Spinach, Lentil And Butter Bean Soup (2024)

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Spinach, lentil and butter bean soup - this easy vegan soup is healthy, hearty and nutritious. It is high in plant-based protein and makes a great filling lunch or light dinner.

Spinach, Lentil And Butter Bean Soup (1)

I make this spinach, lentil and butter bean soup frequently when the weather is cold. It is a lovely hearty soup, packed with red lentils and butter beans which make it filling as well as nutritious and a good source of protein.

It is flavoured with mint, thyme, turmeric and bay leaves which gives it a lovely fresh, herby flavour. It is even better the next day once the flavours have had a chance to develop!

Spinach, Lentil And Butter Bean Soup (2)

What Do I Need To Make Spinach, Lentil and Butter Bean Soup?:

Frozen spinach: I always prefer to cook with frozen spinach rather than fresh as I find it less hassle, I always have some in the freezer, and a massive bagful doesn't cook down to practically nothing, unlike fresh spinach!

Red lentils: dried red lentils are the easiest type of lentil to cook as they don't require pre-soaking and cook through very quickly as they are so small.

You could use another type of lentil instead if you prefer but bear in mind that they will likely take longer to cook.

Butter beans: I love the creamy texture of tinned butter beans in this soup but really you can swap them for any kind of bean you like/happen to have in the cupboard.

Sometimes I also like to use one tin of butter beans and one of chickpeas.

Vegetable stock: a lot of the flavour comes from the stock so use one that you like the flavour of. I swear by Marigold vegan bouillon.

Herbs and spices: You can vary these to suit you but I like to use dried mint, bay leaves, fresh thyme and plenty of garlic, as well as a bit of turmeric which gives the soup a lovely bright yellow colour.

Onion: I use red onion but brown is fine too.

Spinach, Lentil And Butter Bean Soup (3)

How To Serve Spinach, Lentil and Butter Bean Soup:

I love this soup served with generously buttered crusty bread or toast for dipping.

It is delicious as it is, but it is also great topped with a swirl of vegan pesto and/or a drizzle of non-dairy cream.

How Long Will It Keep?:

Stored in a covered container in the fridge this spinach, lentil and butter bean soup will keep for 4-5 days.

The leftovers are great reheated for quick and easy lunches!

Can I Freeze Spinach, Lentil And Butter Bean Soup?:

Yes, this soup freezes well. Freeze it in a covered, freezerproof container (or in individual potions in ziplock bags or the like) for up to three months.

Allow to defrost in the fridge then reheat as needed. (Or just microwave it straight from frozen).

More Vegan Soup Recipes:

Vegan corn chowder

Spiced carrot and pumpkin soup

Quick black-eyed bean soup

Vegan sausage casserole with lentils and farro

Vegetable and pearl barley stew with herby dumplings

Spiced red lentil and root vegetable soup

Autumn minestrone

Spinach, Lentil And Butter Bean Soup (4)

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Spinach, Lentil And Butter Bean Soup (5)


4.83 from 23 votes

Spinach, Lentil and Butter Bean Soup

Spinach, lentil and butter bean soup – this easy vegan soup is healthy, hearty and nutritious. It is high in plant-based protein and makes a great filling lunch or light dinner.

Course Main Course, Soup

Cuisine vegan

Keyword soup

Prep Time 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes minutes

Servings 4 people

Author Domestic Gothess


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 150 g (¾ cup) dried red lentils rinsed
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 250 g (9 oz) frozen spinach
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • two 400 g (14 oz) tins butter beans rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper


  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft.

  • Add the garlic and turmeric and cook for a couple more minutes.

  • Add the lentils, vegetable stock, mint, frozen spinach, bay leaf and thyme. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every now and again.

  • Add the butter beans and season generously with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes then check the seasoning and serve.


I love this soup served with generously buttered crusty bread or toast for dipping.

It is delicious as it is, but it is also great topped with a swirl of vegan pesto and/or a drizzle of non-dairy cream.

Spinach, Lentil And Butter Bean Soup (6)

Spinach, Lentil And Butter Bean Soup (2024)


Should I soak lentils before making soup? ›

The other good news: Lentils don't need to soak as beans do (though you do need to sort and rinse them before cooking). Different types of lentils cook in different amounts of time. Red lentils are the fastest cooking and they dissolve as they cook and make for a smooth soup.

