Red Lentil Soup

STOP.....I know what you're thinking! My kids will never eat this......but I promise you they will! I am not a lentil lover (never have been) and tried this recipe because my husband has never met a lentil he didn't love. You're looking at a convert! My kids couldn't get enough and the only mistake I made was not doubling the recipe! The lemon and cilantro add a brightness, the spices enhance the earthiness and the lentils are pureed into creamy goodness.

Red Lentil Soup

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Serves: 4 Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of ground chile powder or cayenne, more to taste
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro



In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat the oil begins to shimmer. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.


Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.


Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 -40 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.


Using an immersion blender and purée half the soup. I like to leave the soup fairly chunky, but if you prefer a smoother soup than blend until it’s the consistency you like.


Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and an extra pinch of coarse salt.


Recipe from New York Times Cooking, Melissa Clark

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