The Goods

Recipe: Mexican Lentil Soup

Freezer-friendly and super economical, this hearty vegan soup makes the perfect wintertime dinner.

Freezer-friendly and super economical, this hearty vegan soup makes the perfect wintertime dinner

Lentils are this year’s superfood and we are so on board. This gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan recipe comes to us from Greta Podleski’s, author of bestselling cookbook Yum & Yummer. Reminiscent of a chili, this soup is the perfect meal for when it’s this cold out, and it’s hearty enough to serve as a main course. Freezer-friendly, super economical and it tastes as good as it smells! What more could you ask for?

Mexican Lentil Soup

By Greta Podleski

I fell in love with Mexican Lentil Soup the second I tried it at a new vegetarian restaurant in my neighbourhood. It’s similar to chili, but not as “heavy,” with just the right amount of spice. The slight hint of cinnamon tastes cinsational! Plus, lentils are PACKED with protein and fibre, so they really fill you up. It’s basically a bowlful of goodness and one of my favourite vegan soups.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup each diced onions, diced celery and diced red bell peppers
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (small cubes)
  • 2 tsp each chili powder and ground cumin
  • 1 tsp each ground coriander and dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can (398 mL) fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tbsp smoky barbecue sauce (store bought or homemade)*
  • ½ tsp each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (540 mL) lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 2 to 3 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • Diced avocados (for vegan) and/or Greek yogurt or sour cream for topping, optional


Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano and cinnamon. Mix well. Add broth, tomatoes with liquid, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil. Reduced heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in lentils and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Using an immersion blender, purée about half the soup using quick pulses, so it’s still a bit lumpy but appears thicker (see photo). Serve with diced avocados or Greek yogurt/sour cream dollop (for non-vegan).

Recipe notes:

*Make sure your barbecue sauce is gluten-free and/or vegan if that’s important to you. There are lots of options on store shelves, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Try using carrots or butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes.

Top with grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese before serving.

Servings: Makes 7 cups of soup


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.