Speedy Red Lentil Soup with Lemon (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

5 from 3 votes
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lentil soup

I’ve been getting lots of requests on Instagram for more Hungry Lady Soups, so it was time to post this one.  This January has really become the soup and salad month over here, and I’m not mad about it one bit.  They are my some of my favorite things to make and eat all year, but especially in the winter.  There is little that is more comforting than a pot of soup simmering away on a brisk day.  The smells, the warmth, the bounty that serves you well all week long… it’s a culinary cold weather ritual for a reason.

This soup is one I’ve been making for years.  I reach for this recipe when I want something light, but substantial.  By now you know that is my kind of food!

lentil soup

what else can i use?

  • I use red lentils, primarily for appearance, you can use green lentils if that’s what you have with no flavor difference.
  • I like to leave the sliced lemon in when serving and eat it, tenderly simmered rind and all, which is why I call for an organic lemon.  However, if you’d rather not eat it, simply remove the lemon slices before serving.
  • If you don’t have ground coriander on hand, simply omit.  Ground ginger is a nice replacement or addition as well.
  • Fresh parsley is an obvious garnish on this soup.  Cilantro also works nicely.

This soup is special because:

It comes together in under 30 minutes, making it ideal for any weeknight dinner.

With a little technique, like toasting the spices, this soup’s flavor is complex and tastes like it’s been simmering for hours.

It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to week, and freezes well too.

It is a filling plant based lunch on its own, and a perfect winter dinner paired with some crusty bread and/or a salad such as my Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

lentil soup

If you make this Speedy Red Lentil Soup with Lemon, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here or post to Instagram and tag me.  I love to hear your feedback and share your creations!

lentil soup
5 from 3 votes

Speedy Red Lentil Soup with Lemon (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This cozy, hearty lentil soup just happens to be vegan, and is so flavorful you will never guess it takes less than 30 minutes to make.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 large stockpot


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 15 oz. canned, diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1/2 organic lemon, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Fresh parsley, for serving


  • Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
  • Saute onion, garlic, and celery with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and a few cracks of pepper and cook for 60 seconds more.
  • Add canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, sliced lemon and lentils to the pot. If you are using unsalted stock, add a teaspoon of salt at this time. Stir well.
  • Cover the pot and bring soup to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes until lentils are cooked and the flavors have deepened.
  • Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
  • If you'd prefer not to eat the lemon slices with their rind (I always do), remove them now.
  • Serve ladled into shallow bowls, sprinkled with fresh parsley.


Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 863mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 269
Keyword: lentil soup, lentils, soup, stew, vegan
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I was excited to make this and it was fantastic!!!

    Currently making my own veggie broth to make it even more delicious 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I never, in a million years, thought i’d like a lentil soup – but WOW this soup is fantastic. It was great when we made it, even better the next day!