Easy Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Bowl of red lentil soup with toppings on a wooden board

Easy Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Here’s the most important thing to know about this red lentil soup recipe. IT IS SO EASY TO MAKE.

It has other things going for it, of course. It’s tasty, healthy, inexpensive, great to make ahead, and family-friendly. But did I mention it’s easy to make?

After you chop an onion and carrot your work is essentially done. Everything else is just measuring a pantry ingredient. I don’t even ask you to chop fresh ginger here, which is basically blasphemy in the food world (you’re welcome). The toppings are optional, and blending it is optional too.

If lentils aren’t a regular part of your rotation, I’d encourage you to give them more play. They’re supremely inexpensive and supremely nutritious, a rare plant-based protein that’s high in iron, which is especially important if you’re feeding a breastfed baby. (Beginning at six months, babies need iron as part of their diet. Formula is fortified with iron, but it isn’t a significant component of breastmilk.) Lentils are also high in fiber and protein.

RELATED: 10 Protein-Rich Finger Foods for BLW

Swaps: This red lentil soup recipe also works well with split peas. Chicken broth can stand in for the veggie broth. Butter or olive oil are good substitutes for the coconut oil.

Cooking Tip: Quickly cooking the spices in the fat at the end of step 1 helps bring out their flavor. This technique is called “blooming,” and it’s almost always preferable to adding dried herbs or spices to liquid.

BLW Tip: This soup is a very healthy and tasty treat for baby. To adapt the recipe, skip the salt, and omit any toppings. Spoon-feed, offer on a pre-loaded spoon, or, if you’re brave, allow baby to dive in with his hands. If you’re going the hands route, skip the coconut milk since the texture will be thicker and more pick-up-able.

Storage: Store in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to six months.


Pantry-Friendly Red Lentil Soup With Toppings
Makes 4-6 servings

This is a riff on an Instant Pot recipe in Bare Minimum Dinners.

2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
4 cups vegetable broth (32 oz.)
1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk, well-shaken
Juice of 1 lime
Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, crushed red pepper, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a swirl of coconut oil or ghee

1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots, and cook, stirring frequently until the veggies start to soften, about 7-8 minutes. Add the curry powder and ginger and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Add the broth, lentils, and salt. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat.

3. Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice. If you want, but totally not required, blend with an immersion blender. Top however you would like!

Get more family-friendly recipes in my cookbooks. See which is right for your family!

Jenna Helwig