Lentil Zucchini Carrot Soup

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published August 6, 2023

This soup can be chunky or smooth. You choose! Pair the soup with roast sweet potato toast.

Packed with wholesome ingredients and bursting with flavors, this soup is a true feast for the senses. The star of the show is the hearty brown lentils, cooked to perfection in a savory broth made with diced zucchini, carrots, onions, and tomatoes. 

A touch of black pepper and cumin adds a warm and aromatic note, while the addition of kale and sweet potato brings a vibrant and nutritious twist to this comforting soup. Get ready to savor every spoonful of this delicious creation that will not only satisfy your taste buds but also support your well-being. 

Let's dive into the world of flavors and embrace the nourishing power of plant-based goodness with this Lentil Zucchini Carrot Soup recipe!

Luscious Lentils: Wholesome Delights for Your Taste Buds!

Lentils are highly nutritious legumes and can be a beneficial food choice for people living with diabetes due to their unique nutritional composition and low glycemic index (GI). Here's an overview of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in lentils and their impact on diabetes:

Lentils boast an impressive nutritional profile, providing a wealth of health-enhancing components. Carbohydrates found in lentils are of the complex variety, breaking down slowly in the body and leading to a gradual rise in blood glucose levels. Their rich dietary fiber content, comprising both soluble and insoluble fibers, works wonders in slowing down sugar absorption and promoting optimal blood glucose control. 

Additionally, lentils serve as a valuable plant-based protein source, crucial for muscle maintenance and overall well-being. The vitamins within lentils, including folate (B-vitamin), thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, and vitamin K, play vital roles in supporting metabolism and overall health. 

Moreover, lentils serve as a generous source of essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, each vital for diverse bodily functions ranging from energy production to bone health and immune support. Embracing the wholesome benefits of lentils is a nourishing choice for your body and well-being.

Lentil Benefit for People Living with Diabetes

Low Glycemic Index (GI): Lentils have a low GI, meaning they cause a slow and gradual increase in blood glucose levels compared to high-GI foods. This property makes lentils a favorable choice for stabilizing blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.

High Fiber Content: The high fiber content in lentils helps improve insulin sensitivity and glycemic control. It also promotes a feeling of fullness, which can aid in weight management.

Nutrient-Rich: Lentils provide a wide array of essential nutrients without causing significant spikes in blood glucose levels, making them a valuable addition to a diabetes-friendly diet.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Lentils: The glycemic index (GI) of lentils is considered low, typically ranging from 21 to 30. Foods with a GI below 55 are classified as low-GI foods. Since lentils have a low GI, they have a minimal impact on blood glucose levels when consumed in reasonable portions.

The glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the glycemic index and the total carbohydrate content of a food. It provides a more accurate picture of a food's impact on blood glucose levels. Lentils have a low glycemic load, making them an excellent choice for promoting stable blood glucose levels.

Crunch into Goodness: Carrots - The Vibrant Stars of Flavor and Nutrition!

Carrots are a highly nutritious and popular vegetable, packed with vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds. They can be a valuable addition to the diet of people living with diabetes due to their low glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) and their various health benefits. Let's explore the nutritional content of carrots and their impact on diabetes.

Carbohydrates: Carrots are relatively low in carbohydrates and contain natural sugars, primarily in the form of sucrose and glucose.

Fiber: Carrots are a good source of dietary fiber, including soluble and insoluble fibers. Fiber helps slow down the absorption of sugars and promotes better blood glucose control.

Vitamins: Carrots are rich in various vitamins, especially vitamin A (as beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin K1, and vitamin B6. Vitamin A is essential for vision health, while vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and supports the immune system.

Minerals: Carrots are a good source of minerals such as potassium, manganese, and small amounts of calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Diabetes-Friendly Carrots

Carrots present a host of benefits for individuals with diabetes, beginning with their low Glycemic Index (GI) typically ranging from 32 to 41. With a GI below 55, carrots cause a slow and gradual rise in blood glucose levels, making them an excellent choice for managing blood glucose levels. 

The high fiber content in carrots plays a crucial role in promoting better blood glucose control by slowing down the digestion and absorption of sugars. Moreover, this fiber contributes to a feeling of fullness, aiding in satiety and weight management. 

Beyond their low-GI advantage and fiber prowess, carrots are a nutrient-rich vegetable, offering a diverse array of vitamins and minerals. Despite their richness in nutrients, carrots have a minimal impact on blood glucose levels, making them a valuable and wholesome addition to a balanced diet tailored for individuals living with diabetes.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Carrots: As mentioned earlier, carrots have a low glycemic index, usually ranging from 32 to 41. This means they have a minor effect on blood glucose levels when consumed in reasonable portions.

The glycemic load (GL) of carrots is also low, typically ranging from 2 to 3 for a medium-sized carrot. Foods with a glycemic load of 10 or below are considered low-GL, which is favorable for maintaining stable blood glucose levels.

Including carrots in a diabetes-friendly diet can be beneficial, as they provide essential nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber without causing significant spikes in blood glucose levels. As with any dietary decisions, it's essential for individuals with diabetes to work with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to create a personalized meal plan that aligns with their specific health needs and goals.

Zest for Zucchini: A Garden of Delicious and Healthy Creations!

Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be beneficial for people living with diabetes due to its low glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL), as well as its rich vitamin and mineral content. Let's explore the nutritional profile of zucchini and its impact on diabetes.

Zucchini offers a nutritional profile that aligns favorably with the needs of individuals managing their blood glucose levels. With its low carbohydrate and sugar content, zucchini emerges as a suitable choice for blood glucose control. Moreover, zucchini proves to be an excellent source of dietary fiber, essential in slowing down the absorption of sugars and supporting optimal blood glucose management. 

Embracing this vibrant vegetable can enhance digestive health while infusing the body with a range of essential vitamins. Among these are vitamin C, vitamin A (as beta-carotene), vitamin K, and various B vitamins like B6 and folate, each playing crucial roles in bolstering immune function, promoting clear vision, assisting blood clotting, and supporting metabolism. 

Zucchini's nutritional bounty extends further, offering various vital minerals, including potassium, magnesium, manganese, as well as smaller amounts of calcium, iron, and zinc. These minerals come together to foster heart health, bone health, and overall well-being, making zucchini a wholesome addition to a balanced diet with healthful benefits for all.

Zucchini Benefits for People Living with Diabetes

Low Glycemic Index (GI): Zucchini has a low GI, usually ranging from 15 to 30. Foods with a low GI cause a slow and gradual increase in blood glucose levels, making zucchini a diabetes-friendly choice. 

High Fiber Content: The fiber in zucchini helps regulate blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of sugars in the bloodstream. It also contributes to a feeling of fullness, which can aid in weight management.

Nutrient-Dense: Zucchini offers a wide array of vitamins and minerals with a minimal impact on blood glucose levels, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet for individuals with diabetes.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Zucchini: As mentioned earlier, zucchini has a low glycemic index, typically ranging from 15 to 30. This means it causes only a slight increase in blood glucose levels when consumed in reasonable portions.

Incorporating zucchini into meals can contribute to better blood glucose control and overall health for people with diabetes. 

Lentil Zucchini Carrot Soup

Beverly Verwey
Servings 2 people
Calories 430 kcal


  • 3/4 cup brown lentils uncooked
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 medium zucchini diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups kale trimmed and chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato


  • Prepare the sweet potato by slicing the potato lengthwise like toast about 1/4 inch thick. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the potato toast on a lined-baking sheet. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, wash the lentils by rinsing them in a colander. Place the washed lentils in a large pot. Add water. Let the water come to a boil while on high then reduce heat to low and cook the lentils on simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Add the vegetables, spices and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  • Add the kale and let it wilt about 5 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender blend the soup to anywhere between chunky to smooth. Adjust the seasoning.
  • Serve the soup with the sweet potato toast.


Replace the kale with spinach or swiss chard.


Calories: 430kcalCarbohydrates: 52.6gProtein: 24.3gFat: 2.6gSodium: 105.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green, and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.

Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on The Doctors, NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts the Rich Roll Podcast, Plant Proof, MindBodyGreen, and Nutrition Rounds.

Scientific Publications:

Sarver, Jordan, Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro, Bhakti Chavan, and David Drozek. “Retrospective Evaluation of an Online Diabetes Health Coaching Program: A Pilot Study.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, October 15, 2019, 1559827619879106. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827619879106

Shrivastav, Maneesh, William Gibson, Rajendra Shrivastav, Katie Elzea, Cyrus Khambatta, Rohan Sonawane, Joseph A. Sierra, and Robert Vigersky. “Type 2 Diabetes Management in Primary Care: The Role of Retrospective, Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” Diabetes Spectrum: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association 31, no. 3 (August 2018): 279–87. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0024

Thompson, Airlia C. S., Matthew D. Bruss, John C. Price, Cyrus F. Khambatta, William E. Holmes, Marc Colangelo, Marcy Dalidd, et al. “Reduced in Vivo Hepatic Proteome Replacement Rates but Not Cell Proliferation Rates Predict Maximum Lifespan Extension in Mice.” Aging Cell 15, no. 1 (February 2016): 118–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12414

Roohk, Donald J., Smita Mascharak, Cyrus Khambatta, Ho Leung, Marc Hellerstein, and Charles Harris. “Dexamethasone-Mediated Changes in Adipose Triacylglycerol Metabolism Are Exaggerated, Not Diminished, in the Absence of a Functional GR Dimerization Domain.” Endocrinology 154, no. 4 (April 2013): 1528–39. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2011-1047

Price, John C., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Kelvin W. Li, Matthew D. Bruss, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Marcy Dalidd, Nicholas A. Floreani, et al. “The Effect of Long Term Calorie Restriction on in Vivo Hepatic Proteostatis: A Novel Combination of Dynamic and Quantitative Proteomics.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP 11, no. 12 (December 2012): 1801–14.

Bruss, Matthew D., Airlia C. S. Thompson, Ishita Aggarwal, Cyrus F. Khambatta, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “The Effects of Physiological Adaptations to Calorie Restriction on Global Cell Proliferation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 300, no. 4 (April 2011): E735-745. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00661.2010

Bruss, Matthew D., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Maxwell A. Ruby, Ishita Aggarwal, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “Calorie Restriction Increases Fatty Acid Synthesis and Whole Body Fat Oxidation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 298, no. 1 (January 2010): E108-116.