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Red Lentil Soup Recipe with Vegetables

This red lentil soup recipe with vegetables is a healthy, hearty, satisfying meal in a bowl. Perfect for a weeknight meal served with crusty bread.

The soup is thick, rich and flavorful – and super nutritious. Don’t miss it – it’s the best lentil soup, consistently rated in our top 5! 

Red Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentils are a good source of soluble fiber, protein, folate, and other minerals and vitamins. The carrots, onions, celery and potato add even more nutrition.

You can adjust the flavor and spices to your taste with coriander, more cumin or even hot sauce or chili flakes. We love the lemon in the soup which gives it gives it a bright zing.

We typically serve this red lentil vegetable soup as a full meal with fresh crusty bread. And maybe a side salad. But of course you can serve smaller cups of the soup as a starter. Be careful though – it’s filling. The soup is also nice with grilled cheese on the grill. a piece of homemade naan or our panzanella salad recipe with grilled chicken

One more thing, this healthy meal freezes well, making it a great make-ahead soup. So make a large pot of soup and enjoy it for weeks. 

 

Shortcuts

  • Throw all the vegetables in the processor for a rough chop (pulse a few times) instead of dicing them all by hand.
  • Use garlic in the jar or frozen garlic cubes instead of mincing garlic cloves.

Tailor To Your Taste

Substitutes

  • Substitute cilantro for the parsley. Here’s a quick 101 on Herbs: The Bare Essentials.
  • Use a cup of diced tomatoes (no juice) instead of tomato paste
  • Try sweet potatoes instead of carrots.
  • Use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth
  • You can use green lentils instead of red lentils, but the cooking time will be longer (about 45 minutes) and they won’t disintegrate and soften the way red lentils do. 

Other variations

  • Add 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Alter the seasonings to your taste e.g add a bay leaf, coriander or chili flakes for some heat.
  • Add more broth to make it a thinner soup
  • Add a splash of coconut milk
  • Puree all or part of the soup with an immersion or stick blender for a creamy lentil soup.
  • Omit the lemon

Make Ahead

  • The red lentil soup recipe with vegetables can be frozen for a couple of months. We like to freeze it in smaller lunch-size portions.

Other hearty soup recipes you might like

All of these can either be served as starters or as meals in a bowl.

How to make this red lentil vegetable soup

Red Lentils, lemon, carrots, celery, onions, broth, garlic, potato, seasonings, tomato paste
Ingredients: Red Lentils, lemon, carrots, celery, onions, broth, garlic, potato, seasonings, tomato paste
veggies chopped in food processor
Chop veggies in food processor.
sauted veggies in pot
Sauté onions, carrots and celery in a large soup pot. Add seasonings and tomato sauce.
Red Lentil Vegetable Soup finished in pot
Add broth and lentils. Cook until tender.
Add a good squeeze of lemon if you like and serve.
Red Lentil Vegetable Soup
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4.69 from 128 votes

Red Lentil Soup Recipe With Vegetables

This red lentil soup recipe with vegetables is a healthy, hearty, satisfying meal in a bowl. Perfect for a weeknight meal served with crusty bread.
Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time38 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Middle East
Servings: 5
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 potato, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin or curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: pinch of cayenne, chili powder and/or coriander seed
  • 4 cups (946ml) vegetable stock, broth or chicken broth (1 box)
  • 1 cup (237m) water
  • 1 cup (200g) red lentils
  • 1/2 large lemon (lemon zest and juice)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Instructions

  • PREPARE THE VEGETABLES: Dice carrots, onion, celery, potato.
    Shortcut: Cut vegetables into large chunks, put in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
  • SAUTE VEGETABLES, GARLIC: In a medium-large or large pot, heat oil to medium-high heat. Add vegetables and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté another minute.
  • ADD SEASONINGS AND OTHER INGREDIENTS: Add tomato paste, cumin or curry powder, salt and pepper (and optional seasonings if using). Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water and lentils.
  • COOK: Bring the soup to a boil. Lower to medium heat or medium-low heat to simmer. Cover pot partially and cook for 30 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are tender.
  • FINISH THE SOUP AND SERVE: Add lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley (or cilantro). Taste and adjust seasonings adding additional salt if needed. Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil on top and additional lemon wedges if desired.

