This quick red lentil and carrot soup is perfect for weekday dinners. Naturally vegan and vegetarian, it contains just 10 ingredients and comes together in less than 30 minutes.
This creamy lentil and carrot soup is quick, easy and perfect for batch cooking. It comes together in less than 30 minutes and is great as a filling meal as it contains both vegetables and protein (another quick meal that's high in protein and veggies is my Chickpea Spinach Curry).
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Why you'll love this recipe
It's fast - Comes together in just over 25 minutes and is simple to cook: vegetables and lentils are sautéed then simmered in broth.
Uses minimal ingredients - Just 10 ingredients plus salt, pepper and oil will give you a healthy, well rounded soup.
High in protein - Red lentils are a great 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 then refrigerate of 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.
Spice mix - Cumin, 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 great way to eat more of them!
Vegetable broth/stock - Adds a really great savoury flavour to your soup. I like buying bouillon powder and mixing it with water to make my own broth.
Milk - I use dairy free milks as I'm vegan, and find almond, soy, oat or coconut work really well.
Carrots - This soup works really well with carrots, but if 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 red lentils for green or brown ones, but do note this will definitely change the colour of the soup, and they will need to cook for much longer.
Vegetable broth/stock - I don't recommend omitting this as vegetable broth adds so much to the flavour, but if you're stuck you could try using plain water instead. Just remember to add more salt accordingly.
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 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.
Add more liquid as needed. This lentil and carrot soup really does thicken up as it cools, so it's quite likely you might need to add more broth or water when you reheat it. This is normal!
Use a jug blender if possible. A jug blender is recommended over an immersion blender simply because it's less messy (this soup can spatter quite a lot) and allows you to blend higher quantities at once.
Lentil and carrot soup variations
Carrot Lentil Ginger Soup - Try adding a small thumb of raw ginger to the soup before blending to make it extra warming.
Curried - Add 1-2 teaspoon curry powder with the other spices for a stronger spiced lentil soup.
How to store
Store uneaten soup in a sealed 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 - freeze it in a sealed container for up to one month, and reheat thoroughly after defrosting.
More soups & stews
Easy Lentil and Carrot Soup
- 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 parsley or cilantro, chili flakes and dairy-free cream or yoghurt.
Nutrition per serving
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!