Meal Prepping or Leftovers: Since this soup doesn’t have pasta in it, all of the ingredients will stay in tact for at least 5 days in the refrigerator, so make a double batch!
close up of a bowl of soup with lentils and vegetables

What Are French Lentils?

French lentils are a variety of green lentils that are much smaller in size than regular lentils. They have a tender but firm texture and a mild peppery flavor that adds the perfect flavor to salads and soups. French lentils have a thicker skin than regular lentils so that even when simmering away in soups or stews, the still hold their shape. Regular lentils can often sometimes mushy especially after simmering for a long time in soup recipes.

Ingredients You’ll Need

A few good quality ingredients is all you’ll need to get this lentil soup simmering away on the stove top. If you can’t find ready to eat lentils, you can substitute canned lentils or dried lentils.

Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post for complete list of ingredients and amounts needed.

ingredients for lentil soup recipe
  • French Lentils: Smaller and more firm than regular lentils, these often take longer to cook which is why we love grabbing these steamed lentils from Trader Joes. You can cook them from from dried but you’ll need to simmer the soup a lot longer, which we’ll get into down in the recipe card.
  • Vegetables: Onions, carrots, celery and garlic are the aromatics for this recipe. A classic mirepoix with the addition of garlic.
  • Chicken Broth: We like the heartier flavor that chicken stock or broth adds, but you can absolutely swap out vegetable broth as well.
  • Herbs: Thyme adds a bright, mildly lemony flavor to the broth. Fresh parsley also brightens up the soup, stirred in right at the ends for a fresh flavor.
  • Tomato Paste: Adds a lovely background tomato flavor, but since we’re only using a tablespoon it’s very much in the background. Add more for a deeper tomato flavor.

How To Make French Lentil Soup

Just a few steps and some chopping and you’ll be on your way to this French Lentil Soup simmering away on your stove. Because we’re using already cooked, steamed lentils the soup only needs about 20 minutes to simmer.

Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post for the complete instructions.

  • STEP 1 – COOK THE AROMATICS: Add olive oil to a dutch oven or soup pot and cook the onions, carrots and celery for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, tomato paste and thyme, stirring into the vegetables.
  • STEP 2 – ADD THE LENTILS: Gently break up the lentils and add the to the pot. Stir to combine with the vegetables.
  • STEP 3 – ADD BROTH AND SEASONINGS: Pour in the broth along with the salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a simmer. Once the soup is simmering, partially cover the pot with a lid and cook for 20 minutes. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed, then stir in fresh parsley and serve.
lentil soup in pot with ladle

Can I Use Dried Lentils For This Soup?

Yes, you can use dried lentils but the cooking time will be longer. Cook dried lentils according to the package directions (usually about 30-40 minutes) until tender. Drain and then add to the soup where the steamed lentils are added in the recipe.

If you can’t find French lentils, you can use regular dried lentils instead. As we mentioned before, regular lentils have thinner skin so they can break apart or get mushy in soups and stews, but that also helps to thicken the broth. Both versions are still delicious.

spoons in a bowl of lentil soup

How To Store Lentil Soup

Lentil soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just make sure to store it in an air tight container for optimal freshness. Lentil soup also freezes wonderfully, so don’t be afraid to make a double batch.

You’ll be amazed at how hearty and delicious this soup is, without any meat at all. While we do love our Lentil Soup with Ham recipe, this version is a lot quicker and has a lot less steps.

bowl of lentil soup with spoons

Looking For More Soup Recipes?

Soup is absolutely one of our favorite things to make. We have so many soup recipes we do consider ourselves experts in making soup of all kinds. Not matter what the season, soup is going to be on our dinner menu at least once every couple of weeks, if not more in the colder months.

lentil soup in black bowl with napkin and spoons

French Lentil Soup

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

This delicious and cozy French Lentil Soup is ready to serve in just 30 minutes. Enjoy this veggie-packed soup and night of the week for a healthy, protein packed meal!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 3/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 17.6 ounce package steamed French lentils (can also substitute canned or dried lentils)
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Add the oil to a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook while stirring for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste and stir into the vegetables. Now add the thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and stir.
  3. Carefully break up the lentils from the package and add them to the pot. If using canned lentils, drain and rinse, then add to the pot. Pour in the chicken or vegetables broth, stir and bring to a simmer.
  4. Partially cover the pot and continue to simmer the soup for 20 minutes.
  5. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed, then stir in the fresh parsley and serve.

Recipe Notes

IF USING DRIED LENTILS: Cook the lentils according to the package directions and drain. Add to the soup where the lentils are added in the recipe card above.

Store: Let the soup cool down and then store in a container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Freeze this soup in freezer bags or containers for up to 6 months.

Nutritional information is with using chicken broth.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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