Notes

Substitutes
  • Substitute cilantro for the parsley. Here's a quick 101 on Herbs: The Bare Essentials.
  • Use a cup of diced tomatoes (no juice) instead of tomato paste
  • Use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth
Other variations
  • Add 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Alter the seasonings to your taste
  • Add more broth to make it a thinner soup
  • Puree all or part of the soup with an immersion blender
  • Omit the lemon
Make Ahead:
  • Red lentil and vegetable soup can be frozen for a couple of months in an airtight container. We like to freeze it in smaller lunch-size portions.

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1074mg | Potassium: 773mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6879IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 5mg
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61 Comments

  1. Hi, so anxious to try this recipe. I am wondering if I can use split red lentils? I have a bag on hand. If you are around please lmk. Have a great day and thank you for sharing this recipe. 🙂

    1. Hi Norma. Great question. Yes, you can use split red lentils. Most red lentils sold in stores are split (husk removed). They will cook a bit faster and you will get a bit more to the cup, but for this recipe, it should make much difference. Hope that helps.

  2. 5 stars
    This was excellent! I used mixed legumes(mixed dal) and curry. I simmered it for 1-1.5 hrs to soften the legumes. This recipe is going in my ‘favourite’ file.

  3. This was excellent! Loved by all! I used a bag of mixed legumes(mixed dal) and simmered it for about 1 – 1.5 hours to soften the legumes. Definitely putting this as one of my favourites.

  4. This was so good! Thank you for sharing. As a lifelong vegetarian I need all the good recipes I can get my hands on! I did add a couple handfuls of fresh spinach:)

    1. Hi Audrey. Jenna, my daughter and the other kook, has been a vegetarian since 8 years old so pretty lifelong too. Like you, she’s always looking for new and interesting vegetarian recipes. So glad you like this one, including the spinach! Feel free to rate it if you like. And I hope you will find other good recipes on our website 🙂

    1. Red lentils break down faster (they almost disintegrate), so if you don’t mind a bit of ‘bite’ or if you have time to cook the soup a bit longer, go ahead and use other lentils. Hope that helps.

  5. 5 stars
    Phenomenal soup! Like others I also added a can of diced tomatoes and adjusted the amount of water accordingly. The lemon at the end is a must! So much liked this soup that I heated a few spoonfuls the next morning and topped my toast with it along with an over easy egg – made for a great breakfast with a nutritional boost!

    1. Soup on toast- that’s definitely a new one for me! Very creative! Thanks for sharing Mary. I really appreciate the comment.

    2. Loved the soup and followed recipe. Unusual for me, but reading it I saw nothing I wanted to tweet. Except a dollop of yoghurt for each bowle.

  6. Hi if I was to make this in the pressure how long would you think 15mins. Would like to make this tonight?

    1. Hi Roselyn. Yes, I think 15 minutes on high pressure in the instant pot with a natural release would be fine. Good luck.

  7. 5 stars
    We had it today. It was cold and rainy in Michigan and this was the perfect meal. We especially loved the lemon in it!

    1. Thanks Tammy. Hard to believe it’s cold and rainy at the end of May. Here, too, in Toronto. Soup helps though.

  8. 5 stars
    Really delicious! The lemon really brought it together at the end. Who knew I was a good cook?!

  9. This is delicious. I too, added a can of tomatoes and will add a package of frozen spinach next time (I didn’t have any on hand). I used just cumin and a bit of chili powder. The lemon at the end makes all the difference. Thanks for a great recipe.

  10. 5 stars
    Yes, just finished this and it was delicious. I left the veggies small & chunky, and added cumin AND curry powder. I also added a heaping teaspoon of black pepper, and I mixed in 2 handfuls of spinach at the end to add extra color. Really really yummy! Thank you!

  11. Fantastic recipe! I added a bay leaf, and threw in a can of diced tomatoes and reduced the liquid accordingly, but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Love this soup, thanks for sharing such a great recipe!