Red lentil soup with Indian spices

Try this recipe for a creamy soup with pungent Indian spices.

Red lentil soup with Indian spices

This is a delicious soup that's a favorite for everyone in the family — including picky eaters. The lentils become creamy when cooked and combine nicely with pungent Indian spices. 

This recipe uses a variety of red lentils called "Petite Crimsons," which are a bit smaller than the more typical "Red Chief" lentils. But any kind of red lentils will do. 

The sodium content can be reduced by using low-sodium broth. 

Servings: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 3 large fresh tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. Sort lentils, rinse in cool water and drain. 
  2. In a soup pot, heat oil and sauté onion for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add garlic and cook for another minute. 
  4. Add tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper, and chili powder and sauté for another 2 minutes. 
  5. Add broth, 1 1/2 cups water, lentils, carrots and tomatoes. 
  6. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. 
  7. Taste and add salt as needed and stir in lemon juice. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 320
  • Total fat: 12 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g
  • Sodium: 520 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 39
  • Dietary fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 16