You must try this sopa de lentejas or Mexican lentil soup. It’s a delicious vegan recipe that’s super budget friendly. Plus crazy healthy too!
Sopa de Lentejas
Sopa de lentejas (or lentil soup) is a classic Mexican soup recipe. It’s one of those basics that everyone knows how to cook. Plus it’s incredibly easy to prepare.
Did I mention that this soup recipe is budget friendly?
That’s right, you won’t break the budget with this hearty, healthy and filling soup.
Ingredients in Mexican Lentil Soup
Lentils: We use brown lentils. They need to be dried not canned. You should do a quick picking through of them. Don’t forget to rinse them well.
Vegetables: The ones traditionally used are onion, celery, garlic, carrots and tomatoes. You can also use jalapeños for not only extra flavor but a touch of heat.
Bacon: Traditionally pork bacon is used to give the soup a smoky touch. If you want to use vegan bacon go ahead. You’d saute it with the carrots and celery.
Spices: Traditionally just salt, bay leaf are used. I also like to add ground cumin and chopped parsley.
Water or Broth: I prefer using low-sodium vegetable broth instead of water. It adds more flavour. But you can use either.
Are Lentils Good for You
It’s no secret that lentils are incredibly healthy. Specially so for us that are meatless.
Lentils are often referred to as “The Poor Man’s Protein”. This of course is due to their high protein content.
Lentils are a great source of *, just to name a few.
- B vitamins
- High Fiber
Additionally lentils help lower bad cholesterol, lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The health benefits of lentils are countless.
So add them to your diet!
Vegan Lentil Soup Recipe
To make this Mexican lentil soup, it’s incredibly easy!
First we need to build the flavor base. This is done by first sauteing the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and the jalapeños.
Then we can add the seasonings to bring out their scents. So next the ground cumin and the parsley are added and sauted for a few minutes.
Next the picked through and rinsed lentils are added to the pot.
Next the vegetable broth is added then the bay leaf. Then the pot is covered and allowed to simmer for about 20 minutes.
We just want the lentils to soften but not turn mushy. Using a heavy pot with a tight lid helps the cookign process.
Once the lentils have softened then the chopped tomato is added and the soup simmered again. The tomatoes are only added after the lentils softened because their acidity extends the lentils from cooking time.
Lastly we can taste and adjust the seasoning before serving the soup.
That’s it, super quick and easy!
Mexican Lentil Soup Recipe
Below it the super easy, quick and cheap lentil soup recipe. I promise you’re going to love it!
Mexican Lentil Soup | Sopa de lentejas
- ½ cup white onion roughly chopped
- 1.5 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup carrot peeled & chopped (it’s one medium-small carrot)
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small jalapeño finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin or use smoked paprika or 1/4 cup chopped vegan bacon
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 cups brown or green lentils picked through & rinsed
- 5 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 whole finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt adjust to taste
- Pick through the lentils to remove and dirt and debri, then thoroughly rinse and set aside. Prep all of your ingredients.
- Heat a large heavy pot, then add the oil and once warm add the onion and sprinkle in half to one teaspoon of sea salt. Saute it until soft then add celery and carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 2 to 3 minute. Next add the cumin and cook for another minute. Mix in the parsley then the lentils.
- Next pour in the vegetable broth and add the bay leaf. Stir well, cover the pot and simmer under medium-low heat for 20 minutes or just until the lentils begin to soften.
- Once lentils have softened, add the chopped tomatoes and mix well, cover the pot again and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes. You want the tomato to soften. Taste the soup and add more salt if necessary. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Serve as a main dish or as a side dish. Some Mexicans like to drizzle lime juice over their soup. Others like to serve with a bolillo or Mexican roll. Enjoy
Instant Pot Lentil Soup
If you wanted to make this soup in and Instant Pot or any electric pressure cooker, the steps are easy.
First you’d heat the pot by selecting the “Saute” function and once hot adding the oil and the onions. Cook until soft then add the celery, carrots, garlic, tomatoes and jalapeno. Cook until they have soften then add the ground cumin and the parsley and mix well for 1 minute.
Next pour in the picked through and rinsed lentils. Then the vegetable broth, salt and bay leaf. Stir until well combined.
Place the lid on the pressure cooker. Move valve to “Sealing”. Then select High Pressure and set for 15 minutes.
Once the cooking time is up let it naturally release for 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully move valve to “Venting” using a wooden spoon and keeping your face away from the steam. Allow all of the steam to release before opening the pot.
Take a small taste test — allow to coo, so you don’t burn yourself. Add more salt if desired. Serve and enjoy!
More Budget Friendly Soup Recipes
- The Best Vegetarian Mexican Albondigas Soup Recipe
- Sopa de Fideo
- How to Make Vegan Pozole Rojo
- Vegan Mexican Menudo Recipe
- Corn and Poblano Pepper Soup with a Touch of Curry Powder
- Veggie Loaded Miso and Sriracha Noodle Soup