Spicy Bean & Lentil Soup

Spices, lentils, chickpeas, and beans all come together in an amazing soup that is tasty, vegetarian, and healthy.

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This Spicy Bean & Lentil Soup is a great addition to your supper or lunch rotation. It’s a surefire way to convert those in your family that have resisted lentils in the past. Even my husband loves it! 

How to Make Spicy Bean & Lentil Soup

I have been looking for more ways to serve beans and lentils that aren’t boring, since my non-meat eating son needs protein in his meals. And the fact that they are incredibly healthy for us is a huge bonus as well.

Lentil Soup is a great way to incorporate lentils and beans into your diet, especially since it is so satisfying in the winter. The flavors are also disguised and almost overpowered by the spices, which is not a bad thing if you aren’t a fan. It is OK to overpower the basic flavor of the beans/lentils in order to like them in a dish.

Sometimes a dish can be a great sauce/soup with a healthy protein disguised in it.

Embrace this line of thinking.

Otherwise you’ll simply go insane, ’round the bend or stark raving mad, if you have a family like mine.

My husband doesn’t like lentils unless their flavor is disguised, it’s not actually my kids, believe it or not, but that doesn’t stop me from hiding all sorts of protein goodies in everything I make.

He may be 35, but I still have to hide healthy things in his food.

It also is not really spicy for most palates, so don’t be afraid to give this one a try. It doesn’t have the “hot” that the word spicy is usually affiliated with but rather such a burst of flavor thanks to the assortment of spices.

My husband called this lentil soup “epic”. I kinda liked that, but thought it would be rather ostentatious to call this “EPIC Spicy Bean & Lentil Soup.”.

It does have a nice ring to it though, I might have a change of heart later on.

I will be making this again, very soon!

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of brown lentils
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 can of white kidney beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

You can use equal amounts of dried beans in this recipe, adjust cooking times and instructions accordingly.

Dice up the onion, garlic and ginger.  Get a large soup pot and put the tbsp of olive oil in. Heat it on medium and sautee the onions, garlic, ginger and ALL the spices, excepting the cardamom pods, together.

Once everything is tender from being sauteed, mix the 3 tbsp vegetable stock into 4 cups of hot water. The stock in the containers like this do not take much to dissolve, thus why I use them instead of the cubes.

Pour the stock into the pot, deglazing the pan with it. Then add in the rest of the ingredients, the beans and lentils, after rinsing and draining the canned goods.

I did not soak the lentils, with all the spices this soup needs to simmer a couple of hours minimum which cooks the lentils perfectly.

You can also add the cardamom pods now. I don’t know if I have mentioned how much I love cardamom pods, they are easy to scoop out of stews and sauces when you are done and infuse such a fantastic smoky, fruity, Christmas spice flavor to the dish.

Did that make any sense to you? Because it did to me, but cardamom is such a hard flavor to describe.

Mix them all together and bring to a low boil, then turn your heat down on the burner and let it simmer for at least 2 hours. Stir it occasionally as with anything you cook on the stove.

Check your lentils for texture, and when you are happy with how they are, remove the cardamom pods, then remove 1/3 of the soup to puree.

OR do what I do, take your hand blender, stick it in the pot and blend one side of it.

This is what it looks like, I blend an approximate third -not all of that side is pureed- and then mix it in.

By pureeing it you get this lovely thick base without any thickeners, a pure, lovely spice infused soup.

You don’t need anything else to go with thus, other than perhaps a delicious, crusty white piece of bread.

Some other great vegetable recipes to try:  Ukrainian Cabbage Roll Soup, Sea Salt & Olive Oil Roasted Turnips (Rutabaga)

Spicy Bean and Lentil Soup

Spices, lentils, chickpeas, and beans all come together in an amazing soup that is tasty, vegetarian, and healthy.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Total Time
1 hour 10 minutes
8 people
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup brown lentils rinsed and drained
  • one 15 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • one 15 ounce can white kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • one 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 5 cardamom pods


  • Heat the olive oil in a large lidded soup pot on medium heat Add the onions and saute until tender. Add in the garlic, ginger, and ALL the spices, except the cardamom pods. Saute until the garlic and ginger are fragrant.
  • Stir in the vegetable stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients – the lentils, chickpeas, beans, tomatoes, and cardamom pods.
  • Stir together and bring to a low simmer. Place the lid on the pot and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft.
  • Remove the cardamom pods, then remove 1/3 of the soup to puree. Return the puree to the pot, stir to incorporate the puree, and serve.

Recipe Notes

You can reduce the spicy factor by adjusting as needed.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 515kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 0.3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 20113mg, Potassium: 266mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 13IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Spices, lentils, chickpeas, and beans all come together in an amazing soup that is tasty, vegetarian, and healthy.

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Beans Lentils Soup Vegetable soup

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Laura Lee Reid says

    I haven’t cooked it yet, because I made a lentil soup today before I saw this recipe. I will, Lord willing, make this. It sounds, by your description, very tasty. What I like particularly is the homey style with which you describe the process. I felt very comfortable and relaxed reading your piece. That is why, also, I am keen to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing it. Amen.5 stars


    Wow! I just realised that I have been using an adapted version of your recipe for years! Long before starting my blog.
    I love the flavours and the soup is so hearty. It is a family favourite.

  3. darci says

    wow sounds yummy and even more exciting since we are practically neighbours! making this today!

    • Karlynn says

      Good catch! I missed that step, yes you do drain and rinse them. Thanks!

  4. Karlynn says

    And Valerie, it is exotic tasting, but it’s a mild curry dish. My son can eat curries by the bucket, so honestly he is NOT a good measurement! He eats jalapenos on top of nachos without blinking an eye. Must have been the jalapenos I ate non-stop while pregnant with him, I swear.

  5. Laurel says

    Hey where do you get cardamon pods? Also follow up to a different recipe where did you find dried grated lemon?

    • Karlynn says

      Cardamom pods would have been in the aisle at Superstore where they have all the huge yellow bags Indian spices, rice etc, I am almost positive. Grated lemon peel you can grate it yourself and let it dry out, doesn’t take long at all and it’s as easy as heck.

  6. A Canadian Foodie says

    A fantastic tutorial. And hilarious – too! I also am working to use more legumes, lentils and on. But, for me. To get Vanja to eat them I’d have to get an elephant to sit on him and also tie him down. I killed myself laughing about how you work to hide nutrients in your hubby’s food. It sounds SO familiar! Vanja loves to eat, but – boy, does he ever cramp my style! He is SO picky and likes such PLAIN food. I loved your shot of the soup half pureed and half whole. It does look delicious. I love soup, too. Is it super exotic? It looks like it might be, yet, if your son likes it….
    (everything I make is an epic if you following the dishes!)

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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