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Red lentil soup served in a black bowl with a spoon and garnished with chopped cilantro, chili flakes, and olive oil.

Red lentil soup (Middle Eastern style)

Red lentil soup is a quick Middle Eastern style soup made with split red lentils, gently flavored with Arabic spices. If you are looking for light and simple comforting soup recipes then this lemony lentil soup is perfect for you.
Course Soup
Cuisine Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 281kcal



  • 1.5 cups red lentils
  • 5 cups water or as required to get the desired consistency
  • ½ cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 celery stalk roughly chopped
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic-finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of ½ a medium-sized lemon adjust to taste
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro
  • Red chili flakes optional


  • Wash the lentils and keep them aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add garlic cloves and saute for a few seconds or until the raw smell of garlic goes away.
  • Add chopped onion and saute until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Next, add chopped carrot and celery. Saute for about 2 minutes before adding the cumin powder, cayenne pepper, chili flakes, turmeric powder, and vegetable bouillon cube. You may also add around 1 tablespoon of water to avoid burning of spices.
  • Add lentils and salt. Saute for about a minute, and then add the water.
  • Cover the pot and cook for around 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are nicely cooked.
  • Remove the bay leaf and blend the soup with the help of a hand blender or food processor until the soup becomes smooth and creamy.
  • Add some fresh lemon juice. Garnish with chopped parsley or coriander leaves, olive oil, and chili flakes. Serve hot or warm.



  • You can also add tomatoes to this soup for more flavor. It will also give a nice red color to the soup.
  • Instead of seasoning the soup with plain ground cumin, use roasted cumin powder. It tastes better.
  • For extra lemony flavor, add lemon zest along with lemon juice.
  • You can also skip the step of blending the soup if you prefer a slightly coarse texture.
  • Red lentils taste the best with a sour ingredient. Consider lemon juice a key ingredient in red lentil soup and don't skip it.
  • More recipe tips and tricks are shared in the post above. Please follow them to make this recipe.


Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 775mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2820IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 6mg