Red lentil soup recipe is comforting, healthy and subtly sweet, thanks to an unexpected ingredient!

Red lentil sour in brown crockery bowl with handle, garnished with fresh parsley.

This soup is going to become my best friend soon. When God made me, apparently he forgot to give me two adult teeth. (Just kidding about the forgetting part, God.) Left in my mouth are two baby teeth. One of which needs to be removed.

So of course I’m being a huge baby about it. I hate the dentist. I have to have the tooth extracted, a bone graft put in, and then a titanium rod inserted INTO MY JAW for the implant. It’s a 10 month process overall and will cost us in the ballpark of $5,000 (that’s the part insurance doesn’t cover). I know there are boatloads of people out there going through way worse, so I don’t want to dwell on this…but yes, soup is going to be my BFF.

And if you see me in the next ten months please don’t make fun of me for my missing tooth. Thankfully it isn’t a front tooth because I think I’d just hibernate for ten months if that were the case.

Soup in brown bowl on blue checked cloth.

This red lentil soup recipe is adapted from a recipe my mom made the last time I was home. I love a comforting bowl of soup that you can feel good about eating. Make soup at the beginning of the week and it will be a healthy lunch for you all week long. It’s so perfect! I love to make a big batch of this 15 Bean Soup or Bean and Bacon Soup, too. Hearty and healthy!

Red lentil soup is so flavorful and is subtly sweetened with dried apricots! You sauté them at the beginning with onions and bell peppers and they add such a depth of flavor to this soup. That sweetness is countered with the warmness of fragrant cumin (my favorite!). You’ll find that you just can’t stop eating this soup.

To give this soup a great consistency, I purée about two thirds of it in my blender and then add it back into the rest of the soup. If you prefer a chunkier soup, feel free to skip that step. Or if you love your soup silky smooth, purée the whole thing!

Partial image of red lentil soup in bowl, garnished with fresh parsley.

Craving more soup?

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Red lentil soup in brown crockery bowl with handle.

Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Yield: 6 main dish servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This red lentil soup recipe is comforting, healthy and surprisingly flavorful, partially thanks to an unexpected ingredient!


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 and 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • one 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking bulgur (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2-3 cups water


  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil and add onion, bell pepper, and apricots. Saute, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent. Add broth, lentils, tomatoes, bulgur, cumin, thyme, celery seed, garlic powder, parsley and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat).
  2. Cover partially and simmer 20-30 minutes or until lentils are softened. Stir occasionally and add more water if it becomes too thick.
  3. Remove 6 cups & puree in blender (you’ll probably have to do this in batches — be very careful!!!). Returned pureed soup to pan and stir to combine.


  • Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make this soup vegan.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 25g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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Overhead of soup in bowl, garnished with parsley.
This red lentil soup recipe is comforting, healthy and subtly sweet, thanks to a unexpected ingredient! Get the easy recipe on Can be made vegan as well!