Savory Soy Lentil Soup

This is one of my go-to recipes for when I'm feeling hungry and lazy. It's almost too healthy to be comfort food, but it's hearty, savory, and slightly spicy. And it's cheap! And vegan!

It might seem strange to use Asian flavors with lentils, but somehow, it works.

I usually make this with short-grain brown rice.


1 cup of lentils makes about 3–4 servings. I usually double this recipe.

  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon aji mirin
  • 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil, like canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 large carrot, or 2–3 small ones
  • 2 stalks celery
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes (like the kind you get with pizza)
  • 3–4 leaves kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens


  1. Sift through the lentils and pick out any stones.
  2. Dice the carrots and celery.
  3. Put all ingredients, except the leafy greens, in a large pot. Turn on the heat.
  4. Once the pot is hot, add hot water until all the ingredients are just covered, and bring to a boil.
  5. This is a good time to start cooking the rice if you're having rice.
  6. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. The lentils will expand; add more hot water periodically to keep them covered.
  7. Chop the greens into bite-size pieces. If you're using kale, remove the tough central stems first. Add the greens to the soup.
  8. Simmer 15 minutes more.
  9. Serve on its own or ladled over rice.

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