Red Lentil Soup

Red lentils and lots of spices make this a great soup for early fall. Also, it doesn't hurt that it's so dang simple to make.


I got the original recipe for this from my friend Jennifer. She got it from a cook book of which I’ve completely forgot the title. I’ve made this soup a ton of times—adding a few things, taking away a few others, to the point where I’m not sure how much it even resembles the original. That’s what I love about recipes. They are great starting point, but over time you can really make them your own.


  • 1 16oz. package of red lentils
  • 2 quarts of chicken stock
  • 1 14oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion diced small
  • 1 finger-sized piece of fresh ginger minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 TBspn. curry powder
  • 1 TBspn. garam masala
  • 1 TBspn. ground cumin
  • 1 Tspn. ground coriander
  • 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Rinse and drain the red lentils in a colander and set aside. This isn’t 100% necessary but sometimes you find some weird lentil junk in the package that you don’t want in your soup.
  2. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until it starts to get translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 2–3 minutes more. Add the can of tomatoes including their juice. Then add the curry powder, garam masala, cumin, and coriander and stir to combine.
  4. Add the rinsed lentils and chicken stock and stir thoroughly, cover, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer on medium to medium-low for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are mostly falling apart.
  6. When the soup is done simmering, remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to roughly blend. I like to leave it a little chunky, but you can also blend it into a smooth soup. I like to taste the soup at this point and add salt as needed. Once the soup is blended chop your fresh cilantro roughly and stir it into the pot right before serving.

Serving Tips

I like to serve this will a little bit of fresh plain yogurt on top and some lime wedges to squeeze over. You could toast some sliced almonds or raw cashews to throw on top too.