Delicious Red Lentil Soup Recipe With Smooth Creamy Texture

Immerse yourself in the rich flavors of this Red Lentil Soup Recipe, a delightful blend of earthiness and spice that promises to warm you from the inside out. Start by sautéing onions, garlic, and carrots, their sweetness laying the groundwork for this hearty dish. Add in vibrant red lentils, their mildness a perfect canvas for the spices to come. Pour in a robust broth, seasoned with cumin, coriander, and a hint of turmeric, their aromas intertwining with the simmering lentils. Once the lentils are tender, serve hot, garnished with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, for a bowl that’s truly a celebration of flavors.

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Savor the essence of a culinary classic – the timeless red lentil soup recipe. The soup is modest yet bold, boasting a symphony of flavors meticulously crafted with select ingredients. Each spoonful tells a tale of tradition and innovation as hearty lentils and aromatic spices intertwine. 

red lentil soup recipe

This humble soup reveals layers of history, taking you on a journey from its roots to its present-day form. You can experience the joy of creating this culinary masterpiece in your kitchen, uncovering its secrets step by step. 

It’s not just about satiating your hunger; it’s about expanding your culinary repertoire and forging memories with every simmer and stir. Prepare yourself for a sensory delight with the Red Lentil Soup as we embark on this culinary adventure, one nourishing bowl at a time.

What Is Red Lentil Soup?

Red lentil soup is a hearty, flavorful dish popular in many cultures worldwide. It’s primarily composed of red lentils, which are high in protein and fiber, making this soup nutritious and filling. The lentils are typically blended with spices and vegetables like onions, carrots, garlic, and sometimes tomatoes. 

This soup is often served as a warm, comforting meal, especially in colder weather. It is appreciated for its rich taste and health benefits.

History Of Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Red lentil soup traces its roots to diverse culinary cultures worldwide, notably in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions. Lentils, one of the earliest cultivated crops, were widely used in Ancient Egyptian and Roman diets. Red lentils became popular in soups due to their quick cooking time and hearty texture. 

In Turkey, red lentil soup or ‘Mercimek Çorbası’ is a staple, while in India, ‘Masoor Dal’ is a beloved variant. Over time, this simple yet versatile soup found its way into kitchens globally, adapted to local tastes with varying ingredients and spices. Today, it stands synonymous with comfort, health, and culinary tradition.

Interesting Facts About Red Lentil Soup Recipe

  • Universality: Despite its ancient roots, red lentil soup has spread globally across various cultures. Each region adapts the recipe to their local palate, making this dish incredibly diverse.
  • Nutritional Powerhouse: Red lentils contain protein, fiber, and essential nutrients like iron, potassium, and folate. This makes the soup not just a tasty treat but also a healthful one.
  • Quick to Cook: Unlike other types of lentils, red lentils cook relatively quickly and don’t require soaking, making them ideal for easy, nutritious meals.
  • Comfort Food: Across the globe, red lentil soup is often associated with comfort and warmth, typically enjoyed during colder seasons.
  • Ancient Staple: Lentils were one of the first cultivated crops consumed by humans for over 8,000 years. They were a staple in ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean diets.
  • Color Change: When cooked, red lentils lose their bright hue and take on a golden-yellow color, contributing to the soup’s warm, inviting look.
  • Versatile: Red lentil soup can be enjoyed as a main dish, a side dish, or even as a base for other meals, demonstrating its remarkable versatility in the culinary world.

What Makes Red Lentil Soup Special?

Several factors make red lentil soup special:

  • Nutritious: Red lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition, high in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients like iron, folate, and potassium. They are also low in fat and calories, making the soup a healthy choice.
  • Versatility: Red lentil soup is incredibly versatile. It can be spiced to match any palette, from mild to spicy. The ingredients can be easily adjusted to cater to different dietary needs or preferences.
  • Easy to Make: This soup doesn’t require hours of simmering or complicated techniques. Red lentils cook fairly quickly and easily, which is great for both novice cooks and busy schedules.
  • Comforting: There’s something inherently comforting about a bowl of red lentil soup. Its warm, hearty nature makes it perfect for cold days, while its simplicity offers a sense of home and comfort.
  • Universal Appeal: With its roots in various global cuisines, red lentil soup appeals to various tastes. Its familiarity across different cultures adds to its charm and specialness.
  • Color and Texture: The transformation of red lentils into a golden, creamy soup enhances the dish’s visual appeal and contributes to a delightful texture, adding to its uniqueness.
red lentil soup recipe

