This quick carrot lentil soup recipe is perfect for weekday dinners. Naturally vegan and vegetarian, it contains just 10 ingredients and comes together in less than 30 minutes.
There's something so comforting about hearty soups at this time of year.
The mild, earthy flavor of lentils paired with the sweetness of carrots and warm spices makes this one of the best creamy soups around.
This creamy carrot and lentil soup is quick, easy and perfect for batch cooking.
It comes together in less than 30 minutes and is great as a complete meal as it contains both vegetables and protein (another quick meal that's high in protein and veggies is my Chickpea Spinach Curry).
Why you'll love this recipe
It's fast - All you need is a couple of minutes of prep time! Vegetables and lentils are sautéed then simmered in broth for 25 minutes.
Uses minimal ingredients - Just 10 pantry staples plus salt, pepper and oil will give you a healthy, filling soup.
High in protein - Hearty red lentils are a good source of protein as well as iron, so this lentil and carrot soup will keep you full for longer.
Great for meal prep - Make a big batch of this flavorful soup then refrigerate or freeze it for later in the week/month.
Onion & garlic - These provide a flavourful base to the soup and give it depth.
Carrots - Add sweetness as well as flavour, and give the soup a really gorgeous colour, not to mention upping the nutrient content considerably. Definitely an immune system booster!
Spice mix - Cumin seeds, chili powder, smoked paprika and turmeric add warmth and more depth to this recipe. Feel free to adjust amounts as you wish.
Red lentils - These give the dish heartiness, as well as making it a high protein soup.
Lentils are a great plant-based source of iron and are massively underused, so this is a great way to eat more of them, soup season or not!
Vegetable broth/stock - Adds a really great savoury flavour to this easy recipe. I like buying bouillon powder and mixing it with water to make my own veggie broth.
Milk - I use dairy free milks as I'm vegan, and find almond, soy or oat work really well. You can use coconut milk for the creamiest soup!
Carrots - This carrot and red lentil soup works really well, but if carrots are unavailable you could also sub in another sweet orange vegetable like butternut squash or sweet potato.
Spice mix - Feel free to adjust spice amounts as you wish, and sub them for others if preferred. See variations below.
Red lentils - You could sub with brown or green lentils, but do note this will definitely change the colour of the soup, and they will need to cook for much longer.
Your best bet would be yellow lentils as they have a much closer texture, color, and taste to red lentils.
Vegetable broth/stock - I don't recommend omitting this as vegetable stock adds so much to the flavour, but if you're stuck you could try using plain water instead. Just remember to add more salt.
How to make lentil and carrot soup
1) Roughly chop onion and carrot, and peel and crush garlic.
2) Add onion and garlic to a large pan with olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes - stirring frequently - until onion is soft and translucent.
3) Add chopped carrot, chili powder, paprika, turmeric, cumin and pepper to pan, and sauté for 2 minutes more.
4) Add lentils, vegetable broth and milk to the pan. Bring soup to a boil and reduce heat until gently bubbling.
5) Simmer soup for 12-14 minutes, until lentils are soft.
6) Transfer to a blender, and blend on high power for about 20 seconds until soup is creamy (you might need to do this in two batches).
7) Return to the pot and add salt to taste (I usually need about 1 teaspoon).
If your soup is too thick, add a little more milk, broth or water. Reheat if needed.
Step by step how to make lentil soup.
Add more liquid as needed. This red lentil and carrot soup really does thicken up as it cools, so it's quite likely you might need to add more liquid (broth, milk or water) when you reheat it. This is normal!
Use a jug blender if possible. A jug blender or food processor is recommended over an immersion blender for this particular recipe simply because it's less messy (this soup can spatter quite a lot).
A jug blender also allows you to blend higher quantities at once.
Lentil and carrot soup variations
Carrot Lentil Ginger Soup - Try adding a small thumb of fresh ginger to the soup before blending to make it extra warm.
Curried - Add 1-2 teaspoon curry powder with the other spices for a stronger spiced carrot lentil soup. Mix in some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper if you love heat.
How to store
Store uneaten soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Soup will thicken as it cools, so you may need to add more water, broth or milk when reheating to get the consistency you'd like.
You can also freeze it in a sealed container for up to one month.
You don't need to. Red lentils cook very quickly so it's not necessary for this soup.
Lots! If you're looking to add herbs to this soup, I recommend replacing the spices with them. Rosemary, sage and thyme are all great added to this soup. Try one on its own, or try combining them all!
Yes, you can freeze lentil soup in a sealed container for up to one month. Reheat thoroughly after defrosting.
I like to serve this soup with bread or crackers. If you want to make it a much heartier meal, you could try serving it alongside my vegan poutine.
More quick vegan dinners
Easy Carrot Lentil Soup (30 Minutes)
- 1 large pot
- 1 blender (jug blender is ideal but immersion works too)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 ¼ lb carrots (about 550g, or 4 very large carrots)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1½ cups lentils (270g)
- 4½ cups vegetable broth or stock (1.1 litres)
- 1 cup milk (I used almond milk, but any other works)
- Salt to taste
- Roughly chop onion and carrot, and peel and crush garlic.
- Add onion and garlic to a large pan with olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes - stirring frequently - until onion is soft and translucent.
- Add chopped carrot, chili powder, paprika, turmeric, cumin and pepper to pan, and sauté for 2 minutes more.
- Add lentils, vegetable broth and milk to the pan. Bring soup to a boil and reduce heat until gently bubbling.
- Simmer soup for 12-14 minutes, until lentils are soft.
- Transfer to a blender, and blend on high power for about 20 seconds until soup is creamy (you might need to do this in two batches).
- Return to the pot and add salt to taste (I usually find I need about 1 teaspoon salt). If your soup is thicker than you'd like, add a little more milk, broth or water. Reheat if needed.
- Serve in large bowls, optionally garnished with fresh cilantro or parsley, lime juice, chili flakes and dairy-free cream or yoghurt.
Nutritional information per serving
If you’ve tried this carrot lentil soup recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!