Lesley’s Famous Fall Red Lentil Soup

October 18, 2012


By: Dr. Erin Wiley

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Lentil soup is a fantastic fall recipe. Lentils are packed with nutrients like folate, tryptophan, and iron. They are also high in fiber and plant protein. This soup is perfect for a fall picnic and makes a great packed lunch for a busy day at the office. This recipe was given to me by my friend Lesley and has been a favourite of mine ever since!


4 tbsp. olive oil

2 large yellow onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

2 tbsp. tomato paste

2 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. sea salt, or more to taste

A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne  pepper, or more to taste

2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth (Homemade or Imagine Foods)

2 cups red lentils, picked through for stones and debris

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat until hot and simmering. Add the onions and garlic and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the broth, 2 cups water, the lentils, and the carrots. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue to cook until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. Using an immersion or regular blender, puree about half of the soup. It should still be somewhat chunky, not completely smooth. Reheat if necessary, then stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve the soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted very lightly with cayenne, if desired.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Dr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor and clinic director at the Integrative Health Institute. She is a lifestyle medicine expert who is passionate about nutrition and loves cooking simple, healthy and delicious meals.

Photo Credit Creative Commons License babbagecabbage via Compfight

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