Curried Red Lentil Soup with Lemon Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

This deliciously easy soup became an immediate favorite among VT staffers. It's even better the second day, after the spices have had more time to mingle.



Ingredient Line: 
2 cups red lentils, sorted and rinsed
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1 qt. low-sodium vegetable broth
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1 large onion, finely chopped (2 cups)
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4 celery stalks, finely chopped (1 ½ cups)
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2 large carrots, finely chopped (1 ½ cups)
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2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
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¼ cup chopped cilantro
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1 Tbs. curry powder
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1 tsp. ground cumin
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2 Tbs. lemon juice


1. Bring lentils, vegetable broth, and 4 cups water to a simmer in large pot. Skim away foam that rises to top. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Add cilantro, curry powder, and cumin, and cook 20 minutes more, or until lentils are soft. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and stir in lemon juice.

Nutrition Information: 

19 g
Total Fat: 
2 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
50 g
0 mg
146 mg
13 g
7 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

made it for dinner tonight and used parsley because that's all i had; really good. will use cilantro next time.

Wow! Made this with brown lentils because I didn't have any red in the house. I am eating a bowl for lunch and it is fantastic. Can't wait to have more tomorrow once the flavors have blended even more.

this soup is delicious! i followed the recipe and it made enough to last for 3 or 4 meals for me and my flatmate, and it tastes even better the next day!

It's so easy and delicious.. good if you have left overs it makes a good lunch the next day with some warm pita bread..

Hey, VT - what's the reason for skimming the foam? If I'm in a hurry and skip that step, will it turn out much differently?

Easy recipe yields 6-8 big bowls of soup. The lemon juice is a great extra! We also used some parsley and feta cheese as added optional toppings. mmmmm

We didn't have curry powder, and I forgot the cilantro and lemon juice and it was still a great, hearty soup. It was a lot smoother looking than the photo, although I didn't process it or anything. Simple and quick.

Yummo! Turned out great. My only advice would be to turn up the curry a notch and add a little heat.

I made this soup and froze it in lunch size serving containers. Each time I bring it to work, everyone comments on how delicious it smells. I think I will have to make a batch for all my co-workers!

Happiness in a bowl. Also, so easy and so inexpensive. I think the "Serves 2" must be typo. I halved the recipe because I only had 1 cup of lentils, served 2 of us and there's still leftovers.

This is a new favorite soup. I made it right away after I got that issue of the magazine, then went online to print it and file it with my "favorites". It's just wonderful.

i absolutely love this soup. i make it every time it snows!

Just made this soup! Delicious :) I halved the recipe and that was about 4 servings. Tried it without the curry/cumin and it was good even then, might make it without it next just for something different. Definitely a keeper!

This has become our new, favorite comfort food! What a wonderful soup. I'm preparing it for EVERYONE I KNOW!

This is one our most favorite soups. I've made it several times since getting the magazine because we almost always have these ingredients. The lemon is wonderful.

dee-licious. added almost double the cilantro and curry powder to give it more flavor but overall a great recipe.

This is the best lentil recipe! I make it at least twice a month and freeze for lunches. I also kick up the curry a bit and sometimes add yellow potatoes.

Great, great recipe! This is a delicious soup.

What an amazing recipe! I made it and shared with my friend & family. They all took a copy home and then passed it on to their friends. It is also so much better the next day.

I noticed that with the amount of liquid in the recipe, the soup is almost like a stew. I put a scoop of basmati rice in the bowl, ladled in the lentils and added curry toppings like mango chutney, cilantro, chopped cashews. Great flavor

Wonderful flavour! As with all VT soup recipes I cut the amount of water it calls for. I put only 3 cups of water and less little less than 1qt of broth.

made this my husband and I loved it. he took the rest to work for pot luck it was a hit.making this again

Hi - what is cilantro?? Is there another word for this? Parsley maybe?? And is it possible to also give measurements in the metric system? Thx

What kind of curry powder?

Sharon, cilantro is leafy like parsley but has a distinctive flavor. Used in Mexican and Indian recipes a lot, I wouldn't substitute parsley; completely different taste. I believe it also known as fresh coriander outside of the U.S.

Are the lentils initially canned or dried?

Very quick to make and delicious on this rainy day. I used more water and less vegetable stock, also decreased cumin and curry powder (my kids are not fans of spicy). I added some fresh leaks (had leftover that was going bad). Will make it again.

Made this yesterday but with green lentils as had run out of red. Added a whole red chillie during the cooking. Was absolutely delicious! Thank you!

My mother offered to make this for my husband and me (like, right, it took a lot of arm twisting ;-)). It was WONDERFUL. She did say that she had to cook the vegetables a little longer than indicated. Also, she added the cilantro at the very end so the aroma wouldn't burn off. Perfect!

tastes great with diced avocado on top and Bragg's Liquid Amino in place of salt:)

I'm experimenting so hope it works out!!!

Just made this soup..and I added some mashed pumpkin for extra thickness...delicious!!

soup has a really good flavor. My only criticism is that the vegetables should be perhaps sauteed first, to soften them. The amount of time necessary to make the vegetables soft overcooked (in my opinion) the lentils--which only need a short time to cook. Also, a tinge watery for me. Next time, I will use slightly less water.

This is delicious. Definitely make "as is" the first time and you will see it's a simple/perfect recipe. I did, however, throw in some spinach to add green to the pot!

I have red split lentils. By how much should I reduce the cooking time and amount of water? Thanks

I make this once a week. If you don't have cilantro, no biggie. It tastes like a split pea soup without the meat (somewhat :))

This soup is wonderful! The veggies stayed semi-crisp with a bite to them. I really like it and intend to make it again.

Just made this the other day, accidentally forgot to add lemon but it was still amazing! One of my new favorites! And to those who think it is spicy, its not at all. My 5 yo refuses to eat anything with so much a hint of chili powder in it and she gobbled this up!

You will love this recipe

This is delicious too! I'm eating it for lunch! Sarah

Yummy , I am going to make it for tomorrow's lunch.

Made this for the first time today. First time using/buying lentils! Everything was easy! Forgot cilantro but had fresh italian parsley + coriander for substitute. This is definitely a keeper. It's great right away, and as one person mentioned, I can see how this would definitely be better the next day too after the flavors have melded!

I made this today but looking at it I see little white crescent shaped things. Are they worms or are they sprouts from the lentils?

Red lentil coup recipe

Sprouts, red lentils are easily sprouted seed. Sprouted beans, peas, legumes are better for digestion so it is a win.

Ohhhh, it was delicious! I sauteed the veggies a minute or two for added flavor and also added in green beans, kale and sauteed mushrooms. The whole (non-vegetarian) family enjoyed it! Make sure you DO NOT forget to add the lemon juice, it totally makes this soup!

Try this it great on a cold afternoon an evening!!

i have been making this soup for the past couple of years. it is so easy and so delicious...

Good recipe!!

Well, that was a winner. Easy and amazing. And the snow is blowing outside but I feel warm!