bowl of red lentil soup topped with cilantro and black pepper with side of lemons on grey background

Feel-Good Red Lentil Soup

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This Red Lentil Soup leaves you nourished on a whole new level. Full of protein & fiber, this soup is naturally anti-inflammatory, vegan & gluten-free. 


  • 1 tablespoon high-heat oil (Optional; or sub water)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 35 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1” piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Optional)
  • 1 1/2 (280 g) cups dry red lentils
  • 4 cups (945 ml) vegetable broth (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 cups (470 ml) 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.