This Potato Leek and Lentil Soup with Caraway Seeds is hearty, cozy, and the most perfect soup for the cold fall and winter months. It's vegan yet super creamy thanks to the potatoes! The added lentils make this soup filling and packed with protein.
Now that it's officially Fall, and it's getting cold, it's finally socially acceptable to make soup on a weekly (daily?!) basis. To tell you the truth, I actually haven't experimented with soups all that much. When I lived at home, my mom was always the one to cook soups in the colder months and for the longest time, I thought making soup was just too complicated. And boy, have I been missing out! Most of the time all you need is one big pot that you throw all the ingredients in and let them cook. Making soup really could not be easier! I already have another one that I'm going to share on Thursday but for now, let's talk about this Potato Leek and Lentil Soup with Caraway Seeds.
What are Caraway seeds?
Caraway Seeds look very similar to cumin and fennel seeds but they all taste completely different. Caraway seeds are a little bitter and have a hint of anise. They're more comparable to fennel seeds than to cumin seeds. They are less common in Canada and the USA but we often use them in many recipes in the Czech Republic (where I'm from) and in Europe in general. They're also native to Western Asia and North Africa.
A while ago I shared my favorite recipe for mashed potatoes that uses caraway seeds, and there's definitely more recipes to come! There are a few Czech classics I want to turn healthier and vegan. The caraway seeds in this recipe make it taste like childhood which is why I like using them so much.
How to make this soup?
It's super easy. Start by soaking the lentils. Place them in a big bowl and cover with at least twice as much water. They absorb a lot of water while they soak. Set the bowl aside and let the lentils soak for at least an hour. Next, in a big pot, sautee the chopped leeks, chopped celery and caraway seeds in avocado oil and vegan butter. When the leeks soften and reduce in size (about 10 minutes), add the oregano, marjoram, diced potatoes, bay leaves, and boiling water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes soften.
How to cook the lentils:
I cook the lentils separately because I don't want to blend them along with the soup. When ready to cook the lentils, drain and rinse them and place them in a pot. Cover with 2 ½ cups of water, add a bay leaf, and a piece of kombu (if using), and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook covered for about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
A quick tip: Add a bay leaf to lentils for extra flavor and kombu to make lentils easier to digest.
To finish the soup, discard the bay leaves, add miso, harissa paste (or crushed red pepper flakes), and stir to combine. Carefully ladle about half of the soup into the blender and blend until smooth. Pour it back into the pot and stir. Or use an immersion blender. Transfer about half of the soup into a bowl and use an immersion blender to blend the rest in the pot. Return the soup in the bowl back into the pot and stir. Lastly, add the lentils (as much as you like) and reserve some for garnish if desired.
Cool the soup completely before sealing in an airtight, preferably glass, container, and storing in the fridge. The soup should be good for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.Print
Potato Leek and Lentil Soup with Caraway Seeds
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Czech
- Diet: Vegan
Hearty, cozy, and the most perfect soup for the cold fall and winter months. It's vegan yet super creamy thanks to the potatoes! The added lentils make this soup filling and packed with protein.
- 3 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp vegan butter (optional)
- 3-4 leeks (approx. 5 cups chopped)
- 2 celery stalks, thinly chopped
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 3-4 potatoes, peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces (3-4 cups chopped)
- 3 bay leaves, divided
- 1 cup dry brown or green lentils (soaked for at least an hour prior to cooking)
- 1 piece of kombu (optional)
- 1 tbsp miso (I used brown rice miso)
- ½ tsp harissa paste (or 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes)
- Sea salt and pepper
- fresh oregano and marjoram (for garnish)
- Start by soaking the lentils. Place them in a big bowl and cover with at least twice as much water. They absorb a lot of water while they soak. Set the bowl aside and let the lentils soak for at least an hour.
- In a big pot, heat the avocado oil and butter (if using) over high heat. Add the chopped leeks, chopped celery, and caraway seeds. Lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes. When the leeks soften and have reduced in size, add the oregano, marjoram, diced potatoes, 2 bay leaves, and boiling water. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
- When ready to cook the lentils, drain and rinse them, place them in a medium pot, cover with 2 ½ cups of water, add 1 bay leaf, and 1 piece of kombu (if using) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook covered for about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
- To finish the soup, discard the bay leaves, add the miso, harissa paste (or red pepper flakes) to the soup, and stir to combine. To blend it, either ladle about half of the soup into a bowl and use an immersion blender to blend the rest of it that's left in the pot. Return the reserved soup in the bowl back into the pot and stir. Or you can carefully ladle about half of the soup into a blender, blend until smooth, and pour it back into the big pot. Lastly, add the lentils (as much as you like) and reserve some for garnish if desired.
- Serve with more lentils, red pepper flakes, and fresh herbs.
- Cool the soup completely before sealing in an airtight, preferably glass, container, and storing in the fridge. The soup should be good for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
I don't recommend using a Nutribullet or a similar blender for blending the soup as the heat needs to escape while blending and that's difficult with a blender you flip upside down. The heat could make it explode if extremely hot.
Keywords: potato, leek, lentil, soup, czech
Everything about this recipe is amazing: the dish looks extra delicious, the pates are incredibly cute and the instructions seems super easy to follow. Yum!
OMG your pictures are stunning. I would love to dive right into screen. This is comfort food at the highest level. I need to make this for sure.
No measurement for amount of boiling water!
Veronika | thehealthfulideas
It doesn't have to be exact, just add enough to cover the vegetables.
Very interesting flavor combination, had to pin this in hopes to make it as soon as I find some Caraway seeds. Also your food styling/photography skills are gorgeous!
What a delicious and comforting Potato Leek and Lentil soup to make for my family! They will love this for sure.
I love this updated potato soupe recipe. The lentils make it so filling and delicious.
Yum, what a tasty looking fall recipe. The caraway seeds add such a nice touch as well!
This is such an interesting combination of flavours which i am willing to try! the caraway seeds at the perfect touch to the dish and overall the dish itself looks amazing. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I am feeling warm and fuzzy just thinking about this soup. Your pictures are lovely. The tips so helpful and that bay leaf with the lentils is always a great way to flavor up this wonderful ingredient! I am all in for soup season, potato, leek, with those caraway seeds is definately going on our roster!😋😍❤❤❣
I love potato leek soup. Never added lentils to it and I think it's brilliant idea. Definitely going to try your version soon. Looks so comforting and delicious!
This recipe was delicious! I loved all the awesome textures and flavors in this soup! I’m going to be making this recipe again soon! Bookmarking for later.
Have an awesome day!
This potato recipe is just what the doctor ordered right now. So much comfort and flavour in one bowl.
How much water? Not specified ? Thank you!!!🙏
Veronika | thehealthfulideas
Sorry about the confusion! I add just enough to cover the potatoes. If the soup's too thick afterwards, you can always add more water.
I love caraway seeds so was very excited to try this recipe, but unfortunately it was rather devoid of flavor so I had to add a bunch of spices not on the list. This recipe is a good soup base but if you want something with more flavor, add garlic, onion, and paprika.