French Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika

French lentils, sometimes called Le Puy lentils, hold their shape nicely, a little more than brown (green) lentils do. They are lovely in this soup, which has deep, smoky, and earthy flavors yet is very quick to prepare and cook.

Course Soup


  • splash water
  • cups diced onion
  • 1 cup carrot that has been cut in disks
  • 4 to 5 medium to large cloves garlic minced
  • teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1¼ to 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups French lentils rinsed (see note)
  • 2 cups vegan vegetable stock check label for allergens
  • 5 cups water
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice optional, but nice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the water, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir, cover, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften. Add the lentils, stir, then add the vegetable stock, water, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or longer if needed, until the lentils are fully cooked through. Remove the bay leaf. Add the lemon juice, if using, stir, and serve, sprinkling with chopped chives, if desired. Serves 4-5.

Recipe Notes