Red Lentil Soup Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks (optional), diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
  • Optional toppings: Chopped fresh parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, dollop of plain yogurt, or crumbled feta cheese


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery (if using) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and translucent.
  • Add the salt, rinsed lentils, vegetable broth or water, and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and starting to fall apart.
  • Once the lentils are cooked, remove the pot from heat and discard the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup partially, leaving some texture, or alternatively, transfer half of the soup to a regular blender and puree until smooth, then return the puréed portion back to the pot.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and taste the soup. Add more salt and pepper to taste according to your preference.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, a dollop of plain yogurt, or crumbled feta cheese, if desired.


  • For a richer flavored soup, you can use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.
  • If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can transfer the soup in batches to a regular blender to puree. Be sure to let the soup cool slightly before blending to avoid hot steam explosions.
  • To make the soup thicker, mash some of the cooked lentils against the side of the pot with a fork before blending.
  • This soup reheats well, so feel free to make a big batch and enjoy it throughout the week for lunch or dinner.


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