Red Lentil Soup

July 9, 2014
Red Lentil Soup - Simple to make, budget friendly, highly nutritious, & packed with flavor, this lentil soup makes a wonderful summertime meal

“Is it true? You leave the house without your phone?”

Everyone at the table turned to look at

Red Lentil Soup - Simple to make, budget friendly, highly nutritious, & packed with flavor, this lentil soup makes a wonderful summertime meal

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Me

One morning a few months back, I couldn't find my phone; somehow, my endless attempts at the snooze alarm had nudged it in, and amongst the pile of blankets I was sleeping under. Rats! So I was forced to spend the day without it

The big surprise?  It was amazing and peaceful

My entire day seemed to slow down. Instead of checking my email in line at the coffee shop, or texting my husband from the grocery store, I enjoyed the present moment. I ate an un-interrupted lunch with a friend, smiled at a passerby, and browsed a cooking magazine in the grocery checkout.

Red Lentil Soup - Simple to make, budget friendly, highly nutritious, & packed with flavor, this lentil soup makes a wonderful summertime meal

It was actually a relief to not have it in my bag .. tempting me to look. I felt free and untethered. There was even a simple joy in leaving a note for my husband when I went out. “Going to yoga to find my zen.  Believe me, you'll be glad I did.  Home in an hour “

The next day, and the next, when I was tempted to look, I decided nope. You know what?

My days took on a completely different tenor.  The self-imposed need to respond right away to an email or text completely went away. Phone calls rolled to voice mail.

It's not that I stopped responding to life, I just decided it would be on my terms, later on in the afternoon, when I sit down to work.

At the party that night, when everyone else was tending to the latest beeps from their phone .. I sipped my glass of wine, tried not to look at rice krispy bars (!) .. and daydreamed

(This single-tasking video from The Atlantic is great. It's funny and enlightening .. completely worth watching!  Trust me on this one)

A favorite meal from this past weekend.  A single-pot soup made by browning some onions, adding the rest of the ingredients, and cooking until it's done (about 30 minutes). It's simple and inexpensive to make, highly nutritious and packed with flavor.

A quick word or two about lentils:

They cook quickly; no pre-soaking required, with a velvety texture and delicate flavor that's perfect for purees and soups. We often add blended lentils to soups to make them creamy without the cream. They're low in calories, though very filling because of their high fiber content.

In addition to giving the body slow-burning complex carbs, lentils can increase your energy by boosting your iron stores. Unlike red meat, which is another good source of iron, lentils aren't rich in fat and calories

Enjoy!

xoxo

~ Adapted from Gourmet | October 2007

Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed very well
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger root
  • pinch each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes (or 4 large tomatoes, chopped)
  • 3 ½ cups Magic Mineral Broth (alternately, vegetable or chicken stock)
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Toppings

  • cilantro
  • green onions, chopped (green and white parts)

Instructions

  • Rinse the lentils well
  • Heat the oil in a medium pot, add the onions, garlic, and ginger; sauté until the onions are soft (~ 5 minutes)
  • Add a pinch of salt.
  • Add the cumin and cayenne pepper, and continue to cook for another minute or so, or until fragrant, stirring continuously
  • Add tomatoes, 3 slices of lemon, and the lentils, and broth. Stir well
  • Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
  • Squeeze in the rest of the lemon juice.
  • Serve hot topped with cilantro, green onions or parsley and a slice of lemon.
Serves: 4
Nutrition + Show
Rating:
Calories 304
Total Fat 6.6g
Saturated Fat 3.6g
Carbohydrates 44.6g
Fiber 7.2g
Sugars 6.7g
Protein 17.2g
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48 Comments

  • Reply Allison March 9, 2015 at 2:46 am

    This has become a family favorite! My husband and I ADORE this soup. I’m making it tonight, yet again, for book club. I had to force myself to leave the kitchen, or I would have eaten the whole pot before my guests arrived. And the house smells dee-vine! So easy!

