Make Ahead

Thick Lentil Soup with Quinoa and Spinach

December 21, 2009
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

A thicker version for a great lentil soups, that makes it really rich, healthy and great for one pot dinner great for a cold weather. Quinoa is much better for you than noodles. Just add green salad on the side (though it kind of included by adding the spinach to the soup). Make it as thick as you want, I like it like a stew. Also try it with dark greens instead of the spinach. —Cordelia

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup of black French lentils (you can use also regular green ones, though the black get less mushy)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach (about 3 cups or about half a package of frozen spinach, thawed)
  • 2 small onions cut to small dice
  • 4 medium carrots cut to small dice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups of water
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Put the onion in a big pot with the olive oil and a bit of salt on medium low heat and sweat for about 10 minutes without browning.
  2. Add the carrots and sauté for another 10 minutes. The veggies should become soft and sweet.
  3. Add garlic, cumin and lentils and sauté for a minute while mixing.
  4. Add the broth and the water, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes. Add the quinoa and salt and pepper, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for another 15 minutes until the quinoa is soft and kind of translucent. Check from time to time if the soup looks to think for your liking you can add 1/2 cup of water (though it suppose to be a thick soup, like a stew).
  5. Lightly chop the spinach if you're not using baby spinach. Add to the pot and cook for few more minutes and take off the heat and add the lemon and taste for salt and pepper, add if necessary.
  6. You can serve with a drizzle of good sharp olive oil and Parmesan.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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14 Reviews

Liza April 7, 2018
Delicious... thank you! I modified it with a cup of Cream of Coconut, 5 cups of water and some bouillon cubes. I also used chard from my garden along with the spinach. I also used 1/3 cup black lentils, 1/3 cup black beans, 1/3 cup green lentils. It was so good!!
Linda December 26, 2017
I’ve made this twice and both times delicious! My simple variations were:
I used 4 cusps chicken stock and two cups water, extra carrots and garlic and added a can of Rotel original diced tomatoes. My absolute favorite Lentil recipe. Oh yeah, couldn’t find black lentils in Publix, so just used the brown ones. I didn’t find it too mushy with those at all.
rebelchanteuse October 24, 2016
This is a great recipe! I didn't stray from the recipe too much -- I added a bit more cumin near the end of the cooking time and also added some ground coriander and sumac. To serve, I drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled a bit of za'atar and crumbled feta. My husband gobbled his bowl up and our dog was going nutso until she could lick the bowls -- indicating two thumbs and two paws up!
Nicole D. March 18, 2015
added a can of petite diced tomatos, tasted great!
Sid M. September 7, 2014
This is fantastic. The only thing I changed was to add 1.5 tablespoons of cumin. My husband told me not to take offense, but this was the best recipe I ever made. This is a keeper!
Nico C. December 15, 2013
thank you for the recipe!
Dan November 20, 2013
Very nice recipe. I didn't have spinach so I substituted grated zucchini. A dollop of Greek yogurt added a nice finishing touch to each bowl. Thank you!
Tanya L. June 28, 2013
AutWilb January 3, 2013
This is one of the best soups I have ever tasted. Thank you! I used Green French Lentils and frozen spinach they worked perfectly! Thank you for sharing what will become a staple meal. Wonderful!
pxrising April 2, 2012
Made this for lunch today, and it was hard to stop eating after one bowl. This is so simple to make and absolutely delicious. I had some bell pepper--half each of red and green--that I diced and added with the carrots. And I used a combo of chicken, beef, and vegetable broth, because I had partial boxes of all three in the frig. I think all broth is the way to go, whatever kind you choose.
YumMom March 9, 2012
Beautifully delicious! I substituted kale for the spinach. The only problem was that it was so good, it didn't yield enough for leftovers!
LMGale February 28, 2011
W-O-W! Thanks for this recipe, it's fast and so healthy and filling! Just a little caution- cooked spinach is not synonymous with fresh greens, fresh stuff retains a super important cocktail of vitamins and enzymes lost in cooking
dada December 29, 2010
At times more like a stew, can serve as a wonderful side-dish.
dada December 23, 2009
Excellent recipe. Simple but with deep lasting tastes