Ingredients List

Dried red lentils1 cup
Vegetable stock5 cups
Carrots4, cut into thick slices
Yam or sweet potato1, cut into 1-inch chunks
Onions2, cut into chunks and separated
Turnip or potato½ cup, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Green cabbage1/2 head, sliced
Cardamom2 teaspoons
Garam masala2 teaspoons
Curry powder2 teaspoons
LemonJuice and zest of 1
Olive oil3 tablespoons
Cilantro1 bunch, chopped

Ingredient Tips 

  • Selecting Lentils: Look for bright and evenly colored red lentils. They should be clean and free from any debris. Store them in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.
  • Spices: The spices used can greatly alter the flavor of the soup. While cumin, turmeric, and paprika are common, don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorites. Toasting spices before adding can intensify their flavor.
  • Vegetables: Use fresh, high-quality vegetables for the best results. Add vegetables like celery, bell peppers, or spinach for extra nutrition and flavor.
  • Broth: Using vegetable broth instead of water can add more depth to the soup. For non-vegetarian versions, chicken broth is a great option.
  • Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil can impart a richer flavor. For a smoky touch, try using a splash of toasted sesame oil.
  • Acidity: A squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of vinegar at the end of cooking can brighten up the flavors of the soup.
  • Garnish: Fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or dill can add a fresh, vibrant note to your soup. Toasted nuts or seeds provide a delightful crunch.
  • Checking for Doneness: Red lentils should be tender and break down easily after the soup. If they’re still firm, continue to cook, checking every few minutes.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

Absolutely! One of the great things about red lentil soup is its versatility. Here are some variations you can try:

  • Vegetables: Add bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach for an extra nutrient boost. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes or parsnips also work well.
  • Proteins: You could add cooked, shredded chicken or turkey for a non-vegetarian twist. For a vegetarian protein boost, try adding cubed tofu or chickpeas.
  • Grains: Stir in cooked grains like rice, barley, or quinoa towards the end of cooking for a heartier soup.
  • Spices and Herbs: Experiment with spices like garam masala, curry powder, or smoked paprika for a flavor twist. Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or basil can also add a unique flavor profile.
  • Creaminess: Add coconut milk or cream towards the end of cooking for a creamier texture. You could also blend part of the soup to make it creamier while maintaining some texture.
  • Toppings: Change the toppings with crispy fried onions, crumbled feta cheese, fresh avocado slices, or a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.
red lentil soup recipe

Recipe Directions

  • Chop all the vegetables into chunks.
  • Prepare your spices for the sauté.
  • In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil. 
  • Add lentils, skim off any foam that rises to the top, and reduce the heat to let it simmer.
  • Add the chopped vegetables to the pot and let everything simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
  • Chop the remaining onion and sauté it in olive oil in a separate pan until it turns fragrant. Then, add your spices to the onions and continue sautéing until well combined.
  • Add the onion-spice mixture to the simmering soup. You can add a bit of soup liquid to the sauté pan to deglaze, capturing all the flavors, and pour that liquid back into the soup pot.
  • Stir in the lemon juice to the soup for a refreshing tang.
  • You can blend half or all of the soup with an immersion blender for a creamier soup, depending on your texture preference.
  • Check the seasoning. Add salt, pepper, or more spices if needed.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish generously with fresh herbs, crumbled cheese, or crispy onions.
  • For added protein, consider adding cooked chicken, tofu, or chickpeas.
  • For a heartier soup, stir in cooked grains like rice or quinoa towards the end of cooking.
red lentil soup recipe

Variations, Add-Ons And Toppings

The beauty of red lentil soup lies in its versatility. Here are some possible variations, add-ons, and toppings:


  • Vegan: Make it vegan using vegetable broth and skipping animal-based toppings.
  • Spicy: Add a kick with some chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or freshly chopped jalapenos.
  • Curried: Stir in curry powder or garam masala for an Indian-inspired version.
  • Mediterranean: Add chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, and pesto drizzle for a Mediterranean twist.