    • Reply Amani August 15, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      This soul is amazing im only 12 years old and I have never made anything like lentils before I think it is absolutely great and I would defenetly recommend this to begginers like me thank u so much x

  • Reply Katie May 14, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I made your lentil soup on Saturday and it was wonderful. I’m definitely a girl who likes her lentils (over the years, I’ve begun what is now mounting into a rather irrationally large collection of lentil soup recipes, techniques, and guidelines). I’ve just fallen in love with this as it’s been a bit frigid suddenly, I added in about a quarter of a teaspoon of cumin and just a pinch of good ground red pepper for additional warmth and ate it with a (non-ruined) batch of roasted veggies (long story). It was positively lovely. My boyfriend and I took leftovers for our lunches today, and I’m already eyeing the last serving or two anxiously. It’s entirely possible that it will be made again, next weekend. (i have no shame) I guess what I’m trying to say here, is thank-you. It was so tasty and comforting! A total triumph of yumminess … Katie

  • Reply Saidah November 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I took this recipe as an inspiration and made an approximation of it in the crockpot. It turned out great. I pretty much just tossed everything in together and let it cook because I’m lazy like that. 🙂 Next time I’ll probably brown the onions before I put them in. It definitely tastes on subsequent days! Thanks!

  • Reply Cathy January 9, 2016 at 6:55 am

    My husband came home sick this afternoon. After I was finished with work, wandering up the huge hill to our house that took me twice as long to climb today, I found a tasty soup recipe from my favorite food blog. As always, you didn’t let me down.
    He looked up from his empty soup bowl and said “This is far better than I deserve, I feel like I’ve been so lazy” Funny because this soup is so easy, that’s just how I felt too!

  • Reply Kelly April 11, 2016 at 1:31 pm


    Your red lentil soup was the perfect thing for this Alaskan spring evening of mud, cold winds and exhilarating sunshine. Delicious, comforting and novel to the senses, which is perfect for Spring. This recipe (like so many of your others) is sure to become one of my standards

  • Reply Annie April 13, 2016 at 3:35 am


    I’ve made this so many times now. It’s one of my favorites from your blog and a big hit with both my husband and my toddler. Last night I added a bag of frozen spinach and WOW! It was even better than before. I serve it along with some rice, and it’s a complete meal.

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus January 30, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Red lentil soups are one of my faves but I can never seem to make them very well. I will try again though x

  • Reply Kayla January 30, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Isn’t this a fantastic soup?! If I didn’t have a blog that compelled me to frequently try new recipes, I would honestly make a batch of this every week or two. I just love it for lunch. x

  • Reply Krista Dial January 31, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Yum! We just made a pumpkin red lentil soup last week that’s very similar to this. Essentially the pumpkin place of the tomatoes in your recipe, I suppose. It’s so hearty and delish. Saving this recipe for my next soup dish! 🙂

  • Reply Elizabeth O. January 31, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Doesn’t it feel great to break free from technology even for a few hours or a few days! It’s so refreshing and you don’t feel the pressure to have to check on the latest on your feed! This soup looks so nice! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply Marta January 31, 2017 at 4:22 pm


    Lentils plus cilantro and cumin and coconut milk…. One of my favorite combinations. I am stealing your recipe and trying it this week! cheers, Marta

    • Reply Daisy September 12, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Did you add coconut milk? At the end? How much? Curious

  • Reply Alisha February 1, 2017 at 4:27 am

    This recipe looks yummy and I’m so excited to give it a try. I bought the ingredients this afternoon but then ran out of time. Tomorrow is supposed to be snow, and I think this soup would be the perfect antidote. I discovered your blog a while ago and have since become a devoted reader. Thank you so much for sharing our life as well as your love for food.

  • Reply Nina February 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I am so guilty of being on my phone too much. I live in Spain and have a phone plan that includes roaming in EU countries. When I was in the tiny country of Andorra, my roaming was not covered. So I either could pay like 6 euros a MB (ridiculous) or turn off my data and use wifi when I could get it. And I loved not having that tie to my phone. I could look around and enjoy Andorra.

