Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

Absolutely everyone needs a great lentil soup in their cooking repertoire. Here's a selection of some of the best.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

I've written so many lentil soup recipes for this site (and for my books), that I remember telling myself to take a break for a while. So, although I haven't published one in a while, I rarely go more than a week without making some sort of lentil soup goodness. Trying other lentil soups I come across is also a great way to expand my line-up, and brothy, creamy, chunky, pureed, spiced, and straight versions are all are fair game as far as I'm concerned. Here's a list of some tried-and-true favorites, and some great takes I've come across from out and about.

1. Coconut Yellow Split Pea Soup - (101 Cookbooks)
Not technically lentil soup, but close enough with the split peas. It's a ginger and curry-spiked yellow split pea stunner. Leftovers freeze well, and this makes an A+ lunch. Get the recipe here

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

2. Coconut Red Lentil Soup - (101 Cookbooks)
One of the top ten best soups of my life. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

3. Red Lentil Soup with Lemon - (101 Cookbooks)
A variation of Deborah Madison's Red Lentil Soup with Lime. This is an earthy, turmeric and mustard-spiked lentil soup served over brown rice with spinach and thick yogurt. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

4. Persian New Year Noodle Soup / (Ash-e Reshteh) - (101 Cookbooks)

This is my favorite soup/stew (yes, ever) and it has lentils in it, so I'm including it here. At its core we're talking about a bean and noodle soup featuring thin egg noodles swimming in a fragrant broth spiced with turmeric, cumin, chiles, and black pepper. You use a medley of lentils, chickpeas, and borlotti beans, making the soup hearty and filling without being heavy. You add spinach, dill, and cilantro. You add lime juice for a bit of sour at the end. And then you've got a number of toppings to add when you serve the soup - chopped walnuts, caramelized onions, and sour cream. From deep in the 101 archives. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

5. Curried Tomato Tortellini Soup (with lentils) - (101 Cookbooks)
This is a fortifying lentil and tomato-based stew, dotted with plump, tender dumplings, spiked with a range of spices, and boosted with plenty of red lentils and spinach. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

6. Meal In a Jar: Tortellini Soup - (101 Cookbooks)
And if you want a make-ahead, just add water & crushed tomato versionof the above soup - this is it. Get the recipe here.
Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

7. Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter - (101 Cookbooks)
Green lentils (or split peas), topped with a curried brown butter drizzle, and pan-fried paneer cubes. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

8. Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup - (101 Cookbooks)
This is what I make when I need a bit of a reset. Make a big pot, and then eat throughout the week. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

9. Yellow Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup - (Will Frolic for Food)
This Chitra Agrawal recipe caught my attention because it cleverly incorporates coconut, but not coconut milk. So, the broth stays hearty but not creamy - hits the spot when you want something filling but not overly decadent. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

Bonus! Slow Cooker Winter Vegetable with Split Red Lentils - (A Beautiful Plate)
Adding this at the last minute. A slow cooker option. This one with a minestrone angle.
Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From
Bonus! Vegetarian Split Pea Soup - (101 Cookbooks)
A delicious, healthy, textured soup made from an impossibly short list of ingredients. Seriously, just five! Simply green split peas and onions cooked until tender, partially pureed, seasoned and flared out with toppings. Get the recipe here.
Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

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I make the curried tortellini soup all the time! It makes a lot of meals and feels so healthy. I love that it is so flavorful just using water and that I can make this even if I have nothing fresh in the house.


    Thanks Alison! Love reading this, so glad you’re enjoy it.

    Heidi Swanson

Obsessed with the New Years Soup, I’ve been making it for years!


What a great list – thanks so much Heidi. I regularly make a tasty red lentil dal but my family and I have become a bit sick of it recently and so I have been thinking we need to branch out with our lentil dishes. Look forward to giving these a go 🙂


Dying to try each of these glorious recipes! Thank you so much for including mine. <3

Alanna Taylor-Tobin

    xoxo Alanna! 🙂

    Heidi Swanson

I have a totally silly question! I love lentils when I eat them in restaurants but never when I cook them at home. For some reason I always have a texture problem (maybe I’m not cooking them enough or maybe my lentils are just old…) when I cook lentils. How do you get that perfect texture I often have in restaurants?


    Hi Emily – It sort of depends on the type of lentils you’re cooking. Keep a close eye on them, and remove them from heat when they’re the texture you like, and take note for the next time. Red lentils tend to lose their shape quickly, while black lentils, for example, hold for much longer. It’s just a matter of getting to know them a bit :). Hope this helps!

    Heidi Swanson

Best compilation ever for this cool wknd! Wonder how many of them I can prep and freeze…Thanks!


    Probably a good number of them! -h

    Heidi Swanson

I’m looking forward to making some that are new to me but a favorite remains Jane Body’s recipe from decades ago. That and your red lentil with lemon are in the freezer throughout our long cold winters.

Harriet Friedman

I think that I have made every single one of your lentil soup recipes and love them all! Maybe I’ll venture into some new recipes that you have shared here as well. 😉
Our family favorite for lentil soup is from Alice Water’s “In the Greens Kitchen”. It’s a simple recipe with rosemary and gets requested almost weekly.


    Oh! Great tip – I love rosemary! Will track down Alice’s recipe.

    Heidi Swanson

I LOVE the Persian New Year Soup. Have made it a # of times!


Such beautiful soups! I cannot wait to try your all-time favorite, New Year Noodle Soup! 🙂 I too, am a soup lover <3

Kathleen @ Produce On Parade

Thank You! I’ve been cooking more with lentils lately and taking a break from all the pasta. What a great assortment of Yum!


Now I’m in the mood for lentil soup. I’ve been craving it ever since a colleague made me some and I tried to remake it but mine ends up mushy.


Heidi, thank you for this list (and the others!). I look forward to exploring it as winter comes. I do want to mention one of my favorite lentil soups from Orangette, I have made it many times, often as written or as a base for whatever I have to add to the pot. Thank you. It’s nice to have you here again. Keep it coming!

HS: xo Karina! Always big love for Molly.


You have several here that are new to me. Saving this for our weekly soup night (which is also a meat-free meal).

Taste of France

Very nice and inspirational assortment of lentil recipes.
Thank you!


Another great roundup! These are great recipe reminders and got me into cooking mode again! So, thanks. I have made your take on the New Year Noodle Soup for every Jan 1st since the day you posted it all those years ago. It’s become a tradition to make on New Years Eve that we look forward to. Also, made the coconut red lentil soup this weekend again and it’s still tops around here. Thank you for all you do to inspire home cooks. I sure do appreciate it 🙂

HS: Thanks for the nice note Cheri! Knowing that some of these recipes make a jump into kitchens like yours is what keeps me inspired! 🙂 xx, -h


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