Tasty and nourishing green lentil soup bursting with smoky Mexican taco style flavors! You will love this fun and delicious spin on lentil soup, and can personalize it to your own tastes. Vegetarian or vegan depending on the toppings.

Lentil soup is a fairly classic staple of vegetarian cuisine, and has that elusive combination of being incredibly comforting whilst super healthy. We like those recipes!

Today, we’re giving this green lentil soup a spicy makeover by bringing in the delicious flavors (and toppings) of tacos.

And it couldn’t be simpler to make. With basic ingredients!

You may have noticed how much I love green lentils. I always have some in the cupboard and I love how versatile they are at replacing ground meat in dishes such as tacos or bolognese. And cheeeeap! This recipe is super cheap, as long as you have a reasonably well stocked spice collection.

So here’s the plan. This is just a straightforward soup recipe, we are not doing anything crazy. You’ll saute your veggies in a delicious combo of Mexican inspired spices. Cooked down for a while with the spices, they reduce and almost caramelize in the mushroom juices – take note of how they look in the image below. So good, right?

Then you just add your lentils, stock/broth and tomatoes. And in half an hour, you have a chunky, smoky, spicy soup that you can starting piling your toppings on.

The Best Toppings

The fun part! This is what makes taco soup so good. Instead of a big bowl of uniform soup, you put lots of things on top so that every bite is a little different.

Whatever you’d put on a taco is welcome on this soup! Here’s some thoughts:

  • Avocado or guacamole (guac will melt in a little, but what the hey)
  • Sour cream or yogurt (non dairy versions keep it vegan)
  • Grated cheese – it gets all melty and sinks in a little. We love.
  • Fresh coriander / cilantro
  • Crunchy slaw
  • Black olives
  • Chopped green onions
  • Sliced jalapeños

Top Tips for the Perfect Green Lentil Taco Soup

  • Feel quite free to swap in brown lentils or puy lentils, it will be just as good.
  • A can of beans will never be out of place here. Black, kidney, pinto… whatever you’ve got!
  • For the vegetable stock / broth, I just like to round up to two stock cubes to my 5 cups of water – this is a little more concentrated than the recommended amount but it works out fine.
  • The spices in this soup are nice and strong, but it’s very mild in terms of heat. I only use 1/2 tsp chili powder and a mild one at that! Most of the smoky flavor is from the smoked paprika. If you like your food spicier, please feel free to throw more chili powder in there. You can then reduce the smoked paprika a little to balance things out if you like.
Green Lentil Taco Soup

Green Lentil Taco Soup

Yield: 4 portions
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Tasty and nourishing green lentil soup bursting with smoky Mexican taco style flavors! You will love this fun and delicious spin on lentil soup, and can personalize it to your own tastes. Vegetarian or vegan depending on the toppings.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsps cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder (increase this for a spicier finish)
  • 2 tsps soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 400g (14oz) can of chopped or diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cups (140g) of dried green lentils
  • 4 cups (950ml) of vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) frozen sweetcorn kernels

Toppings of Choice

  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese
  • Olives
  • Avocado slices or cubes
  • Cilantro (coriander) leaves

Instructions

  1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a big soup pot.
  2. Saute your onions and peppers for a few minutes until soft.
  3. Add your mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are reducing.
  4. Time to add in the seasonings! The fennel seeds go in first - mix them through until the fragrance is released. Then add the smoked paprika, oregano, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Mix through until the spices are well incorporated with the vegetables and the fragrance is released.
  5. Add the soy sauce and stir until incorporated. Cook until your vegetables are soft and caramelized. (There's a picture in the blog post to show what they'll look like.)
  6. Add the tinned tomatoes and dried lentils, mix through.
  7. Finally add the vegetable stock and frozen sweetcorn and bring to a simmer.
  8. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the green lentils are soft.
  9. To serve, ladle into bowls and add your toppings of choice.

Notes

Nutritional information excludes toppings.

This makes 4 meal sized portions but can stretch to feed 6 if you're serving alongside something else. (A cheese quesadilla for dipping perhaps?)

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 1008mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 12gSugar: 10gProtein: 12g

Please note that the nutritional information is an estimate based on software calculations and will not be completely accurate - please use this as a guideline only.