Lentejas, known as lentils in English, are legumes cultivated for thousands of years. They are an integral part of Mexican cuisine, with a history dating back to pre-Hispanic times. Today, lentejas hold cultural significance, and their popularity has spread far beyond Mexico’s borders. Read about Pho Tai

The Nutritional Powerhouse of Lentejas

Lentejas are more than just delicious; they are packed with essential nutrients. Rich in protein, fiber, iron, and various vitamins, including folate, lentejas make a wholesome addition to any diet. Moreover, their low fat and cholesterol content adds to their appeal to health-conscious individuals.

Also read the Recipe: Linguica

A Brief History of Mexican Lentil Soup

Before diving into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate the history and cultural significance of Mexican Lentil Soup. Dating back centuries, this traditional dish has been passed down through generations, with each family adding their unique touch to the recipe. The combination of Spanish influence and indigenous ingredients has created a harmonious blend of flavors, making it a staple in Mexican cuisine. Discover about Chile Poblano


Lentil Soup
Lentil Soup

Preparing for the Cooking Adventure

Before diving into the cooking process, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried lentejas
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Cooking the Lentejas: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1 – Preparing the Lentejas

  • Rinse the dried lentejas under cold water to remove any impurities.
  • Soak the lentejas in water for 1-2 hours before cooking. This reduces the cooking time and aids in digestion.

Step 2 – Sautéing the Aromatics

  • In a large pot, heat some oil over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent.
  • Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute, releasing its aromatic flavors.

Step 3 – Adding Vegetables and Spices

  • Add the diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, and potato to the pot. Sauté for a few minutes to enhance the flavors.
  • Sprinkle cumin powder and paprika over the vegetables, infusing them with a warm, smoky essence.
  • Toss in the bay leaf, which will add a subtle earthy flavor.

Step 4 – Bringing It All Together

  • Drain the soaked lentejas and add them to the pot, stirring them with the sautéed vegetables and spices.
  • Pour the vegetable broth, ensuring the lentejas are fully immersed in the liquid.
  • Season the mixture with salt and pepper, according to your taste.

Step 5 – Simmering to Perfection

  • Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, covering it with a lid.
  • Allow the soup to simmer for about 25-30 minutes until the lentejas are tender and the flavors have melded together.
  • Serving and Enjoying Lentejas can be enjoyed alone or served with a side of rice. Garnish the soup with fresh cilantro to add color and freshness. Accompany the dish with some warm tortillas for a complete Mexican experience.
Lentil Soup
Lentil Soup

Variations and Tips

Adding Smoky Flavor

For a smoky twist, add a small amount of chipotle pepper or smoked paprika to the soup while simmering.

Meaty Delight

To make the soup heartier, include diced chorizo, bacon, or shredded chicken during the sautéing process.

Creamy Touch

For a creamy texture, blend a portion of the cooked soup and stir it back into the pot before serving.


Mexican Lentil Soup, or lentejas, is a soul-soothing culinary journey that combines the goodness of lentils and various vegetables. This delicious and nutritious dish resonates with Mexicans and food enthusiasts worldwide. Embrace the flavors of Mexico and savor the heartiness of this traditional soup.


Q. Can I use canned lentils instead of dried lentejas? 

A. While dried lentejas are recommended for the best texture and flavor, canned lentils can be used as a time-saving alternative. However, be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Q. Can I add meat to the lentejas?

A. Absolutely! While the traditional recipe is vegetarian, some variations include adding chorizo, ham, or bacon for a meaty twist.

Q. How long can I store leftover lentejas?

A. Once cooled, transfer the leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the soup for up to 2 months.

Q. Can I make lentejas in a slow cooker?

A. Yes, lentejas can be prepared in a slow cooker. Follow the same steps for sautéing the aromatics before transferring everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Q. What are some common variations of lentejas?

A. Besides the meaty variations, you can experiment with different vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or spinach to add your personal touch to the dish.



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