  • Grains: Stir in cooked quinoa, bulgur, or rice for a heartier soup.
  • Greens: Add kale, spinach, or Swiss chard for an extra nutrient boost.
  • Proteins: For non-vegetarians, add cooked chicken or turkey. For vegetarians, consider tofu, chickpeas, or a dollop of Greek yogurt.
  • Legumes: Along with red lentils, you can add other ones like chickpeas or black beans.


  • Fresh herbs: Cilantro, parsley, dill, or mint can add a fresh flavor contrast.
  • Seeds or nuts: Sprinkle some roasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or crushed almonds for a crunchy texture.
  • Cheese: Crumbled feta or goat cheese can add a tangy creaminess.
  • Spicy oil: Drizzle chili or garlic-infused oil for a spicy kick.
  • Cream: A dollop of sour cream or a drizzle of coconut milk can make the soup creamier.
  • Crunchy veggies: Sliced radishes, diced cucumber, or red onion can add a fresh crunch.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

Garnishing your red lentil soup adds an aesthetic touch and enhances the flavor and texture. Here are some commonly used garnishes for red lentil soup:

  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like chopped parsley, cilantro, dill, or mint can provide freshness and color.
  • Seeds or Nuts: Toasted sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or crushed almonds can add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.
  • Spices: A sprinkle of spice like smoked paprika, ground cumin, or chili flakes can add depth and a pop of color.
  • Cheese: A sprinkle of crumbled feta or a dollop of Greek yogurt can add a tangy creaminess.
  • Oils: A good-quality, extra virgin olive oil, chili oil, or garlic-infused oil can enhance the flavors.
  • Cream: A swirl of cream or coconut milk adds luxurious creaminess and visual appeal.
  • Citrus Zest: Lemon or lime zest can add a zesty freshness.
  • Croutons: Homemade croutons can provide a crunchy contrast to the smooth soup.
red lentil soup recipe

Can I Make Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Yes, absolutely! Red lentil soup is an excellent candidate for the slow cooker and Instant Pot. Here’s how you can adapt the recipe for these appliances:

Slow Cooker

  • Rinse the lentils and add them to the slow cooker, chopped vegetables and spices.
  • Pour the stock over the ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Check the lentils for doneness, as cooking times can vary based on the age and type of lentils.
  • Towards the end of cooking, you can sauté any additional spices or aromatics in a separate pan and stir them into the soup for added depth of flavor.
  • Before serving, add in any final touches like lemon juice or extra spices, and garnish as desired.

Instant Pot

  • Use the sauté function to cook the onions and other vegetables you’d like to pre-cook. Add in the spices near the end of the sautéing process.
  • Add the rinsed lentils, remaining vegetables, and stock to the pot.
  • Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 10-15 minutes. It will take a few minutes for the pressure to build up before the timer starts.
  • Once the cooking time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully turn the valve to “venting” for a quick pressure release.
  • Stir in any final touches, adjust seasonings, and garnish as desired before serving.

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Both store-bought and homemade broths can be used to make red lentil soup, and the choice largely depends on your preferences and availability.

Store-Bought Broth

  • This is a convenient option, especially if you need more time. When buying store-bought broth, look for low-sodium options, as they give you more control over the salt content of your soup. Organic and preservative-free varieties can be a healthier choice.

Homemade Broth

  • Making your broth allows you to control what goes into it, which can benefit taste, dietary restrictions, or food sensitivities. You can make a large batch and freeze it in portions for future use. Vegetables, chicken, or bone broths are all good options for red lentil soup.

Can I Use Different Types Of Fish/Meat/Pasta/Vegetables For The Recipe?

