Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup with Spinach and Olives


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

I Can Cook Vegan

I Can Cook Vegan

By Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Published 2019

  • About

Olives are an underutilized soup ingredient and I demand they have their day in the broth! They add bright bursts of briny flavor to this sultry tomato lentil soup and really enhance the whole thing with a Mediterranean flair. Spinach wilted in at the end means you’ve got all your nutrition in one pot. This will be a really nice addition to your lentil soup repertoire. Since olives are salty, wait until after you’ve added them to the soup to decide if you need more salt. You can use hot smoked paprika instead of sweet, but do remember that it’s hot! So your soup is gonna be spicy. Start with a tablespoon and go from there.


  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 cup (190 g) brown or green lentils
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) vegetable broth Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (24-ounce/680 g) can stewed tomatoes (fire-roasted, if you can find them)
  • 4 cups (80 g) loosely packed baby spinach or chopped spinach
  • ¾ cup (115 g) pitted, roughly chopped Kalamata olives


  1. Preheat a 4-quart (3.8 L) soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion in the oil with a pinch of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and sauté for 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.
  2. Add the paprika, lentils, broth, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are almost tender.
  3. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil again, then lower the heat to a simmer for another 20 minutes or so, or until the lentils are very tender. Add the spinach and olives and stir frequently until the spinach is wilted and velvety. Add water to thin, if necessary. Taste for salt and seasoning.