Red lentil soup

By Wendy Andresen | Jan 09, 2020
Photo by: Wendy Andresen This soup recipe is actually a fairly quick and easy for any beginner or expert home-based chef.

Regular brown lentils have never impressed me, perhaps because they look so muddy and have a rather boring taste.

Red lentils, on the other hand, look so much more appetizing and cook faster than lentils of other colors. In this recipe, lemon adds a bright note that keeps this soup feeling light and fresh. You’re going to want some fat chunks of crusty bread for dunking.


3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. chili powder

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 tsp. sambal oelek or hot sauce (optional)

Several grinds fresh black pepper

1 quart vegetable broth

1 cup red lentils

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk

3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Salt to taste

Additional cilantro for garnish

Lemon wedges for garnish


1. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a soup pot until shimmering. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onions become translucent and golden, about 8 minutes.

2. Stir in the cumin, coriander, chili powder, tomato paste, hot sauce, and black pepper. Cook and stir for another minute.

3. Add the broth, lentils, carrots, and lemon juice. Cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, until the carrots and lentils are tender.

4. Add the nondairy milk. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or transfer it to a food processor or blender. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth unless you prefer it that way.

5. Add salt to taste. It’s hard to recommend a specific amount, since vegetable broth can vary greatly in its salt content.

6. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Garnish each serving with additional lemon wedges, additional chopped cilantro, and a sprinkle of chili powder. So pretty!

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