Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Red Lentil Soup

4 servings


45 minutes

total time


3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal), plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch of chili powder or ground cayenne, plus more to taste

1 quart chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup red lentils

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

Juice of ½ lemon, more to taste

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.

Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partly cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup, then add it back to pot. The soup should be somewhat chunky.

Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder, if desired.


Made this on 1/18/2024 for a romantic lunch date with Hallie. It was fabulous. I followed the recipe, but had only 2c of chicken stock, so used a full quart of water, and honestly this was fine. I used chipotle chile pepper and would do so again--the smokiness of the chipotle complemented the lentils beautifully, according to Hallie. I agree and would not neglect to finish the soup with another sprinkle of the chipotle when serving. This soup paired perfectly with a rosemary quick bread I made along side it.


Serving Size




Total Fat

11 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Unsaturated Fat

9 g

Trans Fat

0 g




206 mg

Total Carbohydrate

39 g

Dietary Fiber

7 g

Total Sugars

4 g


13 g

4 servings


45 minutes

total time
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