Spicy Lentil Soup

Spicy Lentil Soup Recipe

I was so excited about discovering one pound bags of organic beans marked down to 50 cents that I did not look carefully at the varieties I was picking up. I was disappointed when I realized that one of the bags I brought home turned out to be lentils. I don’t remember ever cooking with them or eating them before, but for some reason I had a negative impression of them. I decided to find a way to use the lentils, because I didn’t want them to go to waste and I am glad I did.

Lentils do not require soaking like beans. They only take 30 minutes to cook, smell great while cooking, and are quite tasty. My son has declared this his new favorite soup and I’ve decided lentils are my new favorite frugal source of protein.

Spicy Lentil Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (How to Make Vegetable Broth)
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons medium to hot pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  1. Add lentils and water to a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Place lid on pot, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. While lentils are cooking, chop, dice, and mince vegetables.
  3. Once the lentils are done cooking, Add broth, veggies, and spices to the pot. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the soup reaches a boil, lower temperature to medium high, but make sure the soup continues to boil.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender.



Spicy Lentil Soup recipeDo you have a favorite recipe using lentils? Feel free to share a link; I can’t wait to discover new ways to prepare lentils!



  1. Really Rainey says

    This is a great KEEPER recipe… I am eating vegetarian right now and this would be a great soup to make once a week! Thanks SO much!


  2. Melodie says

    I love lentils Lentil dahl is really good and easy to make too. It's my kid's favourite dish! Thanks for sharing at Vegetarian Foodie Fridays!

  3. Laura says

    I am going to have to give this soup a try – it sounds delicious. My attempts in the past to serve my family lentils have not gone over well. They like lentils when they're mixed with other beans, but don't particularly care for them on their own (I love them though).

  4. Alea says

    Laura- You might like it with a little more heat. I tend to like things on the mild side of spicy as do my children. I just put a side of chopped hot peppers by my husbands place. :)

  5. Melynda says

    Great looking soup! Lentils are very easy to use, as you found out. You can just substitute them for other legumes in the recipes you already like, like lentil chili.

  6. Renee@FeedingOurLives.com says

    This recipe looks great! I'm adding it to my "Need to try" bookmark folder! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Deb says

    OMG I discovered lentils about 2 years ago and I love them, I add them to lots of soups & stews.

    I created a recipe that I just love. It has a bit of heat, but not too much at all. It's not vegetarian, but if you omit the ground turkey meat, problem solved:

    1 medium chopped onion
    1 large bunch Kale, stripped from stem and chopped
    2 large chopped carrots
    2 medium baked potatoes, chopped
    *1.5 cups cooked northern beans (see note)
    1 cup lentils – red or regular
    1 box organic chicken broth
    1 cup water
    1 can coconut milk
    1 large can chopped tomatoes with juice
    1 rounded Tbs Turmeric
    1 rounded tsp Tandoori
    1 bay leaf
    1 lb ground turkey meat, cooked

    In a large dutch oven or stock pot, saute onions & carrots in a bit of olive oil until just soft, and then add kale. Saute for 2-3 minutes more.

    Add all the rest of the ingredients, turkey meat is optional. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a little more water if you would like this soup a bit thicker (if you omit the turkey, you probably won't want to add more water).

    Serve with a dallop of greek yogurt on top. This soup is really delicious and nutritious!

    *note about beans: instead of buying canned beans, I buy dry beans and soak/cook them to directions. I then drain them, and store them in 1.5 cup portions in the freezer, which is the amount in the standard can of beans. Much more economical and no BPA this way!

  8. Deb says

    *CORRECTION TO ABOVE RECIPE* (sorry, I'm having more middle age mind moments than I care to acknowledge lately)

    the correct spices are:

    1 rounded Tbs yellow curry
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp tandoori
    salt & pepper to taste


  9. Jan says

    This is a wonderful Lentil Soup recipe
    Moroccan Spiced Lentil Soup
    1 fennel bulb chopped fine
    1 red onion chopped fine
    1 yellow onion chopped fine
    ¼ c. olive oil
    2 -14 ounce cans chopped tomatoes with their liquid
    ½ tsp ground ginger
    ½ tsp ground turmeric
    ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    pinch of crushed chillies
    2 cloves garlic chopped finely
    Pinch of saffron
    4 cups vegetable stock
    1 c. dried lentils picked through and rinsed
    4 sprigs cilantro
    4 sprigs parsley
    2 bay leaves
    2 tbsp sugar
    salt & pepper
    1 can chick peas drained & rinsed

     Mix 4 tbsp. cumin, garlic, jalapeno pepper and lemon juice in food processor to make a puree. Pick cilantro
    Off stems and add to food processor along with lemon zest and salt and pepper. Pulse mixture a couple of times scraping it down from the side of the bowl in between pulses. The mixture should resemble a rustic pesto
    Place in tightly closed container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


     Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat
     Add chopped fennel and gently cook for a few minutes while fennel releases its natural juices
     Add red and yellow onion and sauté until soft and translucent
     Add tomatoes with their liquid and turn heat up until mixture comes to a complete simmer and add the ginger turmeric, cinnamon garlic and saffron and crushed chillies
     Let mixture cook together for about 5 minutes and then add broth, lentils cilantro and parsley sprigs and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
     Add sugar salt and pepper and stir mixture a couple of times and then turn heat down to low and cover pot and let simmer for about 25 minutes
     Add chick peas and let heat for about 10 minutes
     Check seasoning and season again with salt and pepper . Remove bay leaves, cilantro and parsley sprigs and serve with 1 tbsp of Charmoula on top.


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