Easy Lentil Soup Recipe with Smoked Mushrooms

4.50 from 2 votes
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Lentil Soup with Smoked Mushrooms is an incredibly comforting, wholesome, nourishing, vegetarian and vegan, smoked mushroom soup that is dairy-free, gluten-free, with no added sugar.

Lentil Soup with Smoked Mushrooms in a dutch oven

Don’t be scared though, this lentil soup recipe has incredible flavor and is pure comfort for a cold winter.

And if you don’t have a smoker you can easily sauté the mushrooms instead.

Wholesome and clean soups are perfect for the new year when you need a little bit of a reset. Or perhaps just a weeknight meal when you want something light and fresh, and meat-free (even us hard core carnivores need a couple days a week without meat!).

In trying to compromise making something meat-free (and also sugar-free) we decided on one of our favorite soups, but altered it a bit to make it less rich — A Lentil Soup Recipe with some Smoked Mushrooms. We often make a creamy version of mushroom soup, but I wanted to cut the cream and add more vegetables. This is it!

Lentil Soup with Smoked Mushrooms

smoked mushrooms in a bowl

Lentil Soup with Smoked Mushrooms combines a classic lentil soup, with the added richness of smoked mushrooms. It’s comforting, wholesome, nourishing, vegetarian and vegan, and also dairy-free, gluten-free, with no added sugar.

It starts with the secret (not-so-secret) ingredient, smoked mushrooms.


In addition to the smoked mushrooms we like to have a hearty amount of vegetables and a good broth.

  • Classic Trinity: Celery, carrots and onions are the base in addition to garlic and the mushrooms.
  • Stock: A good low sodium vegetable stock keeps the lentil soup vegetarian. You can add the salt yourself as you season the soup.
  • Herbs: Adding aromatics enhances the flavor. A bunch of fresh thyme wrapped with kitchen string is nice flavor as well as a dried bay leaf.
  • Lentils: We recommend brown or green lentils for this lentil soup.


Cremini mushrooms are our favorite for this recipe because they have a meatier flavor than button (white) mushrooms. It’s also very easy to add any additional mushrooms or mix it up. If you do mix up the mushrooms consider shiitake as the next alternative.

Our ratio is 1 pound of cremini mushrooms for this recipe. If you add more mushrooms 4 ounces is the max to avoid the soup from being too dense.

Smoking the Mushrooms

Mushrooms cooking on a smoker
  1. Prepare Mushrooms: Coat mushrooms well with olive oil, salt and pepper. Be generous with this as it’s the only time you’ll be seasoning your mushrooms. If you feel like adding your favorite dry rub to the mushrooms go for it. We like to keep it simple with salt and pepper.
  2. Smoke Mushrooms: Place them on your smoker set to 200 degrees for up to 45 minutes. You may want to check on them after 30 minutes, and taste one to see if you’re liking the flavor. We found the shiitakes needed less time on the smoker as they take to the flavor much quicker, but the creminis need at last 45 minutes or so. Just be sure to monitor them and adjust cooking times to how you like the flavor.
  3. Remove from Smoker: When they’re done just remove them and slice them when they’re cool enough to work with.
Mushrooms after they have been smoked on a cookie drying rack.

How to Make Lentil Soup

  1. Soften Vegetables: Cook onions, carrots, and celery in a large pot or Dutch oven until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  2. Add Liquids and Herbs: Add the vegetable stock, thyme, lentils, bay leaf and the sliced smoked mushrooms.
  3. Simmer: Stir together and simmer 20-30 minutes, until lentils have softened.
  4. Serve: The lentils and the mushrooms will make the dish hearty and substantial enough to satisfy you as a stand-alone meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to soak lentils before cooking them?

No. The lentils do not require you to soak them before using them in soup. Just rinse them in cold water, then add them to the cooking broth and they will soften in around 20 minutes.

Can you smoke mushrooms?

Yes. Because mushrooms retain a lot of water they are a great vegetable to smoke and still maintain a nice texture. Smoke at a low heat (under 225 degrees F) for the best flavor and texture.

Which lentils are best for soup?

Lentils that tend to hold their texture and not soften too much are best. Brown and green are best for soups because they stay al dente (slightly firm) after they have been simmered. Red/Yellow tend to get real soft and almost mushy if cooked too long.

Lentil soup with smoked mushrooms in a bowl

More Soup Recipes

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Lentil Soup with Smoked Mushrooms in a Dutch Oven
4.50 from 2 votes

Lentil Soup Recipe with Smoked Mushrooms

Vegetarian and vegan, dairy free, sugar free, Lentil Soup with Smoked Mushrooms. Incredibly nourishing and wholesome! Not to mention ridiculously delicious!!!
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


To Smoke the Mushrooms:

  • 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed, (also called “baby bella”)
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, optional but delicious add on.
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

For the Soup:

  • 1 medium white onion, diced , (about 1 ½ cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup green lentils
  • 10 sprigs thyme, tied together with kitchen string
  • 1 bay leaf


For the Smoked Mushrooms:

  • Preheat smoker to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. We like using fruit woods like cherry or apple for vegetables.
  • Season: In a large bowl toss the mushrooms with the olive oil, salt, and pepper until well coated. Lay out evenly on a baking sheet or lined tray.
  • Smoke: Place the tray on the smoker, cover, and smoke for approximately 45 minutes. Taste one to see if you like the smoke infusion. Remove from smoker. When cool enough to work with, slice the mushrooms.

For the Soup:

  • Sauté: In a med-large saucepan over medium heat add one tablespoon of olive oil and the onions. Cook 5 minutes, until starting to get soft. Add the carrots and celery. Stir together and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  • Simmer: Add the vegetable stock, lentils, thyme, bay leaf and the sliced smoked mushrooms. Stir together and simmer 20-30 minutes, until lentils have softened.


We recommend green lentils for this recipe. If you use red lentils, be sure to watch the time on the simmer. Red lentils can soften much faster than others and overcook quickly. 


Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1167mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3965IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Entree, Soup
Cuisine: barbecue, dairy free, soup, sugar free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 152
Keyword: best lentil soup, lentil soup recipe
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. 4 stars
    What flavor wood chips did you use in your smoker? I used cherry on hand and it was a good choice for us.

  2. You can really do sooo much with a smoker that I would have never even thought about. This soup looks divine. Did you know that January is National Soup Month? Good timing on this post!

  3. I have been really into soups this time of year too!!! I have a hard time getting enough protein so I usually add meat and get a full meal including veggies, protein, fat, and some carbs like potatoes. One-pot meals like soups are so perfect this time of year!

    1. We sometimes add potatoes to this soup, and it’s hearty and delicious. But this time I wanted to focus on just veggies. That’s the beauty of soups, you can add or take away whatever the heck you want 😉

  4. It’s definitely soup season. And I love how your husband made you homemade vegetable stock. SO sweet!

  5. That is the sweetest thing ever! I want my boyfriend to make me vegetable stock!!! But I’ll settle for him doing the dishes 😉

    1. It was pretty awesome. Especially because I was in a pretty bad mood earlier that day (due to the weather!!!). It completely turned my mood around 🙂