You can add different fish, meat, pasta, and vegetables to your red lentil soup. Here are some ideas:

  • Fish/Meat: Adding cooked, flaked fish like salmon or white fish could be unique. If you prefer meat, cooked chicken, turkey, or even sausage could work well. Ensure any meat or fish is fully cooked before adding it to the soup.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes like orzo or ditalini can be added to make the soup heartier. If you add pasta, adjust the cooking time and liquid quantities to avoid overcooking or having the pasta absorb too much broth.
  • Vegetables: The sky’s the limit when it comes to vegetables. Add bell peppers, zucchini, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, peas, or corn. Just remember that cooking times for vegetables vary, so add them at appropriate times to ensure they’re not overcooked.
red lentil soup recipe

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup

Success Tips

  • Lentil Quality: Choose bright red lentils for the best flavor and consistency.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh vegetables and herbs to elevate the taste.
  • Season Well: Don’t skimp on the spices. They add depth and complexity to the soup.
  • Stir Frequently: This prevents sticking and ensures even cooking.
  • Taste Test: Adjust the seasoning towards the end to cater to your preference.
  • Rest Time: Let the soup sit for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Prepping Tips

  • Lentil Rinse: Always rinse your lentils thoroughly under cold water before using them to remove any dirt or impurities.
  • Vegetable Cut: Cut your vegetables into similar sizes to ensure even cooking.
  • Herb Prep: If using fresh herbs, wash and dry them thoroughly before chopping.
  • Spice Ready: Have your spices measured and ready to go before cooking to make the process smoother.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Simmer, Don’t Boil: Keep your soup at a gentle simmer. Boiling can make the lentils tough and prevent them from cooking evenly.
  • Stir Occasionally: This prevents the lentils and vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pot and ensures even cooking.
  • Test for Doneness: Cooking times can vary depending on the age and type of your lentils. Start checking for doneness around the 30-minute mark. The lentils should be soft and break apart when the soup is done.
  • Rest and Reheat: Red lentil soup, like many soups, often tastes better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld together. Don’t be afraid to make it ahead of time and reheat it when ready to serve.
red lentil soup recipe

Nutritional Values

Red lentil soup is a nutrient-dense dish. A typical serving provides high-quality plant-based protein and dietary fiber from the lentils, contributing to satiety and digestive health. The soup is also a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C from the vegetables and iron and folate from the lentils. 

Plus, if made with olive oil, it also contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Exact nutritional values may vary depending on specific ingredients and portion sizes used.

What Are The Total Calories In The Recipe?

The total caloric content of red lentil soup can vary significantly based on the specific ingredients used, their quantities, and the serving size. However, a typical serving of homemade red lentil soup (approx one cup) usually ranges between 180 to 250 calories. This includes lentils, vegetables, and added oils or fats.

Adding proteins like chicken or additional carbohydrates like rice or pasta will increase the calorie content. Conversely, a lighter version with more vegetables and less oil would have fewer calories. 

Dietary Restrictions Of Red Lentil Soup Recipe

The dietary restrictions for red lentil soup can vary based on the recipe and the ingredients you choose. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Vegetarian/Vegan: The basic red lentil soup recipe is often vegetarian and can be made vegan by ensuring no animal products, such as butter or chicken broth, are used.
  • Gluten-Free: The soup is typically gluten-free as long as all the broth and other packaged ingredients are certified gluten-free.
  • Nut-Free: Red lentil soup is generally nut-free unless garnished with nuts. Always check the ingredients of store-bought broths and spice blends to ensure they’re nut-free if you’re cooking for someone with a nut allergy.
  • Soy-Free: The soup should be soy-free unless soy products like tofu or soy-based broths are added.
  • Low-Fat/Low-Calorie: The soup can be low in fat and calories, depending on the amount of oil and types of ingredients used.
  • Paleo/Keto: As lentils are legumes, they are not typically included in strict Paleo or Keto diets.

Health Benefits Of Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Red lentil soup is a nourishing dish with numerous health benefits thanks to its nutrient-rich ingredients. Here are some of its key health benefits:

  • Rich in Plant-Based Protein: Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • High in Dietary Fiber: The high fiber content in lentils can aid digestion, help regulate blood sugar levels, and contribute to feelings of fullness, aiding in weight management.
  • Source of Essential Nutrients: Lentils provide important vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, and magnesium. Iron supports the production of red blood cells, folate is crucial for DNA synthesis, and magnesium plays a role in nerve function and blood pressure regulation.
  • Boosts Immunity: The various vegetables used in the soup, such as carrots and tomatoes, are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which can support a healthy immune system.
  • Heart Health: High fiber, low fat, and zero cholesterol in lentils make them a heart-healthy choice. Moreover, the potassium found in lentils can help lower blood pressure, further promoting heart health.
  • Bone Health: Lentils also contain a decent amount of calcium and phosphorus, essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
  • Energy Production: The complex carbohydrates in lentils are a great energy source and are digested slowly, providing sustained energy and keeping blood sugar levels stable.
  • Good for Eye Health: Carrots, often used in red lentil soup, are rich in beta-carotene, which is beneficial for eye health.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table

How Can I Make Red Lentil Soup Lower In Sodium?