Can you overcook lentils in soup? ›

Yes, you can overcook lentils; they will become mushy. Much depends on the type of lentil you're using. Some cook quicker and hold their shape better than others. To avoid overcooking them, always follow the cooking directions in your recipe and use the type of lentils called for in the ingredient list.

Why did my lentil soup turn brown? ›

the color change you've observed is from oxidation. If you want to prevent this, lay some plastic wrap over the surface of your lentils to prevent air from getting to them, or add some acid, like lime juice, to the recipe.

Does lentil soup thicken up? ›

You'll find that the lentils mostly breakdown and naturally thicken the soup. But what I like to do to get a really luscious creamy texture is to give the soup a quick whizz with a blender stick (or transfer a couple of cups to the blender) to puree SOME but not all the lentils.

What happens if you don't soak lentils before cooking? ›

Don't worry about soaking lentils, split peas, or black-eyed peas (or cowpeas). Lentils and peas are softer than dried beans. They'll cook within 5 to 20 minutes without any soaking time.

Do you throw out water after soaking lentils? ›

Rules for soaking

*Soak grain and pulses for 2-4 hours at room temperature. *If you are soaking whole grains and legumes, soak for 8-10 hours. *Never discard water from soaking. Utilise it for nutrient benefit.

What makes lentils taste better? ›

Add some salt, maybe a bay leaf, and maybe a clove of garlic (peeled but left whole). Some recipes will warn you to never add salt to beans or lentils while they're cooking (they say it'll prevent them from cooking through), but it's simply not true! Salt brings out their best.

Why is my lentil soup tasteless? ›

Since lentils are starchy, earthy in flavor, and can be on the bland side, there are many ways to make them flavorful, including by adding them into soup. When other ingredients are introduced that complement lentils like onions, garlic, spices, and lemon, the taste is out of this world.

What happens if you eat too much lentil soup? ›

Lentils are frequently cooked with strong spices, which can cause indigestion in some people. Lentils are a good source of potassium, however, too many lentils in the diet can cause hyperkalemia (symptoms may include vomiting, fatigue, irregular heartbeat and difficulty breathing) in people with poor kidney function.

Is it OK to leave lentil soup out overnight? ›

Food should not be at room temperature for more than two hours. Shallow containers or small amounts of hot food can be placed directly in the refrigerator or rapidly chilled in an ice or cold water bath before refrigerating. Cover foods to retain moisture and prevent them from picking up odors from other foods.

What is the white foam on lentil soup? ›

That means the foam will typically appear when making meat-based broths and, to a lesser degree, soups made from high-protein vegetables such as chickpeas and lentils. When those coagulated proteins cluster together, they can create air pockets, which is what causes the “sudsy bubbles,” says Trout.

Why does lentil soup upset my stomach? ›

Eating lentils can cause gas and bloating because they're high in fiber that your body is unable to break down. While fiber plays a large role in supporting and regulating your digestive system and bowel movements, it can also produce bacteria that leads to cramping and gas pains.

How do you thicken butter bean soup? ›

In a separate bowl, dissolve a teaspoon or two of cornstarch or all-purpose flour in a small amount of cold water. Add the slurry to the bubbling soup. The soup should thicken up. Add more cornstarch or flour as needed until the soup reaches your desired consistency.

Which lentils are healthiest? ›

Urad dal or black lentil is one of the most nutritious pulses known to mankind. Low in fat and calories, Urad dal helps to improve digestion. With it being a rich source of protein and vitamin B3, it makes our bones stronger and is said to boost energy levels, enhance heart health and strengthen our nervous system.

Do you cook lentils before adding to soup? ›

Depends if they are red or green lentils. The red ones can be bunged straight in. I just rinse them and add to the soup, the packet says 30 mins cooking so it should be okay.

How many hours should lentils soak? ›

In that book, I advise to soak lentils from four to twenty-four hours and then drain and cook them in the usual three cups of water.

What is the quick soak method for lentils? ›

To soak, I generally rinse and then cover with triple the amount of fresh water, leave overnight on the countertop and rinse the next day. Forgot to soak overnight? Try a quick soak: pour over boiling water and leave to sit for 3 hours before rinsing and draining and proceeding with your recipe.

How long to soak lentils to reduce gas? ›

Aim to soak your beans or lentils for at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight. Dump the soaking water (i.e. don't use it to cook the beans). Then be sure to give your beans/lentils a good rinse before cooking to wash away those gas-producing carbohydrates. Introduce them slowly.

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