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Two bowls of tomato lentil soup on a wooden board

Easy Lentil Soup with Shiitakes and Sweet Potatoes

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  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Soups


This easy lentil soup recipe is adapted from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright (Avery, 2017). It makes a giant batch of soup – about 10 servings. If you can’t finish it all in a week, freeze half for a snowy day, or halve the recipe. Feel free to stir in some greens (kale, spinach, or chard) at the end if you’d like.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup sliced shiitakes (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup French green lentils, picked through for stones and rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable stock* (low sodium, if possible)
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce (no salt added, if possible)
  • 1 14-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (no salt added, if possible)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Optional (to serve): fresh thyme, basil, parsley or cilantro, cubed avocado, sour cream, toasted sourdough, tortilla chips


  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (I use a Dutch oven) over medium-low heat and add the onion, carrots, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to coat and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the shiitakes and cook for another 2 minutes (a little longer if using frozen). Stir in the garlic, thyme, paprika, and black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils, stock, and tomatoes. Raise the heat to high, cover tightly with a lid, and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, reduce the heat to low, and simmer with the lid ajar until the lentils and sweet potato are cooked through**, 25-30 minutes. Season with pepper and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt, or to taste.
  4. To serve, garnish with fresh herbs and extra black pepper. Serve with avocado, sour cream, bread, or tortilla chips, if desired.


  1. *I use a 1-quart container of stock plus 2 cups of water.
  2. **The cooking time of lentils depends on their age: the older they are, the longer they’ll take. Be sure to buy your lentils at your store’s bulk bin or anywhere that has high turnover.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 171
  • Sodium: 384 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.8
  • Fiber: 9.3 g
  • Protein: 7.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g