If you’re looking to make your red lentil soup lower in sodium for a low-sodium diet, here are a few tips:

  • Choose No-Sodium or Low-Sodium Broth: Most store-bought broths and stocks contain high sodium levels. Opt for no-sodium or low-sodium versions if you’re buying your broth.
  • Make Your Own Broth: Homemade broth is another great option, as it allows you to control the sodium content. You can flavor it with herbs, spices, and vegetables without salt.
  • Limit Added Salt: Avoid adding extra salt to the soup while cooking. Add a small amount at the end after tasting the soup. Remember that many spices and herbs can add flavor without salt.
  • Watch Your Ingredients: If your recipe calls for canned vegetables or other processed ingredients, look for low-sodium or no-sodium versions.
  • Spice It Up: Use a variety of herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, or chili powder to flavor the soup without adding sodium.
  • Add Acid: A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice or a splash of vinegar at the end of cooking can brighten up the flavors of the soup without needing extra salt.

How Can I Make Red Lentil Soup Lower In Sugar?

Red lentil soup typically has a low sugar content, particularly if you’re making it from scratch with whole ingredients. However, if you want to ensure your soup is as low in sugar as possible for a diabetic-friendly diet, follow these tips:

  • Choose Low-Sugar Broth: Some store-bought broths might contain added sugars, so look for low-sugar or no-sugar-added versions.
  • Avoid Sweet Vegetables: Certain vegetables like carrots and onions, while healthy, do contain natural sugars. You can limit these ingredients and focus more on lower-sugar vegetables like spinach, zucchini, or bell peppers.
  • Skip Added Sugars: Some recipes might call for a pinch of sugar to balance flavors, but you can skip this.
  • Monitor Your Ingredients: If your recipe calls for canned tomatoes or other processed ingredients, these can sometimes contain added sugars. Look for no-sugar-added versions of these products.
  • Balancing Flavors: Instead of using sugar to balance acidity or bitterness, consider using a splash of vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Check Your Spices: Some spice blends can contain sugar, so check labels carefully or use individual spices instead.
  • Pair With Protein: When you eat the soup, pairing it with a lean protein source can help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
red lentil soup recipe

How To Serve The Red Lentil Soup At Its Best? 

Serving red lentil soup can be a delightful experience if presented well. Here’s how to serve your soup in the best way:

  • Appropriate Bowl: Serve your soup in a warm bowl to help keep it hot for longer. Warm your bowls in the oven at a low temperature or fill them with hot water (and discard them) before serving.
  • Garnish: Enhance the visual appeal with garnishes like a swirl of yogurt, a sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs like parsley or cilantro, a few drops of olive oil, a dash of spices, or some toasted seeds or nuts.
  • Serve with Bread: A slice of rustic bread, a warm pita, or a crunchy cracker on the side can be perfect for dipping into the soup.
  • Side Salad: For a complete meal, serve your soup with a fresh salad.
  • Lemon Wedges: Serve with a lemon wedge on the side. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can brighten up the flavors of the soup just before eating.
  • Individual Portions: If you’re entertaining, consider serving the soup in individual bowls or even in shot glasses for a soup “appetizer.”
  • Pair with Protein: If you want to make the meal more substantial, you can pair the soup with a side of grilled chicken, roasted tofu, or a boiled egg.
  • Wine Pairing: If you enjoy wine with your meal, a light white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a Viognier could complement the flavors of the soup nicely.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement The Recipe

Pairing your red lentil soup with the right side dishes can create a satisfying meal. Here are some suggestions:

