Spiced Red Lentil Soup

by Sarah on January 7, 2013


What?  No, I did not fall off the face of the earth.  I just got….involved in other things.  I apologize.  I hope you all had a happy holiday season!  I sure did. We got a tree up and everything.  After Christmas, I took two weeks off of work and got shit DONE.  Staycations are totally underrated I think.


I made this red lentil soup the night we got our Christmas tree, in fact.  It came together quickly and let me help with the tree while it cooked.  Lentils, unlike other beans, only take an hour or so to cook so this is totally something you can make after work.


This soup closely resembles harira, the Morrocan tomato-and-lentil soup that is often served to break the fast during Ramadan.  It’s always the first course when we go out for Morrocan food and I love it.  The combination of spices is intoxicating.

red lentil

It’s super delicious the next day for lunch, if you are lucky enough to have any left over.


Recipe adapted from this one, from the book The Art of the Slow Cooker.

Spiced Red Lentil Soup


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14-1/2 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups dried red lentils, picked over, washed, and rinsed
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven. Add chopped onion and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add dry spices plus salt and pepper and garlic. Cook another minute or two, stirring, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the lentils and continue cooking, covered on low until lentils are tender, approximately one hour.
  • Stir in the red pepper flakes, lemon juice and herbs. Serve hot.

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