  • Reply Lenka Dvorakova July 9, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Your blog is so calming. I want to sit and drink tea while reading. I just started blogging and a friend said, “Look at Veggies By Candlelight, it’s fabulous.” So, I did, now there are eight million recipes I must try. Thanks for a great example of what a blog can be.

  • Reply Angie October 5, 2017 at 7:42 am


    Nearly three years after I read this recipe on your website and made it for the first time, I STILL MAKE IT. Why this trips me out, I don’t know! But thanks, because it’s one of my favorites.

  • Reply Kumamonjeng February 19, 2018 at 4:41 am

    I am a healthy freak and love to read about the health information. I heard bout lentils and not very easy to get in my supermarket. We dont consume much over here in Singapore. But these days I see the great benefits of consuming lentils so I would love to try out too but don’t know how to cook them. With this post, I got enough information on how to make lentils and eat them and get into my healthy diet.

  • Reply Robin February 19, 2018 at 5:01 am

    Thanks for the scoop on lentils. Can you believe I have never had a lentil before? Now I need to make this soup just so I can try them 🙂

  • Reply Peggy February 19, 2018 at 6:03 am

    I’ve been reading you for a year or so, but have never commented before. This soup, however, required me to write! Yum! We served it with brown basmati rice and even a side of crusty bread. My 80 year old uncle had 3 helpings! Thanks for the window into your life and kitchen!

  • Reply Tiffany February 19, 2018 at 6:19 am


    Sometimes a day with a little less technology isn’t so bad, I don’t mind that at all! This recipe looks amazing, so hearty and warming on a cold day. I’d love to try this soup!

  • Reply Karen Morse February 19, 2018 at 6:27 am


    What a lovely thing to do! To leave your phone and enjoy the peace and quiet it brings. I think it’s a good practice. I tend to look at my phone all too much and it would be smart to take a break from it all at least for an hour or two a day. I’m sure it’s going to be life-changing! This lentil soup sounds like a piece of heaven especially when the nights are too cold.

  • Reply Jeanette February 19, 2018 at 7:37 am

    I am always with my phone LOL. And I think it’s probably good idea to everyone tomorrow put it down and just enjoy what is around you I think that we are out of touch with their families and friends because of phones and technology so I think what you did even though it was by accident was awesome.

  • Reply Candy February 19, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Red lentil soup is totally under rated. Such a flavorful soup and look at the color. Really makes a delicious meal

  • Reply Tomi C February 19, 2018 at 8:58 am


    I think we can all relate to misplacing our phone and having to go a day without it. Really does slow things down a bit without the constant interruptions. Perfect tie in with the lentils. Lentils are best cooked low and slow and without interruption.

  • Reply Indu February 19, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Red lentil soup is a favorite of mine and great comfort food for these cold winter’s nights. I made a batch once when I was on my own for a week, and even though I ate it every day I still didn’t get tired of it. It was extra good with a dollop of Greek yogurt

  • Reply Joanna February 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Ya know, I’ve never had lentils before. I’ve been wanting to try them, but not sure where to start. I really like the sound of this soup!

  • Reply Ashley February 19, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    I’m pinning this soup recipe for later. Lentils are so darn good!

  • Reply Corinne February 19, 2018 at 4:41 pm


    I am not sure I have ever had red lentils, let alone in a soup. But it looks super yummy and quite achievable despite my poor cooking skills!

  • Reply Lisa Favre February 19, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Cheers to you for having a day disconnected! Incredibly how our day actually becomes 24 hours when we’re not glued to our screens, huh? I have to do it more often!

  • Reply Sara Welch February 19, 2018 at 8:20 pm


    Reading through your archives has made me realize that food can be healthy and taste good as well. It really opened my eyes, and so I love it when you post your day-to-day stuff that shows how you eat. It’s very eye-opening for me and I’ve made a lot of your recipes. Special recipes, while delicious, are a dime a dozen. But daily inspiration is priceless.

