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Mexican Lentil Soup (Sopa de Lentejas)

This Mexican Lentil Soup, or soap de lentejas, is a vegan soup that mixes together lentils, vegetables, diced tomatoes and a mixture of warm spices like cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder and oregano. The soup is simmered to bring out the flavors and is garnished with avocado, lime wedges and cilantro. This soup also freezes well for later!

Mexican Lentil Soup with avocado.

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MEXICAN LENTIL SOUP

You guys might know by now my love for lentil soup recipes.

I make them year-round and just love how healthy and filling they are. They are the type of soups the whole family will love.

I have so many versions that I have shared over the years with my most popular being this Lebanese Lentil Soup, Lemon Lentil Soup, Moroccan Carrot Red Lentil Soup and this Moroccan Red Lentil Soup.

Today’s Mexican Lentil Soup is also known as sopa de lentejas in Mexico.

I love the rich spices in this lentil soup. The mixture of the cumin, paprika, chili powder and oregano make a great pairing.

When I make a big pot of this soup I like to set out a variety of garnishes like fresh cilantro, lime wedges, queso fresco, avocado slices and pickled onions.

My family loves lentil soup, but you can also try them in some of these other great recipes.

Try my Mediterranean Lentil Salad, Red Lentil Curry, Lentil Mushroom Stew, or my Vegetarian Lentil Chili recipe.

Mexican Lentil Soup with spoon

Why You Will Love This Mexican Lentil Soup Recipe:

EASY TO MAKE: With very little hands on preparation, you will have a bowl of delicious homemade Mexican lentil soup ready and on the table in just 45 minutes. This is such an easy lentil soup making an easy lunch or dinner.

PACKED WITH FLAVOR: The perfect balance of savory, tangy, and sweet flavors with plenty of Mexican-inspired spice and wonderful texture from the lentils and veggies.

HEALTHY & NUTRITIOUS: This soup is a vegan version, gluten free, packed with protein rich lentils and lots of vitamin rich vegetables and spices. The combination of fiber, folate, and potassium in lentils helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels, while folate and potassium support heart function and blood pressure regulation.

Mexican Lentil Soup ingredients.

Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Oil – when it comes to oil I like to use olive oil as it has a great nutty flavor. However, you can use any other oil that you like cooking with like, sunflower or avocado oil.
  • Lentils – I use brown lentils in the soup, you could also use green or red lentils.
  • Vegetables – I use a combination of white onion, red bell pepper (although any color bell peppers will work), carrots and celery in this soup. However, you can bulk up on veggies and add in any others your family enjoy eating, like zucchini, green beans or green peas.
  • Garlic – minced garlic helps add a depth of flavor to the soup. You could use garlic powder or garlic puree if you don’t have fresh garlic. 
  • Spices – the soup is flavored with smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder and dried oregano. Try using Mexican oregano if you have it on hand. However, feel free to add in other flavors or spice blends like taco seasoning, Mexican spice blend, cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. You also could use sweet paprika in place of smoked paprika.
  • Chili – a jalapeño pepper adds chili heat. I de-seed the pepper but you can leave the seeds in if you like your food extra spicy.
  • Tomatoes – 2 cans of chopped tomatoes add great base flavor to the soup. You can try fire roasted diced tomatoes for extra smoky flavor.
  • Vegetable Stock – I use good quality vegetable stock or vegetable broth to flavor the soup. Use gluten free vegetable stock if required. You also could use chicken broth or chicken stock.
Mexican Lentil Soup with avocado and lime

How to Make This Recipe:

1. Saute the Vegetables 

Add the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened – about 10 minutes.

2. Cook the Garlic and Jalapeño

Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Mexican Lentil Soup ingredients in a skillet

3. Add the Spices

Add the smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the Tomatoes, Broth and Lentils

Pour in the canned tomatoes, veg broth, and lentils. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave to bubble for 30 minutes.

Mexican Lentil Soup with spoon

5. Finish and Serve the Soup

Add a squeeze of lime juice and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with some sliced avocado, lime wedges, and fresh chopped cilantro if desired.

Mexican Lentil Soup in a white bowl

Recipe Tips & Modifications for this Mexican Lentil Soup Recipe:

LENTILS – For ease I’ve used brown lentils to make the soup, but you can substitute with green or red lentils if you prefer. You can also use dried lentils if you don’t have canned.

PROTEIN – Feel free to add in other protein sources such as shredded chicken, shrimp or pork.

VEGETABLES: This recipe can be easily bulked up by adding extra nutritious vegetables. Try broccoli, green beans, carrots, celery, green chilies, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus or peas. Another thing I like to add is adobo sauce or chilis in adobo sauce.

GREENS: I often like to add a handful of leafy greens to soup just before serving. Try adding spinach, arugula, chard or kale for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking and allow the greens to wilt.

HERBS: Add a handful of fresh herbs to the soup before serving, try parsley or cilantro.

HEAT: This recipe uses both a fresh chili and some chili powder for spicy flavor. You can adjust the chili heat to suit your own tastes. However, what I tend to do is keep the soup on the mild side, that way everyone can enjoy it. Then I serve some fresh chipotle peppers, Tabasco, or hot sauce along with the other toppings.

GARNISH: Add extra garnishes to the soup like diced red onion or green onions, chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapeño or red chili pepper, pickled red onions, sliced avocado and a wedge of lime.

PUREE THE SOUP – Once the soup has cooked, you can leave it chunky, puree a portion of the soup with an immersion blender, or puree all the soup to make it super smooth. Whichever your preference it all tastes great.

LEFTOVERS – This soup can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

FREEZE – Once cooked and cooled, store the soup in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Mexican Lentil Soup with soup in ladle

What to Serve with Mexican Lentil Soup:

This is a hearty and filling bowl of homemade soup so I tend to keep any additional sides simple.

It’s great with some with crusty bread, or try my homemade pita chips or homemade tortilla chips

I also always love adding a salad alongside soups. Try this Mexican Street Corn Salad, Watermelon Arugula SaladLemon Arugula Pine Nut SaladKale Salad with Lemon Dressing, Easy Mexican Coleslaw or this Jalapeño Coleslaw.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

MOROCCAN RED LENTIL SOUP

LEBANESE LENTIL SOUP

CHICKEN LENTIL SOUP

TURKISH LENTIL SOUP

LENTIL SAUSAGE SOUP

LEMON LENTIL SOUP

Mexican Lentil Soup with avocado.

Mexican Lentil Soup (Sopa de Lentejas)

This Mexican Lentil Soup, or soap de lentejas, is a vegan soup that mixes together lentils, vegetables, diced tomatoes and a mixture of warm spices like cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder and oregano. The soup is simmered to bring out the flavors and is garnished with avocado, lime wedges and cilantro. This soup also freezes well for later!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: easy lentil recipe, easy lentil soup recipe, easy Mexican lentil soup, sopa de lentejas, traditional Mexican lentil soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6
6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
  • 2 15 ounce cans, diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and picked over {you also could use red lentils}
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • avocado, garnish
  • fresh cilantro, garnish
  • lime wedges, garnish

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened – about 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the canned tomatoes, veg broth, and lentils. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave to bubble for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Optional: You can puree half the soup if you prefer a smoother texture.
  • Squeeze in the lime juice and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with some sliced avocado, lime wedges, and fresh chopped cilantro if desired.

Notes

Storage: This soup can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. It also freezes well for up to 3 months.
Notes: Feel free to add in other protein sources such as shredded chicken or pork.
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