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Red Lentil Soup

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
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Why we love it:

This is basic in the best way! No frills, no extras, no chef-y flourishes. Fast, healthy, hearty, good. But of course, if you want flourishes, there are plenty of ways to dress this up. See subs list for ideas.


  • 1 Carrot (diced)
  • 2 ribs Celery (optional)
  • 1 Yellow Onion (diced)
  • 1 Yukon Gold Potatoes (another variety is ok too - about ¼ pound but it really doesn’t much matter, a little more or less will be fine)
  • 1 clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 teaspoon Kosher Salt (plus more to taste)
  • 112 cups Red Lentils (dry)
  • 4 cups Vegetable Stock (sub water if needed)
  • 1 whole Bay Leaf (optional)
  • 12 Lemon (juiced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley (minced, optional for serving)
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (or sour cream, optional, for serving)
  • Coconut Milk (optional, for serving)

Cooking Instructions


    Dice the carrot, celery, onion. Wash and dice the potato (it’s ok to leave the skin on unless you use a russet potato in which case, do peel it). Mince the garlic.

  • 2. SAUTÉ

    Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan or pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the vegetables and salt.

    Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softening and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  • 3. LENTILS

    Add the lentils, stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Stir well, and reduce the heat to medium low and cover partially. Simmer until the lentils begin to fall apart, about 15 - 20 minutes. Check that the potatoes are tender.

    Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and season with additional salt as needed.

  • 4. SERVING

    Chop the parsley and either stir into the soup or save for garnishing each bowl.

    Ladle into bowls and serve as is, or with an optional dollop of yogurt (or sour cream or coconut milk as desired) or chopped parsley to taste.

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    the soup is dairy free, unless you choose to stir in dairy. Cashew cream or coconut milk are nice for creaminess and variety
  • PALEO:
    probably best to make a different soup. I recommend butternut squash soup or broccoli cheddar from our recipe search
    red lentils cook quickly and that’s the beauty here. However, green or “regular” lentils are an easy swap, but will take an additional 10 minutes or so to cook
    I love adding a handful of baby spinach or baby kale at the end of cooking. A bag of frozen spinach leaves works as wel
    try dicing a turnip, fennel bulb, or mushrooms into small cubes and sautéing that with the onions
    a tablespoon of garam masala, Italian seasoning, chili powder, or curry powder would make things interesting
    also consider a tablespoon of tomato paste with the onions to add some depth of flavor. Or sub 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes for 1 cup of the stock to get a tomato flavor (I particularly like this with the chili powder or garam masala)
    slice or crumble your favorite sausage in with the onions

Kid Friendly Version

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • I’ve seen kids go for creamy soups over chunky, so you could puree some and try that, or consider adding pasta which might also sway them to try

For Toddlers

  • Puree a little bit and make sure the celery, etc, aren't choking size
  • Add fruit and/or avocado and a roll on the side

For Choosy Eaters

  • They could try a bit as it and a bit pureed
  • Consider adding potatoes then serving a good size portion of them with less broth, or mashing them
  • Add fruit, yogurt or cheese, and a roll or bread

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make it entirely – it reheats like a dream
  2. Freezes well too
Rate this recipe:
2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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