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

Lentil soup with kale, lemon, carrots, 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.

Love lentils? We love lentils and have devoted an entire article about them. Read all about the different varieties of lentils as well as how to cook them. See our Ultimate Guide to Lentils. We also use them to make these vegan eatballs (I love them!).

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).

Uncooked lentils with carrots, onions and turmeric
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.

Adding kale to lentil soup
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).

Lentil soup with lemon and turmeric

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.

Lentil soup with lemon and turmeric

More Easy Soup Recipes

Lentil Soup with Lemon and Turmeric

  • PREP
  • COOK

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

Watch Us Make the Recipe

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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120 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Jan November 24, 2021, 5:52 pm

    For my meat-loving family, I want to add a chicken-type sausage to the Lentil recipe I made. (It tastes great just alone!) Question: my husband bought organic basil and cracked black pepper smoked chicken sausage. Does the basil go with other spices, or does the sausage just blend well? Thank you, Jan

    • Joanne November 24, 2021, 6:48 pm

      I bet it will be delicious!

  • Emily Young November 11, 2021, 2:43 pm

    Blue Collar Approved. I make this with vegetable stock. My boyfriend is a roofer and a self-proclaimed picky eater. I packed this soup in his thermos to warm him up at lunch and it wasn’t until someone else pointed out there wasn’t meat in it that he realized it. I expected him to follow up with “you can’t be sending me to work with vegan food babe” but what he said was “will you print the recipe? Some of the guys asked.” I knew he liked it but he defended it to the point the other guys tried it. Not only is the flavor incredible but it is dense enough it burned his mouth six hours after I packed it.

  • Lisa November 3, 2021, 5:11 pm

    This soup was really good! I added some celery to it as well as a small potato. I only squeezed a little bit of lemon at the end before serving. Im truly impressed with how well the seasonings go with this i also used half chicken broth and half veg broth. Im surprised at how much this makes. Lots of leftovers. Thank u for sharing really enjoyed!

  • Stephanie November 3, 2021, 1:31 pm

    So good. I added garlic cloves and shallot to the aromatics and zucchini to the potato step and a can of tomatoes to my broth. 8 cups of broth. I love broth and did 1.5 cups lentils Luckily I had a lot of dry dill on hand I had from a leftover fresh bushel and dumped it all in. Oh and a bay leaf because why not. Delicious!!

  • Julie Harrington October 29, 2021, 8:17 am

    Loved the spicy flavours & combined with the freshness of the lemons added layers of flavour to the soup. Looked so appetising and colourful too. Recently discovered your website and am enjoying the variety of your delicious recipes. Truly appetising and instructions and methods very clear and easy to follow. Thank you.

  • CLAUDETTE Bechdolt October 27, 2021, 4:42 pm

    Second time I have made this soup. Excellent flavors and quite healthy. The lemon and spinach just add so much more.

  • Pauline October 27, 2021, 1:07 pm

    Hi Joanne and Adam, thanks for the recipe. The soup is delicious and thanks for adding the cups and weight measurements, it helps. Pauline

  • Jim August 30, 2021, 5:09 pm

    Another winner. I made a big pot of your Lentil Soup and found it very tasty plus it was easy to make. Added celery, a couple of serrano peppers and upped the spices by about 50% because I like my food hot and spicy. The best part about your recipes other than they taste great is they use common items so I don’t have to buy a bunch of stuff I’ll never use again to try a recipe. And I like the fact they are quick and simple so a non chef like myself can make stuff that turns out great.

  • Susan Engle August 30, 2021, 4:56 pm

    We enjoy Lentil Soup and your recipe sounds delicious. My husband (stage 4)is on a low sodium, potassium and phosphate diet. Even though no salt is added there is over 1000+ mg of salt. Perhaps in broth? I would use a no salt broth. Could you show the amount of phosphate & potassium? We have been waiting to see a dietitian for 11 months. I have read lentils, kale & broccoli are high in these nutrients. Could you advise?

  • Lina August 22, 2021, 7:01 am

    Hi, thank you for including me, I cooked the lentil and lemon soup turned out great. I cooked lentil soup before but never used those spices before and it’s very filling to . Your recipes are amazing .I will try one of the curries to.

  • deborah tucci August 4, 2021, 4:46 pm

    looks great cant wait to try all these receipes

  • Cj July 16, 2021, 1:39 pm

    Firstly, I’m not a fan of lentils. They’re boring, bland, and uninspiring despite being super good for us. (…or so I thought.) This recipe has changed my entire feeling about them. I love this recipe, and will use it as a springboard into finding ways to fall in love with the mighty little lentils. Thank you for helping me with this endeavor. Your recipe rocks!

    • Adam July 16, 2021, 3:10 pm

      Hi Cj, So glad you enjoyed the soup. This is one of our favorite uses for lentils.

  • Angela Di tommaso July 14, 2021, 10:53 pm

    Will try this soup, looks delicious.

  • Dawn May 28, 2021, 1:43 pm

    The recipes are amazing I cook this soup for my parents and they LOVED it! I even did the carrot cake for Thanksgiving and my family loved it as well. 😀

  • Daisy May 25, 2021, 2:19 pm

    So good! This was so easy to make and the flavors are wonderful! adding this to our soup rotation

    • Dawn May 28, 2021, 1:44 pm

      I know right!!

    • Georgia Pa June 6, 2021, 9:12 pm

      This was perfect as it was – no modifications. The turmeric paired so well with the cumin and coriander, I will be making this again (and again). Thank you!


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