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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.
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4.77 from 170 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 minutes
Cook Time38 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Middle East
Servings: 5

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.

Video

Recipe 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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Recipe Rating




81 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I have made it three times now. I add some frozen spinach at the end. I’ve used a sweet potato once, regular potato once and no potato once. Each time, delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly and really enjoyed this soup a lot. It’s a keeper! However, I do have one little quibble. There’s no way the prep time is 7 minutes, especially if you chop the vegetables yourself (which I think is preferable to using the shortcut). So, if you make it plan on at least an hour, maybe more, with prep.

    1. Fair enough Sharon. I always use the food processor to speed things up, but not everyone has one or wants to use it. Glad you liked the soup!

      1. 5 stars
        Just made this since it’s suddenly really cold in my part of Texas and needed a hearty veggie soup. This was delicious!! Used Madras curry powder (a bit more than recipe states), Kashmiri chili powder, a pinch of ground coriander and lots of fresh cilantro (that somehow didn’t die last night in the freeze). The lemon juice and zest really gives it additional complexity, so good! Oh and for the broth I used leftover Turkey carcass broth that I had in the freezer from Thanksgiving. Would like to try this again with the optional coconut milk (minus the lemon juice maybe for this version). Thanks for the recipe!!

        1. What a great description of all your tweaks Jennifer. Thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed. Let us know how the soup turns out with the coconut milk if you try it.

  3. 5 stars
    Have made this quite a few times . Simple & so tasty. The Lemon juice & the parsley at the end gives it a nice zesty flavour.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this soup today I didn’t have any celery. I added some sweet potato as well. It was very tasty I will making it again.

  5. Absolutely delicious! I used 1 carrot and 2 small sweet potatoes. The added lemon made such a difference! Definitely a keeper recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made it twice. I personally preferred it with curry+cilantro combo but loved it either way. I may try adding the lentils later or try other coloured lentils to keep them from disintegrating so much. All in all, will keep making this as a new favourite!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 🙂