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Red lentil soup in a grey bowl with green onions and crackers on the back.
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4.93 from 13 votes

Red lentil soup

The Egyptian take on red lentil soup is so simple and takes less than 30 minutes start to finish. Delicious, warming lentil soup vividly colored with bold flavor.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Egyptian, Mediterranean, Middle East
Diet: Halal, Vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Amira


  • 1 cup red lentils about 200g, rinsed.
  • 1 celery stalk diced.
  • 1 Roma tomato quartered.
  • 1 medium onion , quartered.
  • 1 Large carrot , diced.
  • 1 1/2 liter boiling water/stock divided
  • 2 teaspoon salt or to taste.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.


  • In a deep pot mix in lentils and all the vegetables.
  • Add 1 liter of water or stock then bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Partially cover the pot and reduce heat to medium.
  • Cook for 20 minutes or until everything is cooked.
  • Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend to your preferred consistency.
  • Add spices and mix well. Check to adjust seasonings.
  • Check for consistency, if thick for your liking add more water/stock.


  • Some people like to saute onions and garlic in some olive oil prior to adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • Tip from reader, Crystal: "I recently made an interesting topping to swirl over the top for color and an extra kick. Heat some olive oil to very warm in a small pan, add smoked paprika powder and mix well to a runny paste consistency that is more oily than paste like, then add some crushed chipotle pepper (best option) or crushed red pepper to taste. Not only adults love it…my kids actually ask for it too and it takes the soup to a whole other level!". Thanks for the tip.
  • I've also tried this with Za'atar and it was amazing.
  • If you like your soup smooth, then blend it very well better yet, use a blender. If you like it with texture, you might consider blending half the mixture keeping the other half as is. If you decide to do that, it is better to add your veggies crushed or finely diced so you will not end up with a whole garlic clove in your spoon.
  • You can also add ground coriander for more flavor.
  • I am used to this soup made up with only water, you can use vegetable stock or any stock of choice.
  • You might also dissolve a tablespoon of tomato paste in a couple of tablespoons of hot water and add it to the mixture for more color.
  • For variations of the recipe, it is common to use one or more of the following: fresh herbs especially parsley and cilantro. Cilantro is a personal favorite. Peppers, you name it bell pepper, sweet, jalapeños, Anaheim ... etc. Potatoes, this is one of the most commonly added veggies and mostly done to give the soup some volume.
Serve with crackers, pita chips, garlic bread or even just pita bread. Lemon wedges and green onions are traditionally served on the side.
Please check the nutrition disclaimer policy.


Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 799mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1796IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 3mg