Red Lentil Soup

This recipe for red lentil soup came home a few Fridays ago with my two-year-old, after she learned in gan about Yaakov and Esav. (Thanks, Morah Elisheva!) I decided to try it out yesterday because
a. it was really cold outside,
b. my kids were bringing friends home for lunch, so I wanted to serve real food, and
c. it was a fast day, and I thought soup would be the perfect light, yet filling, supper for my hungry husband when he came home.

I’ve made lentils soups before, but this was my first time using red lentils. They’re lighter and more delicate than green lentils, so they cook faster. I like the texture of the chopped vegetables and lentils, but it’s easy to blend for someone who prefers smooth soups. It took about twenty minutes to put the soup up in the morning, and it was waiting on the stove for lunch. A small investment of time for two delicious meals.


To be honest, only three out of the six kids who ate lunch at my house yesterday were brave enough to taste the soup, but all three loved it. (The other three ate pasta and ketchup. Hey, I tried.) One put p’titim in it. One put pasta in it. One put p’titim and cottage cheese and pasta in it. I don’t recommend that, but I want to be honest and share all the kid-friendly options with you. 😛
It was also a big hit with my husband, who ate it on its own. dsc06936

I didn’t know as I was dishing up bowls of this delicious soup to my children and their friends what was happening at the Armon HaNetziv Promenade in Jerusalem. Halacha b’yaduah…. Enough said.

Red Lentil Soup
Serves: a small crowd

2 T oil
2 medium onions, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional–I left them out)
2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed
8 oz can or 250 gram container tomato paste
10 cups water or vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Saute the onions, garlic, and carrots until soft, 5-8 minutes.
  2. Add spices and lentils and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste.
  4. Add water and bay leaves and simmer 45 minutes.
  5. Remove all bay leaves before serving. They’re a major choking hazard.


I ate the last bowl as leftovers, for breakfast, garnished with low-fat plain yogurt and paprika. Did you make this soup? What did you add as garnish? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

If you like this soup, you may also enjoy my Creamy, Comforting (Curried) Orange Soup.

About israelisalad

I'm an American-Israeli mother who loves to make healthy food from fresh ingredients, on a budget and with limited time. My site is full of easy, healthy recipes and insights into life in Israel.
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5 Responses to Red Lentil Soup

  1. Pingback: Creamy, Comforting (Curried) Orange Soup | Israeli Salad

  2. Debi says:

    Hi Miriam,
    we also have a red lentil soup recipe that came home when my daughter learned parashat Toldot five years ago. It’s still one of the kids’ favorites, and easy to make.


  3. Pingback: “Accidental” Turkey Neck Soup | Israeli Salad

  4. Pingback: Planting and Nourishing: Food for Thought | Israeli Salad

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