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French Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika

    French Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika

    French lentils, sometimes called Le Puy lentils, hold their shape nicely, a little more than brown (green) lentils do. They are lovely in this soup, which has deep, smoky, and earthy flavors yet is very quick to prepare and cook. Thank you to for this yummy recipe we love to use!

    Course Soup


    • splash water
    • cups diced onion
    • 1 cup carrot that has been cut in disks
    • 4 to 5 medium to large cloves garlic minced
    • teaspoons dried thyme
    • 1¼ to 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 cups French lentils rinsed (see note)
    • 2 cups vegan vegetable stock check label for allergens
    • 5 cups water
    • ¼ cup tomato paste
    • 1 bay leaf
    • tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice optional, but nice
    • 2 tablespoons chopped chives for garnish (optional)


    1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the water, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir, cover, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften. Add the lentils, stir, then add the vegetable stock, water, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or longer if needed, until the lentils are fully cooked through. Remove the bay leaf. Add the lemon juice, if using, stir, and serve, sprinkling with chopped chives, if desired. Serves 4-5.

    Recipe Notes

    • Kid-Friendly Tip: Your little ones might like the smoky flavor, but if you aren’t sure, ease off on the smoked paprika, starting with just 3/4 to 1 teaspoon. You can also add precooked pasta shapes to this soup, for packing in lunches.
    • Savvy Subs and Adds: If you can’t find French lentils, brown (green) lentils substitute nicely. Red lentils do not substitute well as they do not have a similar texture.
    • Serving Suggestions: Serve with crostini or baguette slices with Truffled Cashew Cheese (also in Let Them Eat Vegan), or a dollop of Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto (also in LTEV).

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