When you decide to start a ketogenic diet, it’s a necessary reality that you’ll give up eating certain foods. Things like Domino’s pizza, bagels, and canned soups were some of the ones I was most bummed about; these are easy-to-enjoy foods but often packed with (or made entirely of) carbs that just don’t jive with a keto menu. Luckily, I started making my own soup and trying to adapt some of those carb-heavy Campbell’s and Progress options into keto ones, including this keto lentil soup recipe.
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Can Lentil Soup be Keto-Friendly?
Lentils are not inherently carb friendly, so it’s important to stick to the portions in this recipe if you want to stay on keto and still enjoy a warming bowl of this soup. But why make a lentil soup at all if it’s not a particularly keto-friendly food?
In short: lentils are really good for you! Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber; if you’re looking for a non-meat substitute, lentils are a great option.
In this keto lentil soup recipe, I worked out the carb count below based on the following counts for carb-rich ingredients:
- Lentils – 40g per 1 cup (so 10g per serving)
- Celery – 1g per 1 cup (0.25g per serving)
- Onion – 5.5g per ½ cup (1.375g per serving)
- Tomato Paste – 3g per tablespoon (0.75g per serving)
This results in about 12.5 carbs per serving; this can work great for a hearty dinner depending on your macros.
Enough of the math though; let’s dive into my easy keto lentil soup recipe!
Making Easy Keto Lentil Soup
As I just said, making a keto lentil soup is easy, especially compared to some soups out there. In my recipe, I used red lentils which have the same nutritional value as other lentils. You do not need to soak or pre-cook the lentls before starting.
Start by setting up your soup pot, and adding the onions and vegetable oil to the pot. Over medium heat, sauté the onions until they get soft (about five minutes). Next add the celery and garlic and continue to sauté for another 10 minutes.
While the veggies are sautéing, combine the tomato paste and soup broth. (Sidebar: you can use any kind of broth or stock in this soup, and it won’t affect the flavor much, so this is a good soup for using up an old broth/stock or boullion cubes you’ve got around the kitchen.)
Once the veggies are nice and tender, add the tomato paste-soup broth to your pot as well as the lentils. Turn the heat up to bring it all to a gentle boil and cover. Let your soup cook for about 20 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and add the spices. Stir to ensure all those delicious flavors mix and mingle. You can let the soup sit on low heat until ready to serve. Five minutes before you’re ready to serve, stir in the chopped spinach. (Any earlier and it will get mushy!) Then enjoy! Like I said – this one’s easy!
Keto Lentil Soup Recipe
- 1 cup Lentils
- 1 cup Celery
- ½ cup Onion, chopped
- 5 cloves of Garlic, minced
- 4 cups of Soup Broth*
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- ½ cup Spinach, chopped or shredded
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Curry Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Add the vegetable oil and onion to a soup pot on medium heat. Sauté for five minutes.
- Next, add the garlic and celery, and sauté for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While sautéing, add the tomato paste to your soup broth and mix it together.
- Add the soup broth and lentils, and increase heat to high. Bring to a gentle boil and cover. Let the soup cook for another 20 minutes.
- Add spices and stir in. Reduce heat and let sit until ready to serve.
- Five minutes before serving, add chopped spinach and stir in. After five minutes, serve and enjoy!
*Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable; from powder, boullion, or liquid
Amount Per Serving: Carbohydrates: 12.5g
Cooking Keto Lentil Soup in an Instant Pot
If you prefer to use an Instant Pot for cooking soup, this recipe works for that too. Here are the modifications you need:
- Use the sauté setting for the vegetables
- Pressure cook for 12 minutes instead of the 20 minutes recommended on a stovetop (this may end up taking longer depending on how fast your Instant Pot pressurizes!)
So there you have it: two ways to enjoy wholesome, hearty lentil soup without dropping out of keto.
Have other questions about this keto lentil soup recipe? Let me know in the comments!
Love this recipe?
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Looking for other keto soup recipes?
Here are some suggestions:
- Egg Drop Soup without Cornstarch (Keto-Friendly)
- Keto Albondigas (Mexican Meatball) Soup
- Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Keto-Friendly)
- Keto Celery Soup (Stovetop or Instant Pot)