Ooooh baby, today’s recipe is like a warm healthy hug that I’m SO excited to share with you. So often, when we think of comforting foods, we think of unhealthy favorites – but this detox lentil soup is cozy and satisfying with ingredients that are genuinely good for your body.
As you guys probably know by now, I don’t love the word detox, nor do I encourage you to give in to detox trends that include deprivation. That being said, a hearty bowl of lentils, kale, garlic, turmeric, carrots, and other healthy additions will not only make you feel great, but it tastes good, too!
Whenever I find myself eating more processed food, sugar, or an overload of carbs, the easiest way to get myself back to making healthier choices is to meal prep a big batch of this lentil soup. Instead of reaching for snacks during the busy work day, I can warm up a bowl of this and feel super satisfied. In addition, healthy choices lead to more healthy choices. I have found that to be true so many times in my life!
Detox Lentil Soup Recipe
1 cup dried lentils
1 sweet potato, chopped
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
4 cups broth
1 small/medium onion, diced
1 (24 oz) can crushed tomatoes
fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1/4 cups parsley, chopped + more for garnish
1 cup kale, roughly chopped
Add lentils, sweet potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, broth, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, turmeric, and red pepper flakes to a slow cooker. Cook for 4-5 hours on high.
Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the soup. I like to use an immersion blender so I can keep a little bit of texture so there aren’t big chunks, but it’s also not too smooth.
Add balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, parsley, and kale. Stir and cook on low for another 30 minute – 1 hour.
Serve with more chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.
Detox Lentil Soup Add-Ons
I’m including this here even though you’ll see it in the recipe, because it’s totally optional. I know most people don’t think of cheese and detox in the same sentence – but I love the flavor that it brings to the dish. It reminds me of the less healthy lentil soup my mom used to make! Moreover, it’s such a small amount that I think it’s worth it 😉
If you’re hoping to make this soup even more filling, add some rice! My mom used to put arborio rice in her lentil soup recipe (OMG SO GOOD), but brown rice or quinoa would obviously be more in line with this healthy recipe. So either one would work great!
If you prefer butternut squash over sweet potatoes, or you just have one on hand – you can definitely use that instead. It has a similar sweet flavor to it, so it’s a really easy substitute to make! Just be sure to cut them into small pieces so that you can keep the same cook time.
Don’t like kale? Don’t worry – just use spinach!
I really love parsley with these flavors, but you could definitely use basil instead of, or in addition to the parsley!
I think a little bit of acid makes this soup way more interesting. That being said, balsamic vinegar can have a strong taste for some people, so feel free to skip it and squeeze a little bit of lemon juice in instead!
Tips For Lentil Soup
Slow Cooker Tips
Just follow the instructions in this recipe and you’re golden!
Instant Pot Instructions
Add the same ingredients I instruct you to add to the slow cooker to your Instant Pot. Cook for 30 minutes on the soup setting. When it’s done, quick release the steam. Puree to your liking and then add balsamic, parmesan, parsley and kale. Stir together on the saute setting until the kale wilts.
How to make it on a stove top
Soak the dried lentils in cold water for 2 hours before cooking. In a dutch oven, saute the onion in about a 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add sweet potato, celery, and carrots and cook for about 5-7 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes (until fragrant), and then add the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir to coat.
Add broth and spices, and bring to a simmer. Then turn the heat down to low if it’s not already, cove rand cook for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
After an hour, taste the soup to be sure the lentils are cooked. If they are, blend your soup to your liking.
Next, add balsamic vinegar, parmesan, parsley, and kale. Cook for another 15 minutes, or until the kale has wilted.
Make it Vegan
All you have to do is omit the cheese – that’s it!
Use your favorite type of lentils!
I usually reach for green or brown lentils, but some people are loyal to red lentil recipes. So it’s totally up to you! Their cook times vary slightly, but because you puree this soup anyway, any of them work with this recipe. Then if you’re adding them to other dishes, I’d recommend reading this article about the difference between the varieties first!
No matter which one you choose, they’re super high in protein and fiber, which not only makes them filling, but also means they’re great for our digestive system. While this recipe requires dried lentils, you can also find cooked lentil packs at a lot of stores. For instance, Trader Joe’s has steamed lentils that are perfect for adding to salads!
- 1 cups dried lentils
- 1 sweet potato, chopped
- 1 cups celery, chopped
- 1 cups carrots, chopped
- 1 small/medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 4 cups broth
- 1 (24 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1/4 cups parsley, chopped + more for garnish
- 1 cup kale, roughly chopped
1. Add all ingredients from lentils to red pepper flakes to a slow cooker. Cook for 4-5 hours on high.
2. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the soup. I like to use an immersion blender so I can keep a little bit of texture so there aren't big chunks, but it's also not too smooth.
3. Add balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, parsley, and kale. Stir and cook on low for another 30 minutes-1 hour.
4. Serve with more chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.
Add the same ingredients I instruct you to add to the slow cooker to your Instant Pot. Cook for 30 minutes on the soup setting. When it's done, quick release the steam. Puree to your liking and then add balsamic, parmesan, parsley and kale. Stir together on the saute setting until the kale wilts.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 605mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 8g