by Olena

Red Lentil Soup

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Olena Osipov
5 from 4 votes

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Warm up this season with a bowl of Red Lentil Soup. A hearty soup made with a vegetable base, red lentils, quinoa and seasoned with cumin and coriander. Simple and satisfying!

This easy lentil soup is a family favorite (along with spinach lentil soup) and it reheats beautifully!

Red Lentil Soup in a bowl with a spoon

Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Red lentil soup is incredibly filling and highly nutritious. Its cousins vegetarian lentil soup and chicken lentil soup are in our regular rotation and kids do not mind at all! We all need a good healthy soup to bring back some balance to our lives from time to time!

The flavours of onion, garlic, cumin and coriander in this red lentil soup recipe will fill your kitchen with incredible aromas. Make a big batch and freeze some for later. Be sure to pack the rest away for lunch throughout the week. It reheats beautifully just like lentil curry does (with a splash of stock or water). Lentils hold their shape so well!

Packed with fibre and iron from the lentils and quinoa, this nutrient-dense soup is delicious and makes a great choice for an easy weeknight dinner! And may I suggest this lentil casserole with mushrooms – so much health and flavor right there!

Red Lentil Soup in a blue pot

Ingredients for Red Lentil Soup

  • Mirepoix: A marriage of diced onions, carrots and celery and, in this case, minced garlic cooked slowly. This acts as the flavour foundation of many different soups.
  • Oil: Olive oil, coconut oil are great choices. Ghee, which is a clarified butter will also work well.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, coriander and salt.
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Lentils: Dry and rinsed.
  • Quinoa: Uncooked.
  • Broth: Water and low sodium bouillon cubes or any store bought (or homemade) low sodium broth.

cooking vegetables for Red Lentil Soup in dutch oven and mixing with wooden soup

How to Make Red Lentil Soup

  • Prep: Preheat dutch oven or big pot and add oil to coat the bottom.
  • Saute: Add the onion and garlic and begin to saute, stirring occasionally.
  • Add: Add celery and carrots and continue to stir. Add spices and red pepper flakes and continue to cook, stirring frequently.
  • Boil: Add red lentils, quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil and cover to cook.
  • Serve: Serve hot with a side of sprouted grain bread, low carb biscuits or cauliflower breadsticks and juicy tomato mozzarella salad (why not?!).


  • No soaking: Lentils and split peas can be cooked from dried, unlike beans. However, if you own magic Instant Pot you can cook even dried beans without soaking. Ha!
  • Green or brown lentils: Yes, you sure can but keep in mind the consistency will be less blended. Neither green nor brown lentils break down as red lentils do.
  • All broth: You can use all broth in place of water if you would prefer.
  • The kettle trick: If you choose to use water and bouillon cubes, to save time, boil water in a kettle while prepping ingredients.
  • Taste as you go: Adjust the salt to your liking. Not all bouillon cubes are created equal!

red lentil soup in a bowl with a spoon and toast

How to Store, Freeze & Reheat

Storing: Store this soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freezing: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. If you have made a big batch, freeze in smaller amounts and thaw only what you need.

Reheating: Reheat this soup on the stovetop covered on low heat.

More Favorite Recipes

Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil Soup

Warm up this season with a bowl of Red Lentil Soup. A hearty soup made with a vegetable base, red lentils, quinoa and seasoned with cumin and coriander. Simple and satisfying!
5 from 4 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 359kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 6 large celery stalks diced
  • 5 large carrots diced
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying
  • 2 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups red lentils dry & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 12 cups water + low sodium bouillon cubes or any low sodium broth


  • Preheat dutch oven on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add celery and carrots; sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cumin, coriander, salt, red pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Add red lentils, quinoa, water+bouillon cubes or broth and stir. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.


      • You can use all or some vegetable broth in place of water.
      • Adjust salt to taste in case your bouillon cubes are less salty than mine.
      • If you use water + bouillon cubes, boiling it in a kettle first while you are prepping ingredients saves time.


      Serving: 2cups | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 356mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 5g

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      17 comments on “Red Lentil Soup

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      1. 5 stars
        I have made this soup twice. Both delicious! The first time, I followed the recipe exactly. The second time, I swapped the quinoa for diced parsnips (which I had on hand). You have to be careful about stirring because the parsnip is very fibrous as it breaks down, but I ended up with a grain-free dish that my family loved. I recommend both ways!

      2. 5 stars
        This was a delicious dish and also filling. Was I supposed to put bay leaf in? I seen it in the picture but not ingredients ?

      3. 5 stars
        This is such a quick, healthy, stick to your ribs dish. I love learning about and using red lentils. I batch cook two dishes every weekend to eat throughout the week and this is on my rotation. It’s delicious and my whole family loves it.
        Thank you, Olena!

      4. How many servings in the soup & could I add another ingredient to replace the quinoa on this occasion. I love real food! Well done!

        1. Hi Cheri. This red lentil vegetable soup is around 8 servings about 2 cups per serving. What ingredient did you want to use instead of quinoa? It depends.

            1. Yes you can use risotto rice but you will have to cook it separately before adding to the soup. Rice won’t be cooked in 30 minutes like quinoa.

      5. Hey Olena. You have it down as coriander being ground cilantro in your post. Unless you changed it later. 😉 I’ve never heard of miso paste so now I’m curious to try it out. Thanks for another yummy recipe!

        1. OMG I am having a nightmare of confusion with a coriander LOL. I did say I couldn’t compose even 3 sentences with kids jumping around. Thank you! I will change that.
          Oh, I can’t say enough good things about miso!!! It adds such a lovely depth of flavour to soups and stews. Especially in water based soups. And so cheap and so good for us full of probiotics.

      6. This recipe looks delicious.
        However, Coriander is not ground celery root, it is the seed from the cilantro plant. Coriander has a lemony citrus aroma when freshly ground, with a flavor profile that is best described as warm, nutty and spicy with hints of orange.

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