Bowls of vegetarian lentil soup

Lentil Bolognese soup

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4

Tuck into this full-bodied, vegetarian Bolognese-based soup with red lentils, which brings you four of your 5-a-day and plenty of fibre

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal424
  • fat11g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars18g
  • fibre12g
  • protein19g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, finely diced
  • 3 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g carton passata
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 125g red lentils
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 125g wholemeal penne
  • 50g finely grated vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese


  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan then fry the onions for a few mins until they start to colour. Add the carrots, celery and garlic then fry for 5 more mins, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften.

  2. Pour in the passata, bouillon powder and the lentils with 2l boiling water. Add the smoked paprika, thyme and plenty of black pepper then bring to the boil, cover the pan and simmer for 20 mins.

  3. Tip in the penne then cook for 12-15 mins more until the pasta and lentils are tender, adding a little more water if necessary. Stir through the cheese, then ladle half the soup into bowls or a wide-necked flask if you're taking it as a packed lunch. Cool the remaining soup (remove the thyme sprigs) and keep in the fridge until required. It will keep well for several days. Reheat in a pan, adding a little extra water if the soup has thickened.

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th Feb, 2019
Really tasty, I think it's probably made 6-8 portions but that's totally fine by us! I added fresh basil, used a no salt stock cube (I wanted a portion to be baby friendly) and added all of the pepper and a dash of white wine at the end (obviously not for baby!) Will definitely be making again!
17th Jan, 2019
I’m making this at the moment and have reduced the water content by half, so only used 1 litre, May add a dollop or 2 of tomato purée in to thicken it up, but that is just my personal preference. I didn’t have any boullion, so used a veggie stock cube instead. Only used 2 onions and 2 carrots as that was all I had in my fridge, chucked in some sweetcorn as a sub!
7th Jan, 2019
This made a huge amount, and it tasted watery. I followed the recipe exactly, except that I used a can of tomatoes + tomato paste as I didn't have passata. I will reduce the water next time, but that won't be for ages, I've got some in the fridge, some in the freezer, and I've already had 2 portions!
7th Jan, 2019
How large is one portion? I've got enough for about 10 of what I would consider a normal portion!
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. We split this recipe into 4 servings.
11th Jan, 2019
Tasty but I had to make some adjustments, even halving the amount of water you add (1l instead of 2l) I have way more than 4 servings (or four very large ones). I also added a bit more of the seasonings than the recipe specified but that's personal taste. Great lunch on the meal plan.
8th Jan, 2019
I used half the amount of water (mainly because I physically couldn’t fit more in the pan!) and it was delicious. I still had 4 large portions.
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