17 Best Herbs and Spices for Lentil Soup

Whether you’re looking for the best spices for lentil soup or the best herbs for lentil soup, this list has you covered!

I’ve rounded up 17 of my favorite spices and herbs to add to lentil soup.

These ingredients will take your soup from good to great.

So go ahead and give one (or all!) of these spices and herbs a try the next time you make lentil soup!

Best Herbs and Spices for Lentil Soup

17 Best Herbs and Spices for Lentil Soup

lentil soup
Source: recipetineats.com

Choosing the right herbs and spices for lentil soup can be the difference between a bland and unappetizing soup and a flavorful and delicious one.

Lentils are a versatile ingredient that can take on a variety of different flavors, so it is important to choose the right herbs and spices that will complement the other ingredients in your soup.

Here are 17 of the best herbs and spices for lentil soup:

1. Parsley

Italian Parsley
Source: The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Parsley has a clean and peppery flavor (think cilantro but not as strong) that can really brighten up a dish.

It’s also incredibly healthy for you – full of vitamins A, C, and K.

When it comes to lentil soup, parsley is the perfect finishing touch.

It adds a nice flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.

I would suggest adding a tablespoon or two of chopped parsley right before you serve the soup.

This way, the parsley will still have some texture and won’t be mushy.

If you’re using dried parsley, add it towards the end of cooking so that it has time to rehydrate.

Otherwise, it will just taste like dust in your soup!

2. Chives

Chives

Chives have a mild onion flavor (so if you’re not a fan of onions, don’t worry – you almost won’t taste them in your soup!) and they’ll add a nice pop of color.

They’re also really easy to use: simply snip off the ends of the chives with a sharp knife and then give them a rough chop.

You can add them to your soup at any point during the cooking process, but I find that they work best when added towards the end so that their flavor isn’t overwhelmed by the other ingredients.

3. Thyme

Thyme

Thyme dances between earthy and minty (and woodsy) flavors, making it a perfect addition to any dish that needs a bit of flavor depth.

Lentil soup is no exception!

A few sprigs of thyme (or a teaspoon of dried thyme) added to your soup while it simmers will give the dish an herby flavor that takes it up a notch.

And since thyme is such a versatile herb, it pairs well with other common ingredients in lentil soup like carrots, celery, and onions.

So next time you make lentil soup, don’t forget the thyme!

4. Basil

Basil

Basil is a balance between sweet and savory (with hints of mint) and can be used in a number of different dishes – not just soup!

If you want to add some extra flavor to your lentil soup, try adding some basil leaves.

You can also experiment with other herbs and spices, such as rosemary or thyme.

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The key is to not go overboard – a little goes a long way when it comes to spices.

Start by adding just a few leaves (or a pinch of the dried spice) and then taste as you go.

You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there!

5. Oregano

Oregano

Oregano is peppery and assertive (often a little bitter) with a lemony undertone.

It’s commonly used in Italian, Mexican, and Greek dishes.

A little goes a long way with this potent herb, so it’s best to start with just a pinch or two and add more to taste.

Adding oregano to your lentil soup is a great way to give it some extra flavor.

This herb is especially good at bringing out the flavors of other ingredients, so it can really help to round out the flavor of your soup.

When using oregano, be sure not to add too much at once.

A little goes a long way with this potent herb, so it’s best to start with just a pinch or two and add more to taste.

Otherwise, you run the risk of overwhelming the other flavors in your soup.

6. Rosemary

Rosemary

Rosemary is lemony-pine-like (and quite peppery) herb that is most commonly used to flavor lamb, but it can be used in so much more.

It’s an underused herb that can really take your lentil soup (or any soup for that matter) to the next level.

When using rosemary, a little goes a long way.

You only need about 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary or 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary for every 4 cups of soup.

Any more than that and your soup will be too overwhelming with rosemary flavor.

Rosemary is best added towards the end of cooking so it doesn’t have a chance to lose its flavor.

If you’re using dried rosemary, add it in with your other spices about 10 minutes before the soup is done cooking.

If you’re using fresh rosemary, add it in 5 minutes before the soup is done cooking.

Give rosemary a try in your next batch of soup and I’m sure you’ll love the results!

7. Marjoram

Marjoram

Marjoram has an earthy and woodsy taste (with notes of pine and citrus) that can really add a lot of depth to your lentil soup.

This particular herb/spice is also great at helping to round out the flavors in the soup and bring all the other ingredients together.

When using marjoram, you want to be careful not to use too much as it can easily overpower the other flavors in the soup.

A good rule of thumb is to start with about 1 teaspoon of marjoram for every 4 cups of soup.

You can always add more if needed, but it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Marjoram can also be added near the end of cooking so that its flavor isn’t cooked out.

8. Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves have an almost minty flavor (with subtle hints of black pepper) and can really add a lot of depth to your soup.

I would recommend adding 1-2 bay leaves per pot of soup (depending on how big the pot is).

You can add the bay leaves at the beginning of cooking so that they have time to release their flavor into the soup.

Just make sure to remove the bay leaves before serving since they can be quite tough and chewy if eaten whole.

9. Dill

Dill

Dill has a bright, sweet taste (somewhere between anise, parsley, and celery) that can really liven up a bowl of lentil soup.

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If you’re using dried dill, add it near the end of cooking so the flavor doesn’t become too overwhelming.

For fresh dill, add it just before serving.

Dill goes especially well with other strong flavors like garlic, smoked paprika, and lemon.

11. Paprika

Paprika

Paprika has a subtle earthiness (so it’s perfect for grounding a dish), and it can also be smoky.

