The Best Lentil Soup. Let me introduce you to the most traditional Bulgarian lentil soup which we call “supa ot leshta.” The word “leshta” in Bulgarian means lentils, and this dish is one of the most beloved soups in every Bulgarian home. There is simply nothing more comforting than coming home from work, and enjoying a nice bowl of this healthy, comforting meal. This soup and recipe has been in my family for generations. When I was a little, this is all my parents would feed me. It also happens to be the most delicious lentil soup in the world which is also incredibly easy to make. It’s a one-pot meal and a hug in a bowl. This recipe is actually completely plant-based if you omit the bacon which we often do, so feel free to adjust and make it accordingly to your liking.
The Best Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 3 slices of cubed bacon leave out for a vegan option
- one finely diced onion
- 2 small finely cubed carrots
- 1 finely chopped celery rib
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup of dry lentils soaked in water for 60 minutes
- 1 cup plain tomato sauce
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
- 3 cups water
- handful of fresh chopped parsley
- Soak 1 cup of lentils in four cups of cold water for a minimum of one hour. Rinse and drain.
- In a big pot on the stove, add the oil and finely chopped bacon. Let it crisp up on medium heat. I like to discard 3/4 of the oil once the bacon is cooked and leave a little in the pot before adding the onions but feel free to leave it if you wish.
- Add the finely diced veggies (onions,celery,carrots) and sauté for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic, and stir. Add oregano, salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste. You can always taste and adjust for salt as you cook. Sauté the garlic for one minute, add the tomato paste and stir.
- Add the strained lentils to the pot along with the tomato sauce. Add the vegetable broth and water. Let it come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils are soft. This should take 35-40 minutes.
- When the lentils are cooked, take the pot off the heat, add a handful of finely chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy
So good!! Thanks for the recipe.
I used chicken broth, because I didn’t have vegetable broth and it is absolutely delicious! Will make this soup again. 🙂
thank you for leaving me a comment, so happy that you’ll be making the soup again
Made this recipe tonight and added a few more vegetables I had on hand, and used the meat from one spicy chicken sausage instead of bacon. It was AMAZING! Seriously one of the best soups I’ve ever made. I’ve been searching for a tasty lentil recipe and this hits the mark! Thanks for sharing a great recipe!
OMG so proud
I made your lentil soup tonight and my husband loved it. I will definitely be making it again as it came together so quickly and was so delicious . I prepped the veggies, and measured out the spices into a small bowl while the lentils soaked. We had ours with some orzo and toasted homemade bread. Thanks for sharing
Made your lemon pepper chicken. It was delicious.
Hi Frances! So happy you loved it
love the soup, made it couple times and it’s on a rotation to make always at home, i do add potatoes (cubed up). just wanted to check, when adding lentils it can be either the orange or the greens ones?
You can add any lentils you love and I’m so happy you love the soup
This recipe is a keeper! Thank you for sharing, it was enjoyed by all x
Thanks Renata! So glad you liked it