Red Lentil Soup (Vegan)

Red Lentil Soup.  For those of you that do not know, my mother-in-law is Turkish.  When I married my husband, he would tell me stories about his mother’s lentil soup, how good it was, and how much he liked it.  Her lentil soup was the first lentil soup I had ever tried.

I have to say, it is also the best.  She was nice enough to share her family’s recipe for my blog.


Red Lentil Soup


This red lentil soup is really easy and costs only pennies to make.  My mother-in-law says that in Turkey, they often add a dollop of plain yogurt on top of this soup.  In Turkey, they add yogurt to many things.

Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil Soup

Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 30 min


  • 2 cups lentils (rinsed)
  • 1-2 T rice or bulgur (I used 2 T bulgur)
  • 4-6 cups water or broth (I used water)
  • 3 tsp tomato paste (optional) (I did not use it.)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mint
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)


  1. In a large pot, cook the lentils, bulgur, carrots and water until soft. It takes about 30 minutes.
  2. In a sauce pan saute the onions and olive oil until they get soft.
  3. Add the dry spices, lemon juice and 1/2 – 1 cup of water and stir well. If you are using the tomato paste, add it in too.
  4. Add the onion mixture to the lentil mixture and let it simmer slowly for about 10 minutes. and your done. Enjoy!


Recipe Notes

If the soup appears to thick, you can add a bit more water. Some people like to use an immersion blender to puree it further. I did not do that. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. This soup can be frozen also.