Curried Red Lentil Soup

My curried red lentil soup is packed with protein, fiber, and loads of flavor. Because red lentils are one of the quickest-cooking lentils, you can have a complete dinner ready in about 30 minutes. This is the meal I reach for when I want something warm and satisfying but don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. You can serve it with extra veggies and rice or store-bought naan.


Curried Red Lentil Soup

Course Soup
Servings 4 people
Print Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander and cumin mix or just cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 6 cups vegetable broth**
  • 4 cups spinach or greens of choice
  • juice of half a lemon
  • chopped cilantro for garnish


  • In a medium-size pot warm the olive oil. Add the whole cumin seeds and warm for about a minute or two until you hear a sizzling sound (they should be fragrant but not burn).
  • Add the onion and sauté until golden brown. Add the minced ginger and garlic, and sauté for about a minute until fragrant.
  • Add the ground cumin/coriander, garam masala, turmeric, salt, ground red chili, and black pepper, and mix together well, being careful not to let the spices burn (only cook for about a minute or so).
  • Add the red lentils and broth, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer until the lentils are almost cooked through.
  • Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted (spinach will only take a minute or two; heartier greens like kale will take a few minutes longer).
  • Finish with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and chopped cilantro to garnish.


*You can use red pepper flakes if you don't have ground red chili powder.
**I generally use 4 cups of broth and 2 cups of water so I just need one quart of broth. You could also use 6 cups of water if you don't have broth on hand. 


For tips on the basics of soup making and to see how I make this soup, check out the video below.