Naihomy’s Super-Saludable Dominican Lentil Soup

lentil soup is full of vegetables and Caribbean flavors from the Dominican Republic.

Naihomy Jerez taps into her Dominican heritage to whip up this savory, super-healthy and totally sabroso lentil soup full of flavor and vegetables. She uses traditional ingredients from her family’s culinary roots, like limes, yuca and auyama pumpkin.

This soup reflects Naihomy’s philosophy of healthying up favorite traditional D.R. dishes. It all began with a dressing room mirror, a couple years ago. “After having kids, I accepted the fact that I was just going to be heavier and keep most of the baby weight forever. Any hope of losing weight would only happen from crash dieting—and fajas. One day I was trying on girdles in a department store, and it just wasn’t working. I could not accept this was going to be my life. I promised myself I would lose weight the old-school way: through healthy eating and exercise.”

And she did.

Naihomy went on to lose—and keep off—50 pounds. She credits dishes like this lentil soup with how she did it. She’s since made it her mission to help women like her, especially Latinas who love their arroz y habichuelas, get and stay healthy. Oh, and about that arroz: use brown rice in your favorite Latino dishes, says Naihomy.

She’s even got her family on board. “I make this lentil soup about once a month. I love that I can make a big batch and it freezes so well,” Naihomy says. “I can use a frozen batch when I have many clients and am not able to cook. Everyone loves it, including my kids.”

Naihomy’s Super-Saludable Dominican Lentil Soup

Recipe by Naihomy Jerez
3.9 from 14 votes
Cuisine: Dominican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 lb. lentils

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1 large red onion

  • 1 green pepper

  • 4 stalks celery

  • 1 bunch cilantro (divided into 2 halves)

  • 1 head garlic, separate and peel cloves

  • 1 small bag carrots

  • 7 Yukon gold potatoes

  • 1 yuca

  • 1 auyama (kabocha pumpkin)

  • 2 limes

  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. black pepper

  • 2 tsp. turmeric

  • 2 tsp. cumin

  • 2 tsp. garlic powder

  • 2 tsp. onion powder

  • 1-2 packs smoked pork bones (optional)


  • Wash and roughly chop the aromatic vegetables (peppers, onions, celery, garlic) and half the cilantro.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the spices (salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder) and set aside.
  • Place a large pot (at least 8-quart) on stove at high heat. Add olive oil. Once oil is hot, stir in the chopped aromatic vegetables and cilantro.
  • When they start to soften, stir in spices and remaining root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, yuca, pumpkin). If desired, add the smoked pork bones. Note: If you leave out the pork bones, this recipe becomes vegan.
  • After about 3 minutes, rinse lentils and stir into vegetable mixture. Now that most of the ingredients are in, fill pot with water to just an inch below the top. Add juice of 1 lime and 1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar.
  • Leave the pot uncovered (or half covered, if you prefer) and boil gently. The soup will start to slowly evaporate and thicken. Stir occasionally, so that the lentils and vegetables don’t stick to the bottom.
  • After about 45 minutes, scoop out the peppers, onions and celery from the pot, and put into a blender bowl. Let cool for a few minutes and blend until smooth.
  • Return the pureed vegetables to pot on stovetop, set to low. Let the soup mixture continue to simmer and thicken. Taste and add remaining spices, lime juice and apple cider vinegar, as needed.
  • Once soup reaches desired thickness, it’s done and ready to serve!

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Suggestions and questions from our readers

  1. I am an experienced cook and suspect this recipe makes many more servings than it says it does. Even halving the recipe looks like a lot of soup.