This black lentil soup is a comforting recipe that combines the hearty texture of black lentils with a delicious mix of vegetables and spices.

Black Lentil Soup
Save This Recipe Form

Want to save this recipe?

Share your email below & we'll send it to you! Plus, you'll get new recipes from us every week!

I love lentils, so I’m excited to share a recipe with black lentils. These lentils are unique because they hold their shape even after cooking, giving them a distinct flavor and texture. They are also called beluga lentils because of their resemblance to caviar.

black lentils

What are black lentils?

Black lentils, also known as beluga lentils, are small, round lentils that resemble the caviar produced by the beluga sturgeon, hence the name. These lentils are typically shiny and black. When cooked they have a rich, earthy flavor. This variety of lentils belongs to the legume family.

Are black lentils healthy?

Nutritionally black lentils, like other lentil varieties, are a good source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. They are low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates, making them a nutritious addition to a balanced diet.

Where to Buy Black Lentils

I typically buy them at Whole Foods, but you can find them at some large grocery stores near the dried beans. You can also buy them online from Amazon! While black lentils are slightly more expensive than other varieties of lentils, they’re still an affordable source of protein and last a long time.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Olive oil: This helps cook the vegetables and bring out their flavors. If you want to make this recipe oil-free, you can sauté the vegetables in a bit of vegetable broth instead.
  • Onion, carrots & celery: These vegetables make up a traditional mirepoix and create a savory base flavor for the soup.
  • Garlic: I prefer the flavor of fresh garlic, but garlic powder can be substituted.
  • Cumin: This adds a warm and earthy flavor to the soup, enhancing its depth.
  • Paprika: This adds a smoky and slightly sweet flavor, enhancing the overall taste profile. You can substitute smoked paprika if you want additional smoky flavor.
  • Turmeric: This adds a mild peppery or mustard-like taste with a hint of citrus.
  • Tomato paste: A little tomato paste adds a savory, umami flavor to the soup.
  • Diced tomatoes: I like the flavor of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, but any tomatoes will add acidity and sweetness, as well as a chunky texture to the soup.
  • Black lentils: Serve as the main protein source, offering a hearty and earthy flavor. Be sure to use black lentils, as they have a unique texture. If you’re looking for a recipe using brown or green lentils, try my Mediterranean Lentil Soup instead.
  • Vegetable broth: Be sure to use a flavorful broth. I like the taste of Edward & Son’s “not chicken” broth.
  • Bay leaf: A bay leaf adds a subtle herbal flavor, enhancing the aromatic profile of the soup.
  • Lemon juice: A little acid adds a bright and tangy element, balancing the richness of the broth. You can substitute with a splash of white wine vinegar.
  • Spinach: This is an easy way to add some greens to the soup. You could substitute with chopped kale, just be sure to remove the stems.

How to Make Black Lentil Soup