Perfect Red Lentil Soup w/Lemon

Here’s the thing with this soup: it’s really hard to mess up. I have made it now probably three times, each time changing a little something here and there, and it still comes out awesome every time. But the fresh squeeze of lemon? ESSENTIAL!

This is one of those soups that you can just throw random stuff in (not like, shoelaces, but random produce that makes sense) and it still works. This time, I happened to have an abundance of potatoes on hand from my Lancaster Farms CSA Box via FreshDirect, so I chopped and tossed a few of those in. If you haven’t tried one of those CSA boxes, I highly recommend it. The produce is always what’s currently in season, and it helps support local farmers. CSA stands for “community supported agriculture”, just FYI.

this was actually my summer CSA Box but you get the idea…

Anyway! On to the recipe. Below are a few quick notes, because I refuse to be one of those bloggers who writes 12 paragraphs before just getting to it.

If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry. The soup will still taste great! I just like to thicken it this way. You could also mash some of the potatoes with a big fork or potato masher and get similar results (just more chunky).

If you don’t have dried parsley and thyme, I think it’s fine to leave out. The paprika and cumin are the most important seasonings here!! And the fresh squeeze of lemon! SO GOOD.

You can easily adapt this recipe for the slow cooker, I would just do the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic first in a saute pan to soften them a bit, then add the potatoes, lentils, and broth to cook everything together on high for 3-4 hours. Save the bit of lemon for the very end before serving!

Perfect Red Lentil Soup

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 small potatoes, quartered into bite size chunks (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (and extra for serving)


  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Cook for 5-7 mins until carrots/potatoes start to soften and onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Sprinkle with the Kosher salt and black pepper, and the rest of the dried seasonings, as well as tomato paste. Stir to coat the veggies in the seasoning mixture.
  2. Add lentils, broth, water, and Worcestershire. Stir together and throw in the bay leaf. On medium heat, let it cook for about one hour or so until carrots and potatoes are tender. Check after 30 minutes and skim some of the foam off the top with a spoon and discard.
  3. Towards the end, add the tsp of lemon juice and stir. If the potatoes and carrots are tender, this is where you can ladle about half of the soup into a blender and puree. Add back to the pot and stir it all together. Serve in bowls with an extra squeeze of lemon on top! Deeeeelish.  

As always, thanks to FreshDirect for the ingredients. Proud to be an #fdambassador

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