Lentil and Mushroom Soup in Sourdough Bread Bowls

This vegetarian soup is good. And filling, with a capital “F.”

Vertical image of a recipe served in bread bowls next to rosemary and a spoon on an orange towel, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Why’s that?

Well, it’s full of lentils. These little pulses are really amazing – like all beans, legumes, and other pulses, they are both a healthy ingredient and a hearty addition to any soup or stew.

Vertical image of a fresh rosemary sprig on a dark platter.

And to beef it up even more, I also added a bunch of sliced meaty mushrooms, lots of potatoes, and some (optional) veggie sausages to top it off.

I usually don’t aim for meat-lover-satisfying with my meals, because I tend to prefer lighter things. And, well, I don’t like to pretend my meals have meat in them.

Vertical close-up image of soup in an edible bowl next to fresh rosemary and a metal spoon.

But this here?

This is definitely a vegetarian meal that would satisfy any meat-lover I know, I can tell you that: tons of texture, huge bites of flavor, and so filling.

Vertical image of two bread bowls filled with a lentil stew on colorful napkins.

I love serving thick soups and stews inside a bread bowl. I’ve done it for countless of soup recipes, like potage parmentier and creamy pumpkin.

A sourdough boule with a fluffy inside and crunchy, crisp crust is the perfect accompaniment for this hearty recipe.

Vertical close-up image of a lentil and vegetable dish served in an edible bowl.

Making this soup is actually pretty simple. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to cook from start to finish – which is doable for most of us on a weeknight.

Not a big fan of vegan sausages? Want a soup recipe that isn’t so heavy on carbs with all those potatoes? Swap out this soup with our Italian Lentil Soup. There’s more veggies, and no alternative meat products!

But for those of you are with me all the way with every ingredient in this recipe… plan to make it for next week!

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Horizontal close-up image of a vegetable and pulse stew in a bread bowl.

Lentil Mushroom Soup in Sourdough Bread Bowls

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Here’s a hearty spiced vegetarian soup with lentils, mushrooms, and potatoes, all served in a sourdough bread bowl.


  • 2 cups uncooked small green lentils
  • 9 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 910 small yellow potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 veggie sausages, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Mini sourdough bread boules, optional


  1. Combine the lentils, broth, and bay leaf in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and cook partially covered for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add the carrots, celery, and onion in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until they start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, and browned veggies to the pot with the lentils. Stir to combine. Mix in the spices. Cook at a steady boil for another 20 minutes or so, until the potatoes and lentils are soft.
  4. While the soup is cooking, slice each sausage, if using, in half moons. Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan you used for the vegetables. Add the sausages. Cook over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes, tossing often, until the slices are evenly browned.
  5. Add the rosemary, soy sauce, and browned sausages to the soup pot and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. If using the bread bowls, use a serrated knife to cut a circle in the top of each sourdough boule, kind of like you would a pumpkin. Remove the top, then pull out some of the bread inside to make a bowl without tearing through the crust.
  7. Ladle the soup into each bowl and serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: vegetarian recipes, mushrooms, lentils, bread bowl, comfort food

Leftover Comfort Food

If you only have time to make this mushroom-laden dish on the weekend, don’t you fret. You’ll have leftovers for days! This recipe makes a large batch of soup – enough to feed 8 people, possibly more if you are serving it in the sourdough bread bowls, which take up tummy space.

If you’re scared of large recipes, you could cut it in half, or just freeze half for later. Freezing makes homemade soup super easy on nights you don’t have much time.

Want to make your own bread for this recipe? Learn all about the fundamentals of gluten development, and get our ultimate guide to baking bread at home.

And if you love lentils like we do, then check out some of our other tasty recipes:

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 17th, 2014. Last updated: November 30, 2020 at 14:56 pm. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

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