Red lentil soup with spinach

This vegan soup is an easy and delicious winter meal.

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Red lentil soup with spinach

My wife made some great red lentil soup recently from an Amy Chaplin recipe. (Amy creates tasty plant-based food recipes). Melissa Clark, a regular on the New York Times Cooking website, also offered a red lentil soup.

I combined the two. Just the best for a California winter evening meal. So easy to make. I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we did.

Servings: 6


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
  • Large pinch chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped (If they are washed well, I don't bother to peel them)
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • Lemon juice to taste


  1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil to shimmering. 
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 4 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, chili, salt, pepper and cook a minute or two. 
  4. Add the broth, water, lentils, and carrots. Turn down heat and bring to a simmer.
  5. Gently simmer partially covered about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.  
  6. Use an immersion blender just enough to leave the soup chunky, or use a blender to puree about half of the soup, then add it back to the pot. If using a blender, remember to take the center piece out of the blender lid and cover with a folded kitchen towel to let the steam escape.  
  7. Stir in the spinach.  
  8. Add lemon juice to taste.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 220
  • Total fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 320 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 29 g
  • Dietary fiber: 6 g
  • Total sugars: 5 g
  • Protein: 13 g