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Beef Lentil Soup Recipe

Beef Lentil Soup Recipe

You can prepare this soup as the main course in a hearty lunch or dinner. But—on cold winter evenings here in New England—I've often poured a steaming mugful and enjoyed sipping it in front of our fireplace as well. —Mrs. Guy Turnbull, Arlington, Massachusetts
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 70 min. YIELD:6 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, optional
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed


  • 1. In a large kettle, brown ground beef. Drain. Add water, lentils, cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, green pepper, pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Also add salt and bouillon if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Add spinach and heat through. Remove bay leaf. Yield: 6 servings (2-1/2 qts.).

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 317 calories, 7g fat (0 saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 128mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 meat, 2 vegetable, 1-1/2 starch.

Reviews for Beef Lentil Soup

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Reviewed Jan. 25, 2017

"I left out the celery and green pepper (not my favorites) and added extra carrots. When I tasted it before the carrots were tender, I also thought it tasted bitter. I added about 1 and a half Tablespoons of sugar and let it cook longer, and that seemed to cure the bitter taste. We enjoyed it and I'll make it again. I think it's more than 6 servings, though! Four of us had generous servings, and there's enough to do it again."

Reviewed Jan. 19, 2016

"This was fantastic! Such great flavor, very healthy and satisfying. I did substitute ground turkey because I don't normally use ground beef, but it was great! I even got my husband to eat & love it, & he doesn't 'do' lentils! This will definitely be on my list to make for winter soups."

Reviewed Dec. 31, 2015

"Delicious and grand kids loved this soup. I added potatoes and served it with garlic knots...this recipe is a keeper..."

Sue Zappa
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2015

"This soup is a delicious way to get my veggie-hating hubby to eat his vegetables! I've been making this for our family since it was first published in CW in 1/93! Our six children loved it when they were growing up. I just made this a week ago & for the first time, added some of the cabbage. My picky husband enjoyed it! The only thing I change is I omit the thyme because we don't care for that seasoning."

Reviewed Jul. 11, 2014

"I'm usually not a big fan of cooked cabbage or even lentils, for that matter. But this soup is delicious and reheats well. The only tweak I made was to use spicy V8 instead of regular."

Reviewed Nov. 11, 2011

"It just wasn't for us. Too much spinach, but I'm sure some people love that about this recipe."

Reviewed Jan. 12, 2011

"Maybe my family just isn't used to the taste of lentils but we found this soup to be rather bitter. Added shredded cheese to each bowl to doctor up the taste."

Reviewed Jan. 8, 2011

"I added Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and a small amount of tomato paste."

Reviewed Sep. 23, 2010

"This has become a favorite! This soup is very hearty and warming, and pairs well with cornbread or a thick slice of homemade bread."

Reviewed Jan. 4, 2010

"I made this recipe with beef cubes, rather than ground beef, because that was what I had on hand. I would definitely make it again this way. My husband thought it was a little bland. I only added 1 tsp. of beef boullain and would probably add another, or also salt to taste. I think it would also be good with some garlic, and a little more of the thyme and pepper, which I will try the next time. Otherwise, the consistency was good, and will try again!"

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