red lentil carrot soup

Red Lentil Carrot Soup

It’s getting chilly outside, so that means it’s time to start making soup.  I spotted a bag of red lentils in Trader Joe’s, and just had to have them.  The nice thing about lentils is that they cook fairly quickly.  So, you can have delicious red lentil carrot soup in about an hour, without having to wait for beans to soak.

The lentils do need to be rinsed, but that only takes a minute.

Now that I had my lentils, it was time to find a recipe.  I looked at several recipes, and didn’t like any of them.  Also, reading the reviews it sounded like the ones I did find needed some tweaking.  I ended up combining two different recipes, and adjusting them based on the comments.

While this isn’t one serving, I did cut the original recipes in half because I didn’t want 8 servings of soup (no room in the freezer).  This recipe makes 3-4 servings, depending on whether you have the soup as a main course or a side dish. Adding the rice will make it more filling.

The result was this red lentil soup with carrots. This recipe has cumin for earthiness, a bit of red pepper flakes for heat, plus garam masala and ginger for warm spiciness.

Update: I came across still another recipe, which was for masoor dal (red lentils) as a side dish, and decided that with a bit of tweaking, it would make a wonderful, flavorful soup.  It was, and it was even better than my original recipe. So, I’ve now ditched the curry, and added ginger for warm spiciness and turmeric for color.

Red Lentil Soup with Carrots

Category: soup

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

three to four servings

red lentil carrot soup

Red lentil soup with carrots


  • 2T olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • pinch red pepper flakes (or use red chili pepper)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • one small bay leaf
  • 2 T crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 C cooked rice (optional)


  1. Heat oil in heavy saucepan or Dutch oven.
  2. Add onion and cook on low heat until soft, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, carrot, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, salt, red pepper flakes, bay leaf and crushed tomatoes.
  4. Cook stirring about 5-10 minutes, until carrot softens.
  5. Add lentils and chicken broth.
  6. Season with salt.
  7. Bring soup to a simmer, and cook stirring occasionally, until lentils are cooked, about 35-40 minutes, then remove the bay leaf.
  8. If using the rice, return the pot to the stove and heat for 5 minutes until the rice is hot.
  9. If not, pour one serving into a bowl. Pour the rest of the soup into individual containers to eat later in the week or freeze it for later.


Add the rice if your soup is a bit thin, or if you just want a more filling meal.

More Lentil and Lentil Soup Recipes

Lentils with Rice

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

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