  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A classic grilled cheese sandwich can make a delightful pair with red lentil soup. The gooey cheese and crunchy toasted bread are a lovely contrast to the smooth, hearty soup.
  • Greek Salad: A crisp Greek salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese would provide a refreshing counterpoint to the warm, rich soup.
  • Hummus and Pita Bread: Offering a side of homemade hummus with warm pita bread can complement the Middle Eastern flavors of red lentil soup.
  • Quinoa Salad: A cold quinoa salad with a lemon vinaigrette could add a bright, tangy flavor and extra protein to your meal.
  • Roasted Vegetables: A side of roasted vegetables like bell peppers, eggplant, or zucchini would add depth of flavor and a different texture to the meal.
  • Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast: This could be an excellent choice if you’re looking for a heavier side. The salty feta and earthy spinach perfectly complement the heartiness of the red lentil soup.
  • Tabbouleh: This refreshing Middle Eastern salad made with bulgur wheat, fresh parsley, and tomatoes would pair well with red lentil soup.
  • Bruschetta: A classic bruschetta’s fresh, tangy flavors could make a great appetizer before serving the soup.
Soup lover

How Long Can We Store The Red Lentil Soup?

Red lentil soup can be stored well for future meals if done properly.

  • Refrigerator: After allowing the soup to cool down, store it in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freezer: If you want to store the soup longer, you can freeze it. Divide the soup into serving-size portions and store it in airtight, freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. The soup can be stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

Can I Make The Red Lentil Soup In Advance?

Yes, you can make red lentil soup in advance! This soup is a great choice for make-ahead meals because the flavors often deepen and improve after a day or two. Here are some tips:

  • Prepare the Soup: Make the soup as directed in your recipe. However, you should slightly undercook the lentils if you plan on reheating the soup later, as they will continue to soften when you reheat the soup.
  • Cool and Store: Let the soup cool completely before storing it to prevent condensation from building up inside your storage container, which could make your soup watery. Once cooled, store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
  • Reheat: When you’re ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s hot. If the soup has thickened too much in the fridge or freezer, add a bit of water or broth to thin it out.
  • Freshen Up: To freshen up the flavors, consider adding fresh lemon juice or herbs before serving.

What Can We Do With The Leftovers?

Leftover red lentil soup can be incredibly versatile and incorporated into several dishes. Here are a few suggestions:

  • New Soup: Blend the leftover soup until smooth, then add some spices, vegetables, or proteins to make a completely new soup.
  • Pasta Sauce: Red lentil soup can be reduced down on the stovetop to make a thick, hearty sauce for pasta. You can add some grated cheese on top for extra flavor.
  • Grain Bowl: Use the soup as a base for a grain bowl. Add cooked quinoa, barley, or rice, then top with fresh vegetables and protein of your choice.
  • Stuffed Vegetables: Use the soup as a filling for stuffed bell peppers or zucchini boats. Top with cheese and bake until golden.
  • Dip: Blend the soup until smooth and serve as a dip with pita bread or raw vegetables.
  • Curry Base: Thicken the soup and use it as a base for a curry. Add sautéed onions, garlic, spices, and chunks of chicken or vegetables.
  • Casserole: Use the soup as a base for a casserole. Mix with cooked pasta, vegetables, and protein, top with cheese and breadcrumbs, and bake until bubbly and golden.
red lentil soup recipe

Specials Tools/Equipment Needed

Making red lentil soup doesn’t require any particularly special tools or equipment, but having the following items on hand can help streamline the process and improve your results:

  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven: You need a large pot to accommodate all the ingredients and allow them to simmer together. A Dutch oven is especially great for soups because it distributes heat evenly.
  • Sharp Knife and Cutting Board: These are necessary for chopping your vegetables.
  • Wooden Spoon: A wooden spoon is great for stirring your soup without scratching your pot.
  • Immersion Blender or Standard Blender: If your recipe calls for a smooth soup, you’ll need an immersion blender (a stick blender) to blend your soup directly in the pot. A standard countertop blender will work if you don’t have an immersion blender. Still, you must be careful when transferring hot soup.
  • Ladle: This tool is useful for serving your soup.
  • Containers for Storage: If you plan on storing or freezing leftovers, you’ll need airtight containers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Stock Should I Use For The Red Lentil Soup?

You can use any stock—be it vegetable, chicken, or beef. However, a vegetable or chicken stock is generally recommended for its light flavors that do not overpower the taste of the lentils and vegetables.

