Red lentil soup with Indian spices

Contributed by Food for health editors

Red lentil soup with Indian spices
This is a delicious soup that's a favorite for everyone in my family - including the pickier 13 year old. The lentils become creamy when cooked and combine nicely with pungent Indian spices. I used 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. I also prefer to use fresh tomatoes.

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 saute onion for two minutes. 
  3. Add garlic and cook for another minute. 
  4. Add tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper and chili powder and saute 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 mg
  • Sodium: 520 mg (can be lowered by using reduced sodium broth)
  • Total carbohydrate: 39 g
  • Dietary fiber: 10 g
  • Sugars: 7 g
  • Protein: 16 g