FOOD Soups

20-Minute Red Lentil Soup

I love soups, and I love lentils, so when the temperatures drop, I have to make red lentil soup! Red lentil soup is one of the easiest soups to make and it only takes 20 minutes. Especially because red lentils are so easy to cook – for whole red lentils, cook time is typically 15-20 minutes, and for split red lentils, cook time is typically only about 5-7 minutes.

This recipe has my mother’s seasoning combination. She was born in the city of Meknes, Morocco, and left the country at the age of 5. Her mother (my grandma) was not a great traditional cook, so my mother learned most of her cooking skills from friends, neighbors, and books. Her seasoning combination includes cumin, turmeric, salt, garlic, lemon and something sweet (honey, silan syrup or just sugar). I adopted this combination and I’m excited to share it with you on this recipe.


3 tablespoon olive oil
1 small ripe tomato, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup dried red lentils
3 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more as needed)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional: Pinch of ground chile powder
1 teaspoon silan date syrup


In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion, until golden, for about 4 minutes.
Stir in tomato and carrot.
Add spices, without the salt and stir
Add chopped garlic (carefully, it burns quickly and might add a bitter flavor).
Add water, and stir until boiling.
Add lentils and silan date syrup and stir every 5 minutes.
When finished, add the salt.

Recipe Notes:

I like my soup with a body and sometimes replace a meal with this soup. However, you may add more water.
This recipe makes 4 small bowls of soup. Double the recipe to serve 4-6

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