red lentil soup with carrots

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.  The soup has cumin for earthiness, a bit of garlic for spice, and some garam masala  and hot curry for heat.  If you don’t have hot curry, use standard curry and add some cayenne to the soup.

Red Lentil Soup with Carrots

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Category: soup

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

three to four servings

Red Lentil Soup with Carrots

Red lentil soup with carrots


  • 2T olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • generous pinch hot curry
  • one small bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 1 T tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 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, gara, masala, curry powder, bay leaf and tomato sauce.
  4. Cook stirring about 5-10 minutes, until carrot softens.
  5. Add lentils and chicken broth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bring soup to a simmer, and cook stirring occasionally, until lentils are cooked, about 35-40 minutes.
  8. Remove bay leaf.
  9. Remove the pot from the stove and partially puree the soup with an immersion blender. If you don't have one, pour about half the soup into a blender and puree it. Then return the rest to the pot.
  10. If using the rice, return the pot to the stove and heat for 5 minutes until the rice is hot.
  11. If not, pour one serving into a bowl and add the lemon juice.
  12. 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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