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Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

  • Author: Gönül
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Here's our family recipe for red lentil soup with lemon. Ready in under 45 minutes! This hearty classic is full of protein thanks to red lentils. Naturally vegan and gluten-free, lentil soup is perfect for cozy days.


  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
  • 1 large (400g) white onion, chopped
  • 1 large (30g) carrot, chopped
  • 7 cloves (20g) of garlic, minced
  • 1 large (425g) Russet potato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (35g) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon (20g) Turkish pepper paste (or sub with more tomato paste)
  • 1 cup (200g) split red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) table salt (double volume if using Kosher salt)
  • pinch of black pepper
  • optional: 1 teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes
  • 6 ½ cups (1500 ml) water at room temperature

To Serve:

  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened plant yogurt


  1. In a large pan on medium heat, sauté onions with a pinch of salt in olive oil for about 5 minutes. If using chile flakes, add them at this point.
  2. Add the garlic, carrots, potatoes, tomato & pepper paste and sauté for another 5 minutes along with a pinch more salt. Stir frequently.
  3. Add the lentils and sauté for another 2 minutes. Pour in room-temperature water with the rest of the salt and bring to a boil on high heat, takes about 5 minutes.
  4. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes until lentils are cooked. Season with more salt and black pepper if needed.
  5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of dried mint. I also love a dollop of plant-based yogurt on top. This soup feels like a complete meal on its own but also goes very well with other Turkish dishes like gozleme.
  6. You may save this soup in the refrigerator for up to five days in an airtight container.
  7. When you refrigerate blended soup, it will be lumpy. Simply reheat it with more water to smoothen it, then salt as needed. You could also freeze it for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and enjoy within a few days.


Blending: If you prefer your soup creamy, blend half or all of it using an immersion blender. You can also grate the vegetables instead of chopping them for a soupier consistency.

Water: This recipe is made with about 6 cups of water per 1 cup of lentils. For a more "soupy" consistency, use 8 cups of water per cup of lentils. For a more stew-like consistency, use 4 cups of water per cup of lentils. Adjust salt as needed.

Potato: In Turkey, this soup is made with Russet potatoes most of the time, but you may use other starchy potato varieties as well. If you're not a fan of potatoes, simply omit it or replace with a quarter cup of white rice.

EVOO: To make the soup richer, drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil.

Nutrition information is an estimate (Cronometer).

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Turkish, Soup
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Turkish


  • Calories: 280kcal
  • Fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 12g
  • Protein: 11g