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This Red Lentil Soup is made in one pot with just 8 healthy ingredients. Hearty, cozy, and rich in fiber and anti-inflammatory properties. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, One Pot.
Table of Contents
This Feel-Good Red Lentil Soup is the perfect easy vegan soup to make when you’re craving something both good and good for you. It features bright and zing-y ginger, turmeric & lemon which not only boost your immune system but boost the flavor of this creamy soup.
All About Red Lentils
Split red lentils are a type of legume thought to have originated near the Mediterranean thousands of years ago. Lentils have long been a staple in many cuisines, known for their heartiness, affordability and accessibility.
Split red lentils in particular are especially popular in Indian cuisine and are also commonly known as Masoor Dal or pink lentils. When cooked, these split red lentils become incredibly soft and are a great way to make soups like this Feel-Good Red Lentil Soup rich and creamy without dairy.
I almost always have split red lentils stocked in my pantry for making budget-friendly recipes like this one. You may enjoy my collection of pantry-friendly plant-based recipes using lentils, too.
What You Need for Feel-Good Red Lentil Soup
The ingredients in this soup remind me of the flavors of a warm cup of chicken noodle soup mixed with a smooth Indian dal. It’s bursting with flavor, thanks to a base of carrot, onion, garlic and anti-inflammatory spices ginger and turmeric.
Although this recipe is easy to customize, please do not substitute the split red lentils with another variety such as brown lentils or green lentils. Split red lentils are much softer and quicker cooking and necessary for achieving the perfect textured soup.
How to Make Red Lentil Soup
- Sauté the onion in oil or water until translucent. Add the carrots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for an additional minute.
- Rinse the red lentils, then add the lentils to the pot with the vegetables. Boil in vegetable broth and water until tender.
- Puree the soup to your liking using an immersion blender. Stir in lemon juice.
- Serve warm with salt and pepper to taste.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Stir the red lentils frequently in the first couple minutes of cooking. When split red lentils are first added to liquid, they tend to stick together and sink to the bottom. To prevent burning or uneven cooking, stir the split red lentils frequently as the soup comes to a boil.
- Don’t skip the aromatics. The onions, carrots, garlic, ginger, and turmeric turn this soup from bland to delicious. Without these ingredients, the flavor is going to fall flat.
Served red lentil soup as a main dish with vegetable side dishes like Easy Garlic Green Beans or Roasted Root Vegetables. Or, make this soup the side and serve with a hearty Roasted Butternut Squash Salad or Portobello Mushroom Steaks.
How to Store Red Lentil Soup
Leftover split red lentil soup can be stored in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If freezing in a glass jar, leave room at the top of the jar for expansion. Reheat leftovers in a microwave safe bowl or in a pot over medium heat until warm.
For best food safety practices, avoid reheating the same serving of lentil soup more than once.
Bulk up this creamy lentil soup by adding your favorite vegetables. Diced sweet potato, cauliflower, kale and spinach would all be great additions. Additionally, adjust the amount of vegetable broth or water added to change the thickness of the soup to your liking.
No, split red lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking. They are one of the easiest legumes to digest and are meant to be cooked from dry.
Overcooking red lentils is much less of a concern compared to heartier brown or green lentils. When split red lentils are cooked through, they lose most of their shape and are incredibly soft and creamy, making them perfect for using in soups and recipes like Dal Tadka (Spiced Lentils).
Yes, all varieties of lentils and legumes are naturally gluten-free and suitable for people that are gluten-intolerant or celiac.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Feel-Good Red Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon high-heat oil Optional; or sub water
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 3-5 cloves garlic minced
- 1" piece fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Optional
- 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about 1 large lemon
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: fresh cilantro coconut yogurt, olive oil, etc.
- Aromatics: Bring a large pot to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil or 1/4 cup of water. Once the oil is warm, add the onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until translucent.
- Add the Veggies: Add the diced carrots, garlic, and ginger to the pot and sauté for 1 minute, then add the turmeric, optional cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute more.
- Simmer: Place the red lentils in a fine mesh strainer and give them a quick rinse, then add them to the pot along with the vegetable broth and water. Turn the heat to high and bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Blend: Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your liking, or transfer around half of the soup to a blender with a vent and puree until smooth; return to the pot and mix well. Stir in the lemon juice, then add any additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
- Serve: Serve warm; leftovers will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- Feel free to add in any extra vegetables here like chopped sweet potato, cauliflower, kale, spinach, etc – almost anything goes! If the soup is too thick for your liking, simply top it off with a little more water or vegetable broth.
- This recipe will only work with split red lentils, not brown lentils or french lentils. The latter varieties do not get as soft and creamy.