Can I Use Green Or Brown Lentils Instead Of Red Lentils?

Yes, you can substitute red lentils with green or brown lentils. However, it is important to note that green and brown lentils retain their shape more after cooking than red lentils, which may change the soup’s texture.

How Can I Add More Protein To My Red Lentil Soup?

If you desire to increase the protein content, consider adding chunks of lean meats such as chicken or turkey. Alternatively, for a vegetarian option, you can include tofu or chickpeas.

My Soup Has Become Too Thick After Sitting. What Should I Do?

Suppose your soup has thickened too much upon standing or after refrigeration. In that case, you can reheat it on the stove over medium heat, gradually adding more stock or water until your desired consistency is reached.

Can I Make This Soup Spicy?

Absolutely, the soup can be adjusted to suit your heat preference. You might add a pinch of cayenne pepper, a dash of hot sauce, or some diced jalapeno or serrano peppers. Remember to add a little at a time—you can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s added.

Delicious Red Lentil Soup Recipe With Smooth Creamy Texture

Delicious Red Lentil Soup Recipe With Smooth Creamy Texture

5 from 6 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipe


Prep time


Cooking time





Savor a comforting red lentil soup packed with hearty lentils and aromatic vegetables. With simple prep and easy cooking steps, this soup melds rich flavors from garlic, onions, carrots, and a blend of spices.


  • 1 Cup 1 Dried Red Lentils

  • 5 Cups 5 Vegetable Stock

  • 4 4 Carrots (Cut Into Thick Slices)

  • 1 1 Yam or Sweet potato (cut into 1-inch chunks)

  • 2 2 Onions (cut Into Chunks And Separated)

  • ½ Cup ½ Turnip or Potato

  • 1/2 Sliced 1/2 Green Cabbage

  • 2 Teaspoons 2 Cardamom

  • 2 Teaspoons 2 Garam Masala

  • 2 Teaspoons 2 Curry Powder

  • 1 1 Lemon (Juice And Zest)

  • 3 Tablespoons 3 Olive Oil

  • 1 Bunch 1 Cilantro

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Clean the lentils and soak them if needed.
    Chop all the vegetables into chunks. Keep one onion and the cilantro aside for later use.
    Prepare your spices for the sauté.
  • Cooking Directions
    In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add lentils, skim off any foam that rises to the top, and reduce the heat to let it simmer.
    Add the chopped vegetables to the pot and let everything simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
    While the soup is simmering, chop the remaining onion and sauté it in olive oil in a separate pan until it turns fragrant. Then, add your spices to the onions and continue sautéing until well combined.
    Add the onion-spice mixture to the simmering soup. You can add a bit of soup liquid to the sauté pan to deglaze, capturing all the flavors, and pour that liquid back into the soup pot.
    Stir in the lemon juice to the soup for a refreshing tang.
  • Blending And Final Touches
    You can blend half or all of the soup with an immersion blender for a creamier soup, depending on your texture preference.
    Check the seasoning. Add salt, pepper, or more spices if needed.
  • Serving
    Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish generously with fresh herbs, crumbled cheese, or crispy onions.
  • Additional Options
    For added protein, consider adding cooked chicken, tofu, or chickpeas.
    For a heartier soup, stir in cooked grains like rice or quinoa towards the end of cooking.


  • Lentils: There’s no need to soak lentils before cooking, as they are quick to cook compared to other legumes. Just make sure to rinse them and remove any debris.
  • Adjusting Thickness: The consistency of the soup can be easily adjusted according to personal preference. If it’s too thick, add a bit of extra broth or water. If it’s too thin, let it simmer a bit longer to reduce it.
  • Spices: Feel free to experiment with spices. If you want to add some heat, consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or fresh chili.
  • Veggies: While this recipe calls for specific vegetables, you can add or substitute others based on what you have on hand or prefer.
  • Storing & Reheating: As with many soups, this one tastes even better the next day once the flavors have had time to meld together. It also freezes well for long-term storage.
  • Vegan or Vegetarian: This soup can easily be made vegan or vegetarian using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Garnishes: Don’t forget the garnishes! They can take the soup to the next level and allow everyone to customize their bowl to their liking.
Hanna Barnes

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