  • Reply Kita Bryant February 19, 2018 at 8:21 pm


    Long-time lurker here. I’ve been meaning to write you to tell you that every recipe I’ve attempted from your site has been fabulous, and I’ve enjoyed your writing so very much! Now, I’m off to make some soup! xx

  • Reply Amanda February 19, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Thank-you for posting the lentil soup recipe. It is simply fantastic. “Fantastic!!” I mean. 😀

  • Reply Kimberly February 20, 2018 at 12:40 am


    I occasionally do that – leave my cell phone at home. It is so freeing! I can’t do it always because my mom is recuperating from surgery and me and my siblings have to always stay connected and check on her. But during those times that I do go out of the house without a cell phone, I totally take advantage of it and live life a little slower,, a little calmer, a little more beautiful.

  • Reply Rika February 20, 2018 at 2:38 am


    My husband loves lentil soup! I am going to try this with slow cooker! Complex carbs are good for our body!

  • Reply Farida February 20, 2018 at 3:54 am


    I’ve read before that lentils are a good source of protein plus it is good for the body. Unfortunately this is not readily available in our groceries or perhaps it is rare but we use mung beans at home which I think is a different variety. Also, I’ve been trying not to multi-task these days which allows me to focus and have a better result.

  • Reply Stephanie Jeannot February 20, 2018 at 6:25 am

    The pre-soaking seems like a good idea to cut the cooking time. I guess this might apply to any bean right? I made split pea soup the other day and it took about five hours to cook and come to the texture I desired. MAybe if I soaked it first, I could have cut the cooking time by an hour.

  • Reply Sandy N Vyjay February 20, 2018 at 7:33 am


    This red lentil soup is really close to what we make here in India. We call it dal and it is a bit on the thicker side. We usually eat it with steamed rice or wheat bread.

  • Reply Chubskulit Rose February 20, 2018 at 7:52 am

    I love lentils, I usually make it with pork and it’s really good! This red lentil soup looks super healthy and delicious! Yes to the pre-soaking technique, I do that too with all kind of beans.

  • Reply Preet February 20, 2018 at 10:34 am


    This soup looks so delicious and healthy. Lentils are one of my favorite pulses and even my kids love them. I would definitely try your recipe. I usually pre-soak all my pulses for few hours or sometimes overnight.

  • Reply Emily February 20, 2018 at 2:25 pm


    I love that you turned what could be a frustrating situation of loosing your phone into a great experience! This lentil soup looks so good, I am all for soups with the weather being cold.

  • Reply Flora February 21, 2018 at 4:05 am


    I agree! No matter how much easier our lives are made by having mobiles, they can cause extra stress, and it’s something really beneficial to have some quiet time without them. The soup sounds and looks delicious! I’ll have to add it to my “To Be Prepared List.” 😉

  • Reply Nawdeeya February 21, 2018 at 2:11 pm


    It is so good to disconnect. I am that person that may be on vacation but still having my phone in hand, reading and responding to emails. SMH. On another note, I love making lentil soup, but I have never tried red lentils. Putting it on my list.

  • Reply Nikka Shae February 22, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I’ve been there before with not finding my phone for the day.

  • Reply Chelsea Elizabeth February 22, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Time out is often much needed but I’m guilty of not being able to put my phone down! It’s something I should really work on.
    Soup ssounds delicious too, i’ll Definitely remember about soaking the lentils

  • Reply Elizabeth February 23, 2018 at 1:37 am


    You’ve just reminded me that it’s been far too long since I’ve last made a lentil soup! Such a hearty, delicious and inexpensive dish to make.

  • Reply Becca Talbot February 26, 2018 at 9:10 am

    This recipe looks amazing and very hearty!! I don’t think I’ve ever actually tried red lentils, so not sure if I’d like this – but my motto in life is to try everything once, as you never know! x

  • Reply Kristina February 4, 2019 at 7:29 pm


    Love the simplicity of this recipe! AND it’s delicious! Made it twice now and the first we added kale and butternut squash, too!

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