Lentil Soup with Lemon and Turmeric

Meet my go-to lentil soup recipe! I make this soup with lentils, carrots, turmeric, and fresh lemon whenever I’m in need of some healthy comfort food. It’s savory, satisfying, and utterly delicious. Jump to the Lentil Soup Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

The Best Lentil Soup with Lemon and Turmeric

What You’ll Need To Make My Favorite Lentil Soup

The first time I had lentil soup I wasn’t really expecting to like it. I thought it was going to be bland and boring, but thanks to a combination of spices and fresh lemon, it tasted amazing (almost addictive) and so comforting. I make this soup during every season, it’s that good!

The ingredients needed to make lentil soup are simple and most are probably sitting in your kitchen already. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lentils — I use brown, red, or French lentils to make the soup and add them uncooked. The lentils cook up to be soft, plus I love the nutritional benefits of lentils. They are high in fiber, B vitamins, iron, protein, and are low in fat.
  • Garlic, onion and carrots add nutrients, texture, and color to the soup.
  • Ground cumin, ground coriander, and ground turmeric add spice and color.
  • Broth — For a vegetarian/vegan lentil soup, use veggie broth (here’s our recipe) or use chicken broth (here’s how we make it).
  • Kale or spinach add even more nutrition to the soup.
  • Fresh lemon is a must for this soup. It makes all the flavors really pop. I even add slices of lemon to the bowls when serving.
  • Fresh herbs are optional, but when I have it on hand I love adding a handful of fresh dill or parsley.

The Steps for Making The Best Lentil Soup

Like quite a few of the soup recipes on Inspired Taste, this lentil soup is very simple to make. Let’s quickly walk through the steps:

Step 1: Cook onions and carrots in a large pot (I use my Dutch oven) until they begin to soften and are starting to smell sweet. If you have them in the fridge, celery or fennel would be lovely added to the pot, too.

Step 2: Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, and turmeric. I only cook the aromatics for 30 seconds or so. This short time allows the garlic and spices to warm up, which I think helps them release even more flavor to the soup.

Step 3: Rinse and pick through the lentils. I add the lentils dry (uncooked) to the pot, but before doing that, I make sure to rinse them under running water. I also quickly look through them to make sure anything that isn’t a lentil is removed (sometimes other beans or grains sneak in, especially when you get them from the bulk aisle).

How to Make The Best Lentil Soup - I add uncooked lentils that have been rinsed under cold water.
I add uncooked lentils that have been rinsed under cold water.

Step 4: Add the lentils and broth. With almost all the soup ingredients in the pot, I bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are soft. This takes 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 5: Taste and season the soup then stir in greens. Whether you use kale or spinach in the soup, you only need to cook them for a few minutes before serving.

How to Make The Best Lentil Soup -- The greens (like kale or spinach) only need a few minutes of cooking in the soup before you serve.
The greens (like kale or spinach) only need a few minutes of cooking in the soup before you serve.

Step 6: Add fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs. Just before serving, I squeeze lots of fresh lemon juice into the soup. This brightens all the flavors and really makes the soup taste fresh and fantastic. Fresh herbs like dill or parsley are also a nice touch.

As you can see from our photos, I add slices of lemon to the soup, too. This is completely optional, but it does add even more lemony flavor and cues whoever you are serving the soup to that we’ve added lemon.

Should I Blend Lentil Soup?

Whether you blend the soup is entirely up to you. Lots of recipes for lentil soup call for blending all or part of the soup the thicken it. I don’t usually do this since I think the soup is thick enough and I enjoy the combination of broth and the texture of whole cooked lentils.

If you do want to blend the soup, use an immersion blender or a stand blender with the stopper removed and a paper towel placed over the hole. This way, as you blend the hot liquid, steam can be released (not doing this can cause quite a mess).

Meet my go-to lentil soup recipe! I make this soup with lentils, carrots, turmeric, and fresh lemon whenever I'm in need of some healthy comfort food. It's savory, satisfying, and utterly delicious.

Make Ahead and Storing

Lentil soup will keep well for up to four days in the fridge and in my opinion, gets better over time. You might find that the lentils absorb some of the extra liquid in the soup as it sits in the fridge. To bring it back to more of a soup-like consistency, simply add a splash of water or broth before reheating.

You can also freeze the soup. It should keep for several months. Simply defrost and reheat before serving.

Meet my go-to lentil soup recipe! I make this soup with lentils, carrots, turmeric, and fresh lemon whenever I'm in need of some healthy comfort food. It's savory, satisfying, and utterly delicious.

More Easy Soup Recipes

Lentil Soup with Lemon and Turmeric

  • PREP
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This is our favorite lentil soup recipe. I make this soup with lentils, carrots, turmeric, and fresh lemon whenever we are in need of some healthy comfort food. It’s savory, satisfying, and utterly delicious. I like quite a bit of fresh lemon in this soup and actually serve the soup with slices of lemon. This adds even more lemony flavor and shows that lemon was added to the soup.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

You Will Need

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups finely chopped onion (1 medium onion)

1 1/2 cups chopped carrot (2 large carrots)

2 teaspoons minced garlic (3 cloves)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 cups (12 ounces) lentils, picked and rinsed

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 heaping cups shredded kale or spinach

1 to 2 lemons

1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs like parsley or dill, optional

Fine sea salt, to taste


    Heat the oil in a large pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until they are softened and starting to smell sweet, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds.

