Red Lentil Soup

By Alexandra Caspero on December 18, 2020
A cozy bowl filled with red lentils, veggies and fragrant spices.
Makes 8 cups

This red lentil soup recipe is both vegan and gluten-free! A healthy, low-fat soup that’s cozy and simple and packed with 18g of plant-based protein per serving.

Lentil Soup for the Soul. Do you remember those books? I don’t know if there was ever a Chicken Soup for the Vegetarian Soul edition, but if there was this red lentil soup would be on the cover. 

If you have ever uttered the phrase “I want a big bowl of something comforting!” then this vegan lentil soup is your kinda meal.

I really feel like lentils could create world peace. There is nothing more soothing than sipping on an incredibly nourishing soup loaded with vegetables, lentils, and spices. After a bowl of this, I am ready to conquer the world! Well, at least conquer my to-do list.

Simple Red Lentil Soup

A simple soup with a complex taste

While it’s pretty easy to put this red lentil soup together, the flavor is anything but simple. A boldly flavored soup seasoned with turmeric, ginger, and paprika! Since I crave lots of spice this time of year, I like to finish this off with a bit of cayenne pepper for an extra bonus kick, optional if you want it. 

This soup has been getting me through our monsoon-like weather as of late. Since we’ve been in a drought for the past several years, I’m trying hard to enjoy all of the rain and am using the wet weather as an excuse to stay in bed a bit longer or curl up with a book and a mug of this soup.

Healthy Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Ingredients for Vegan Red Lentil Soup

As with most soup recipes, this one relies heavy on pantry staples and a bit of spices.

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves 
  • Celery 
  • Potato; a sweet potato also works
  • Spices like cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika and salt and pepper
  • Vegetable broth
  • Red lentils
  • Large can of diced tomatoes 
  • Fresh chopped parsley or cilantro
  • Lemon juice

How to Make this Lentil Soup {Step-by-Step Instructions} 

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add in the vegetables, like garlic, celery and potato and sauté until very tender. 

Stir in the ground spices: cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika and salt and pepper. Add the vegetable broth, lentils and tomatoes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the lentils have cooked through, about 20 minutes. 

Remove half of the soup and puree using either a blender or immersion blender. Blend together the pureed soup with the cooked lentils and add the fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Bowl Of Soup Made With Red Lentils

Can you sub in other types of lentils? 

If you haven’t had red lentils before, they behave completely different than brown or green lentils. Once cooked, they lose their shape and become porridge-like in texture. Perfect for a thick, stick-to-your-ribs soup without using butter, cream, or cheese.

How to freeze this soup

Since we don’t use any dairy in this red lentil soup recipe, this creamy soup freezes beautifully! Make a batch, eat what you can, and then freeze the rest in an airtight container or bag. container. 

Whenever you’re in need of a little pick me up this winter, remove from the freezer and thaw in the fridge or defrost in the microwave, then heat and serve.

Red Lentils For Soup

Is this soup healthy? 

Though I’m a dietitian, I’m not big on numbers. I rarely look at calories and instead focus on the quality of my overall diet. What I eat is way more important to me than how many calories or fat grams it contains. A big bowl of this lentil soup is packed with all of the foods I want us to eat more of: antioxidant-rich spices, lentils and vegetables. 

Each serving of this soup also contains 18g of protein and 10g fiber, a one-two punch of satisfying and satiating. 

Red Lentil Soup Recipe

More Vegan Lentil Soups:

Instant Pot Lentil Soup
Tuscan Lentil Soup
Lemon Lentil Soup
Turmeric Red Lentil Soup


If you try this red lentil soup recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

Bowl Of Lentil Vegan Soup With Bread

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Red Lentil Soup

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: vegan, american
  • Diet: Vegan


Red Lentil Soup! This red lentil soup recipe is both vegan and gluten-free! A healthy, low-fat soup that’s cozy and simple and packed with 18g of plant-based protein per serving.

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: vegan, american
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: vegan, american
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • Large baking potato, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • pinch salt/pepper
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice


  1. First, heat 1 tsp. olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan.
  2. Next, add the onion and let cook for 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Then, add the garlic, celery, and potato chunks. After that, cook until soft and lightly browned, another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Next, add the cumin, turmeric, ground ginger, paprika and salt/pepper and stir until fragrant.
  5. Add the vegetable broth, lentils, and canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  6. Then, cover and cook for 20 minutes and cook until lentils are tender.
  7. Remove from heat and puree 1/2 of the soup using either a blender or immersion blender.
  8. Next, add back in the 1/2 of the soup and stir in the herbs and lemon juice.
  9. Finally, season to taste with salt/pepper if needed and serve.

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

This recipe was first posted in 2014 and updated in 2021. 


Red Lentil Soup! Vegan And Gluten-Free! A Healthy, Low-Fat Soup That'S Cozy And Simple! Packed With Protein. |

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

(36 comments) leave a comment

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    1. Amy Dow Robinson
      October 7, 2023 AT 4:28 pm

      I’ve made this recipe so many times, I can’t believe I haven’t written a review. It is my families #1 favorite soup. So easy, tasty and healthy. I always keep the ingredients on hand, and make extra to freeze for later. I highly recommend it to everyone that wants to try a good vegan soup. Thank you for sharing.

    2. Maureen
      October 15, 2022 AT 7:24 am

      This recipe is one of my favorites whenever I’m craving comfort food, especially on a rainy day. So quick and easy to make.

      If you like it extra spicy, so easy to bump up the spices.

      This recipe was a great find!

    3. Jean
      May 17, 2022 AT 9:22 am

      I have an non alcoholic fatty liver, would this be a good soup to for me

    4. Stephanie
      January 25, 2020 AT 9:42 pm

      This was so DELICIOUS and a big hit with the family! It was quick and easy to make. Definitely adding it to my favorites! Thank you!

    5. Steve Martin
      November 26, 2019 AT 5:37 pm

      This was so tasty! I was concerned about blending half, but mixing with the second half leaves some texture and colour remaining while smoothing out the majority.

      Thanks for the recipe. It can be hard to find healthy meals that are also really delicious. I’ll check out some more. 🙂

      1. Alex
        November 27, 2019 AT 2:21 pm

        Glad you liked it! Thanks Steve!

    6. Maureen
      November 9, 2019 AT 11:37 am

      I made this receipe and it was delicious! Both my hubby and I enjoyed it so much. It was very favourable thanks to all the spices. The receipe says it makes 8 cups which it does. Can you tell me how much per serving in order to get 18g of plant protein? Thanks so much. This is a definite favourite.

      1. Alex
        November 10, 2019 AT 12:17 pm

        So glad you liked it! That’s based on a serving size of 6, so about 1 1/3 cups.

    7. Glo
      June 12, 2019 AT 7:47 am

      Excellent. Even my very fussy son in law loved it. And the baby loved it . Thank you.

      1. Alex
        June 12, 2019 AT 8:15 am

        So glad to hear! Thanks!

    8. Mahi
      January 20, 2019 AT 6:03 pm

      Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?

      1. Alex
        January 21, 2019 AT 7:19 pm


    9. DawnMarie
      January 6, 2019 AT 11:46 am

      This soup smells amazing cooking. One of the best lentils soups I have made…this recipe is a keeper ! I am trying to stay away from white potatoes so I cubed up a sweet was very good. Thank you for sharing this recipe

      1. Alex
        January 7, 2019 AT 2:03 pm

        So glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing!

    10. Erol
      December 29, 2018 AT 6:35 pm

      This was a great find – just substituted the large potato with 3 medium small heirloom carrots and it worked out beautifully!

      Much appreciated!!