RECIPE: Make Manuel’s Tavern’s vegan lentil soup

Manuel’s Tavern Vegan Lentil Soup 
Courtesy of Manuel’s Tavern
Manuel’s Tavern Vegan Lentil Soup Courtesy of Manuel’s Tavern

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

We just love the vegan lentil soup that Manuel’s Tavern served as a special. We know they have to limit their menu now, but we really miss this soup. We would love it if they could share the recipe until it’s back. Thanks! — Maureen Wilce, Atlanta

When sharing this recipe, the folks at Manuel’s Tavern said the menu is an amalgam of Maloof family recipes and those of various cooks who have worked in Manuel’s kitchen over the decades. The longtime prep chef, who worked there for a couple of decades and left on good terms at the beginning of quarantine, used to make this lentil soup. Head chef Stanley Barnes has also made it over the years and provided the recipe for our readers.

This is a nice, straightforward recipe. We cut it down to a much smaller version than what is made at the restaurant (which yields 72 cups). When we tested the recipe, we used drained canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh.

Manuel’s Tavern Vegan Lentil Soup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons green or brown lentils
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth
  • Handful chopped fresh spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes. Add water, tomatoes, lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cook 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach and simmer 5 minutes more. Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper and lemon juice as desired. Makes 6 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per 1/2 cup: 88 calories (percent of calories from fat, 38), 3 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 44 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of...Manuel’s Tavern, 602 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 404-525-3447,

Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to and put “From the menu of” and the name of the restaurant in the subject line.

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