Red Lentil Soup

red lentil soup

Red lentil soup is a very cheap, healthy, vegetarian soup made with red lentils aka masoor dal (affiliate link) for when your pantry is bare. You could make this with any lentils that you have, but the masoor dal give it a very smooth (and extra soothing) texture.

I actually made this for myself to help ease some allergy-related sinus congestion, so I added lots of traditional healing herbs like ginger and garlic and a little cayenne. If you want you could add carrots or sweet potatoes (finely chopped, along with the onions) for a thicker soup, or some turmeric as an anti-inflammatory. A bit of coconut milk might be nice for richness, if your appetite is waning and you need an extra calorie boost.

You will notice (and may be confused) that I called for whole spices — whole peppercorns and cardamon seeds — and think it’s a mistake. But the pepper and cardamom get very soft in the cooking process and get (mostly) blended in at the end. And personally, I like a lil chewy, spicy surprise while I’m eating. BUT, if you just can’t jive with that, swap the whole spices for 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.

This red lentil soup freezes and reheats well so go ahead and make a double batch to keep on hand during winter months for when you’re feeling crummy. You could also serve it over basic white rice as a curry. And if you have fresh cilantro, it makes a pretty and tasty garnish.

For a more traditional lentil soup, try my best lentil soup recipe! People rave about it.


Red Lentil Soup

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4 from 1 review

  • Author: Hilah
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x



1 cup diced onion (1 small)

6 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon oil or butter

12 whole peppercorns

2 green cardamom pods, seeds only

1 bay leaf

dash cayenne (or more)

4 cups water

1 cup red lentils (massoor dal)

1 teaspoon salt


Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil or butter over medium-high heat with a pinch of salt until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add spices and stir for 30 seconds. Add water, lentils and salt.

Cover, bring to boil, stir. Then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes until lentils are very soft.

Remove bay leaf and puree (a stick or immersion blender is ideal)


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 227
  • Fat: 4
  • Carbohydrates: 35
  • Fiber: 16
  • Protein: 13

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  1. Kaitin on September 6, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    Really yummy flavor but we found it very watery. I would make it again but reduce the amount of liquid. I love the whole spices, they blended in very nicely with the immersion blender.

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