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Close up of a bowl of chunky carrot lentil soup
4.91 from 10 votes

Easy Spiced Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

This delicious carrot and lentil soup is the perfect warming dish for winter days. Nutritious, frugal and filling, my easy recipe for spicy carrot lentil soup is also vegan and gluten free. This soup freezes well making it perfect for batch cooking.
Servings: 6
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil - for frying
  • 1 medium onion - approx. 125 g
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 heaped tsp garam masala - or other warming spice to taste
  • ½ tsp chilli flake or ground chilli - to taste
  • 5 medium carrots - approx. 450 g
  • 900 ml vegetable stock - 4 cups
  • 150 g red lentils - ¾ cup
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 bunch coriander leaf - cilantro
  • 1 lemon - zest - and the juice, if you like
  • salt and pepper - optional

To Garnish

  • natural yogurt - dairy free if desired
  • coriander - cilantro
  • pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  • First, gather your ingredients. Peel and dice the onion, celery, garlic and carrots. For a chunky soup, cut the vegetables into small pieces. If you want a smoother soup, save time by cutting bigger chunks and blending later. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan or casserole dish/Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and celery. Sauté gently over a medium heat for about two minutes.
  • Add the garlic and continue to cook for a further three minutes or so, until the onion is translucent and just starting to turn golden, and the fragrances are released. 
  • Add the spices and cook gently for a further a minute or so. You want to release the flavour, but not burn the spices. 
  • Stir in the carrots.
  • Add the lentils, tomato puree and stock, and stir well.
  • Bring to a simmer. Put the lid on and turn the heat right down. Leave the soup to cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are mushy and the carrots soft. 
  • Adjust the texture as you prefer. If you like your soup smoother, mash with a potato masher, or blend to the texture you want. You can add more stock or water to thin the soup if you choose. 
  • Add the chopped coriander and lemon zest, and stir in. Season to taste.
  • Serve garnished with more coriander and some pumpkin seeds, or with a little natural yogurt.

Notes

  • This soup freezes well. Pack it into cartons and allow it to cool before freezing. It will store for three days in the fridge.
  • If you prefer, you can easily make this carrot and lentil soup in the slow cooker. 
  • Swap in curry powder and cumin, Moroccan ras el hanout, Mexican fajita seasoning, old-fashioned caraway, or make your own blend. Use what is in the cupboard. There is absolutely no need to go and buy a jar of a spice to make soup. 
  • You can substitute cooked canned or pouched lentils for dried ones, or use green lentils or (soaked) yellow split peas instead of the red lentils.
  • If you can't eat celery, you could use fennel or leeks.
  • If you don't like coriander, use parsley instead. 
  • Leftover herbs can be put in a bag and frozen. Snip as much as you need with scissors and return to the freezer. After defrosting, it is a bit mushy and no good as a garnish, but it still tastes delicious. If your freezer fills up with half used bags of frozen herbs, whizz them all into a green goddess dressing.    
  • Try to buy unwaxed lemons. If you can only find waxed ones, give them a good scrub in hot water before use. If you prefer, you could a grated apple or use orange rather than lemon. 
  • For a creamy vegan carrot and lentil soup, add a spoonful of nut butter or tahini. 
Nutritional Information
  • This recipe is 6 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion 
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.
Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 680mg | Potassium: 799mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 13253IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 4mg