    Stir in the lentils and broth. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Taste then adjust with salt (we add between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon depending on how well seasoned the broth is). Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

    Uncover the pot and stir in the kale (or spinach) and cook, uncovered, another 5 minutes. Take the soup off of the heat, and then stir in the juice of half a lemon and the fresh herbs. Taste the soup, and then season with additional salt and/or lemon juice. (I like quite a bit of lemon.)

    Serve or if you prefer the soup to be blended, use an immersion blender to blend until your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can use a stand blender to blend all or part of the soup. For even more lemon flavor, serve with a few lemon slices.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • The soup will keep stored in the refrigerator up to four days and in the freezer for several months. If when reheating the soup, it seems too thick or dry, add a splash of extra broth or water.
  • For some extra flavor, cook bulk sausage or ham with the onions and carrots.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. Sodium will vary depending on the broth used.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1/6 of the recipe / Calories 298 / Total Fat 5.5g / Saturated Fat 0.8g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 1155.9mg / Total Carbohydrate 45.3g / Dietary Fiber 8g / Total Sugars 5.2g / Protein 19.5g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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20 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Angela August 28, 2019, 1:39 pm

    This is the cold/rainy day soup of my dreams! So simple to make yet very satisfying. I absolutely love the brightness that the lemon juice gives it and adding a slice to the bowl gives it almost a floral aroma! I used one carton each of vegetable stock and chicken stock, slightly increased the garlic and spices, and it turned out beautifully. Thank you! Can’t wait to make it again.

  • Nanette Bonyata August 25, 2019, 1:16 pm

    This soup is out of this world delicious! The lemon makes it taste so fresh. This is to be a new member in our meal repertoire. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Jessica August 24, 2019, 8:30 pm

    Absolutely delicious!

  • Grace July 30, 2019, 10:36 pm

    I just made this and it was absolutely delicious!! I used both fresh dill and parsley, a whole lemon for juice (mostly because we don’t have a juicer and wanted to get as much as we could) and really the only changes I made to it were the use of maybe 1/4 tsp bouillon (better than bouillon is a great brand and one I would recommend) and a generous amount of garlic pepper. Absolutely stunning recipe and will make again.

  • Goldie July 30, 2019, 8:36 pm

    Looooove this soup! I made it for the first time last week and my family (and I) loved it. I usually make a lentil soup every week and this recipe is definitely going into the rotation.

  • Laura thompson June 10, 2019, 2:28 pm

    This soup was fantastic!! Making it again today…lemon is important..we put a small dollop of sour cream in the middle of our bowl and we loved that too..

  • Beth K June 5, 2019, 8:51 pm

    This soup was very easy to make and tastes divine. It will be a staple soup for sure. Delicious!!

  • Emma May 29, 2019, 1:28 am

    Tasty soup and the lemon gives it a fresh taste. Great for winter colds too with the lemon, garlic and turmeric. I used some fresh grated turmeric root as well as the turmeric powder and used fresh parsley and coriander for the herbs.

    • Joanne May 29, 2019, 1:31 pm

      I love that you added fresh Turmeric, as well. Great idea!

  • Sam May 24, 2019, 12:55 am

    This was good i really liked the lemon as a new twist on lentil soup. Made in the instant pot set for 6 min pressure cook instead of simmer 40 min. And doubled the spices since we like loud flavors here.

  • Norman Johnston May 10, 2019, 9:43 am

    Sounds really great. I don’t see any reference to the lemon slices as shown in the photo. please advise. Regards. Norman Johnston.

    • Adam May 11, 2019, 5:24 pm

      You are absolutely right. We addressed this in the article but we did not explain the lemon slices in the recipe. We have added a note to the recipe to make it more clear.

  • Margaret May 5, 2019, 11:52 am

    This soup is off the charts delicious! The blending flavors of tumeric and lemon go well with the spinach and lentils! We used multicolored lentil mix, fresh parsley and spinach from the farmers market. This soup freezes wel for healthy lunches! Thanks for sharing Joanne and Adam, making another batch today!

    • Adam May 5, 2019, 11:12 pm

      With the multicolored mix that must have been beautiful. Nothing beats fresh from the farmers market!

  • Ana April 22, 2019, 8:33 pm

    I made this for lunch on a grey, rainy day and GAWSH it was good. I used vegetable stock instead of olive oil to sauté the vegetables and I used red lentils which hardly take any time to cook. I’ve been posting it all over my social media with links to this recipe. It’s so delicious.

  • Amanda April 20, 2019, 1:49 pm

    I couldn’t care less for lentils but this is the second time I’ve made this soup since the recipe was posted a week ago. So I guess I care about lentils now? It’s so easy and tasty. I’m with Adam and Joanne: lemon, baby!! This second time around I added Bok Choy and portobello mushroom bc i had it available but the original recipe is perfect the way it is.

    • Adam April 20, 2019, 11:41 pm

      Hi Amanda, We are so glad that you liked the soup. Boy Choy and portobello are a great idea!

  • Sam April 17, 2019, 1:14 am

    Sounds delicious. Lentil soups have been a healthy family favorite for us we will have to try this one

  • Erin Dufresne April 16, 2019, 8:35 pm

    Adam & Joanne, Thanks for your great newsletter with recipes! Do you happen to have a video for your lemon lentil soup? My husband is a visual learner so the videos always help. As usual, thanks for all your detailed tips. We really enjoy your Pho recipe as well!!!! 🙂 Thanks,Erin

    • Adam April 17, 2019, 12:16 am

      Hi Erin, So glad you like our videos! We don’t have one yet but it might be in the works soon 🙂


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