Red lentil soup with spinach

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 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 teaspon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken or 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)
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves


  1. Heat the olive oil to shimmering in a large soup pot. 
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic 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, carrots, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Gently simmer partially covered about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.  
  6. Use an immersion blender for a while leaving the soup chunky or puree about half of it in a blender then add it back to the pot.  Remember to take the center piece out of the top of the blender and cover with a wadded up kitchen towel to let the steam escape.  
  7. Stir in the spinach.  
  8. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Using low sodium broth; does not include added salt.

  • 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
  • Sugars: 5 g
  • Protein: 13 g