Spicy Red Lentil Soup

Lentils are so unassuming – small on their own, yet in bulk they sure pack a hearty and earthy punch. This spicy red lentil soup adds a little fire and exotic spice to the lentil’s built-in earthy flavor.

Spicy red lentil soup
Spicy red lentil soup, topped with red pepper flakes

All it takes is a single jalapeño pepper, or if you want things spicier, opt for a serrano (often twice the spice). Or try some crushed red pepper as a post-cooking finishing spice to add a little extra pop (totally optional.) Serve the soup with crusty bread, and you have something that’ll fill you up like a full meal.

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Spicy red lentil soup

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

Warm, earthy, and hearty
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 6 servings
Calories 321 kcal


  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 6 plum tomatoes diced, or 1 can (15 ounce) of diced tomatoes
  • 7 carrots diced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper stemmed, seeds removed, and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper more to taste
  • Crushed red pepper optional


  • In a high-sided saucepan (or soup pot) over medium heat, heat the olive oil then cook the onion and garlic, stirring often, until the onion is translucent (2 to 3 minutes). 
  • Add the carrots and jalapeño pepper to the saucepan and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the carrots have softened (approximately 7 to 8 minutes).
  • Add the coriander, turmeric, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 1 or 2 more minutes.
  • Add the vegetable broth, plum tomatoes, and red lentils – stir to combine. Lower the heat to low and allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are softened. 
  • Using a hand food processor or blender, blend the red lentil soup to your desired consistency. It can remain chunky or be totally smooth.
  • Add more salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper (optional, if you want it spicier) to taste, then serve.


Want it spicier? Try a fresh serrano pepper instead of a jalapeño. Serranos are typically double the heat. 


Calories: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 17gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 1192mgPotassium: 1014mgFiber: 22gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 12961IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Crushed Red Pepper, Jalapeno Pepper
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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on May 29, 2023 to include new content.
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
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