Smoky Vegan Lentil Stew

Two ingredients—smoked salt and smoked paprika—can make a big flavor change in this smoky vegan lentil stew. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2 to 3 medium stalks)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 medium-sized potato)
  • 2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Bread, for serving


1 Cook the vegetables: Place a stock pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil followed by the onion, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and potatoes, cooking for another 2 minutes.

2 Simmer the stew: Add the lentils, smoked paprika, smoked salt, thyme, bay leaf, and vegetable broth or water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.

Cook uncovered until the lentils are just about tender, 22 to 24 minutes.

3 Add the tomato paste: Stir in the tomato paste and lemon juice, and cook for another 5 minutes until the lentils are completely tender. Taste and add more smoked salt if desired.

4 Serve: Divide the soup into 4 bowls and top with fresh parsley before serving. Leftovers will keep for up to 5 days refrigerated.