When used properly, paprika can add a beautiful depth of flavor to your lentil soup.

Paprika is best used as a finishing spice, so make sure to add it right before you serve the soup.

This will ensure that the paprika doesn’t lose its potency and that your soup has the best flavor possible.

12. Sage

Sage

Sage has a strong, slightly minty (and musky) flavor that can really elevate a dish.

When used properly, sage can add a beautiful depth of flavor to your lentil soup (or any soup for that matter).

Sage is best used sparingly as it can easily overpower a dish if you use too much.

A good rule of thumb is to start with just 1/4 teaspoon of sage and then adjust from there according to your taste preferences.

Another tip is to add the sage towards the end of cooking so that its flavor doesn’t have a chance to dissipate.

13. Coriander Seeds

Coriander Seeds
Source: alexxx1981 / Getty Images

Coriander seeds taste slightly nutty (and have a lovely aroma) and can be used as a spice in many different dishes – from curries to soups.

When used in lentil soup, coriander seeds can help to add a depth of flavor.

To properly use coriander seeds, it’s best to lightly toast them before adding them to your soup.

This will help to release their flavors and make your soup even more delicious!

14. Allspice

Allspice

Allspice tastes like a mix of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg (hence the name ‘all’) – making it a perfect addition to your soup.

It’s also really easy to use – just add 1/4 teaspoon of allspice per cup of soup.

Allspice is a great way to add some depth of flavor to your soup without making it too spicy.

And since allspice is technically a berry, it’s also a great source of antioxidants!

15. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is mostly hot and a little fruity – and it’s this combination of flavors that can really enhance a bowl of lentil soup.

A little cayenne pepper goes a long way, so start with just a pinch and add more to taste.

You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there!

Cayenne pepper is best added towards the end of cooking, so that the heat has time to build and infuse into the soup.

If you add it too early, the heat will dissipate and you won’t get that nice kick at the end.

So be patient and wait until your soup is nearly done before adding the cayenne pepper.

16. Onion Powder

Onion Powder

Onion powder tastes way more oniony than an actual onion (surprise, surprise).

So a little goes a long way.

You don’t want your soup to be too oniony, but you also don’t want it to be bland.

The perfect solution?

Add onion powder towards the end of cooking.

This way, you’ll get all the flavor without any of the harshness.

Lentil soup is hearty and filling, but sometimes it can be a little boring.

That’s where onion powder comes in!

It’s the perfect way to add some depth of flavor without overwhelming the soup.

Just add a teaspoon or so towards the end of cooking and you’re good to go!

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17. Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder tastes sweeter and much less assertive than fresh garlic.

You can use it to flavor just about anything, like roasted vegetables, grains, and of course, soup!

When using garlic powder in lentil soup (or any soup), be sure to add it towards the end of cooking.

This will help to preserve its flavor and prevent it from becoming bitter.

A little goes a long way with garlic powder, so start with a small amount and add more to taste.

You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there!

FAQ

What Herbs and Spices Go with Lentils?

There are many herbs and spices that go great with lentils!

Some of my favorites include oregano, thyme, sage, cumin, and paprika.

These herbs and spices can be used in a variety of ways to flavor your lentils.

For example, you could add them to a pot of boiling water when cooking the lentils, or stir them into a finished dish.

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, try using some Indian spices like garam masala or turmeric.

These spices will give your dish an exotic flavor that is sure to please.

How Do You Spruce up Lentil Soup?

Lentil soup is a delicious and healthy option for a winter meal, but it can sometimes be a little bland.

If you’re looking to spruce up your lentil soup, here are a few ideas:

  • Add some diced vegetables like carrots, celery, or potatoes.
  • Throw in some fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary.
  • Stir in a spoonful of tomato paste for extra flavor.
  • Add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice before serving.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese, crispy bacon, or chopped nuts.

How Do You Add Flavor to Lentils?

There are tons of ways to add flavor to lentils!

One way is to cook them with aromatic vegetables like onions, garlic, and carrots.

Another way is to simmer them in broth instead of water.

You could also spice them up with cumin, curry powder, or other spices.

Finally, you could add some chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro before serving.

Why Is My Lentil Soup Bland?

Some of the most common reasons why lentil soup may come out bland are because not enough salt was added, the wrong type of lentils were used, or there wasn’t enough acidity.

If you find your soup is too bland, try adding more salt, using a different type of lentil, or adding in some lemon juice or vinegar.

Taste as you go and adjust until you get the flavor you desire.

With these simple tips, you’ll be on your way to making a delicious pot of lentil soup that everyone will love.

What Herbs And Spices Go In Lentil Soup

17 Best Herbs and Spices for Lentil Soup

When the weather starts to cool down, there's nothing more comforting than a bowl of steaming hot soup.
And while there are endless possibilities when it comes to soup recipes, we think lentil soup is a great option.
Not only is it packed with nutrients and flavor, but it's also incredibly easy to make.
The best part about lentil soup is that it's a blank canvas – you can really add any herbs and spices you like.
But if you're not sure where to start, we've put together a list of our favorite flavor combinations.
So whether you're looking for a hearty and warming soup or a light and refreshing option, we've got you covered.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 2 minutes
Course Herbs, Soup, Spices
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 15 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Marjoram
  • Bay Leaves
  • Dill
  • Paprika
  • Sage
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Allspice
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder

Instructions
 

  • Pick any of these herbs or spices to add to your lentil soup recipe.
  • Prepare the rest of your meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword Best Herbs and Spices for Lentil Soup, herbs for lentil soup, spices for lentil soup