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Mediterranean Lentil Soup

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This Mediterranean lentil soup is an easy way to liven up your lentils. Made with some deliciously warming Mediterranean spices and everyday staples, it’s ideal as a budget-friendly and healthy soup for those chilly nights during the week.

Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • It has lots of flavorful ingredients combined with Middle-Eastern spices: I’m always experimenting with different spice combinations and this Middle-eastern spice mixture, baharat, works so well. It combines smoked paprika, cumin, ground coriander and allspice for a delightfully earthy taste.
  • It’s packed with proteins and healthy ingredients: the red lentils add a punch of protein, whilst the onion, carrots, spinach and tomato puree all add extra vegetable portions. Eat with a side of crusty bread and some extra Greek yogurt and you’ll have a filling meal that you can eat guilt-free.
  • It’s easy to make and ready in 45 minutes: there aren’t ‘chefy’ things you need to remember. It’s simply sautee the onions, carrots and garlic, add the spices and simmer the lentils for 15 minutes. It also uses lots of ingredients you most likely have on hand already. 

Ingredients – What You Need to Make This Soup

  • Extra virgin olive oil: a good quality olive oil is a staple within Mediterranean cuisines and will carry those delicious flavors throughout the soup. 
  • Onion, carrot, and garlic: these are the aromatics that add layers of flavor and aroma to the recipe. Sautee them in extra virgin olive oil to start the flavoring process.
  • Spices: we’ve used a combination of smoked paprika, cumin, ground coriander, and allspice, which is similar to the Middle-eastern spice mixture baharat. You can substitute the allspice with ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ nutmeg and ¼ tsp cloves. If you want some extra heat, add some cayenne pepper.
  • Tomato puree: these add a delicious unami flavor that compliments the other ingredients very well. Feel free to use tomato paste or crushed tomatoes instead. 
  • Red split lentils: this is what this soup is all about! I tested 1 cup of red split lentils with about 4 cups of stock, which gave a good X servings. Red split lentils only take about 15-20 minutes to cook whilst they are in the simmering broth. If you substitute other types of lentils like brown lentils, this will take longer. Rinse them before you add them to the broth to remove possible dirt and some of the starch.
  • Vegetable broth: we recommend a low sodium broth and add salt to taste later on if you need to add more. Chicken or beef stock is also fine if you only have those on hand. From a cube is fine as well.
  • Lemon juice and spinach: these are the finishing touches to the soup. The lemon juice adds some acidity to the recipe that balance all the spicy flavors.
  •  Greek yogurt: this adds a touch of tanginess to the soup. If you want to keep the soup vegan, then you can skip this.

How to Make Mediterranean Lentil Soup

Follow the recipe with the photos below if you need extra guidance about what the dish should look like whilst making it, or scroll to the bottom half of the past for the recipe instructions.

Step 1 – Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Dice the onions and chop the carrots. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions soften and become translucent.

Step 2 – Add the garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, allspice, and ground coriander and saute them with the onions and carrots. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute to bring out the flavors.

Step 3 – Wash the lentils, then add the tomato puree, vegetable broth and red split lentils. Turn up the heat until the soup starts bubbling, then turn the heat down and leave to simmer. It should take between 15 – 20 minutes to soften and cook the red lentils. 

Step 4 – Optional – Use a hand blender to blend everything together and give the soup a creamy consistency. It’s best to leave the soup cool a bit first, since the liquid may splatter and cause a burn.

Step 5 – If you have used a blender, turn the heat back on. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and stir in the spinach. Let it gently wilt into the soup.

Step 6 – Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with some Greek yogurt and some toasty bread.

Cooking Tips for this Mediterranean Lentil Soup

This lentil soup is fairly easy to get right, but there are some tips to be aware of.

1. Make sure the lentils are fully cooked before blending: the lentils should be fully cooked before blending. If they are undercooked, the soup will come out more gritty than creamy.

2. Use a hand blender rather than a food processor. You can skip the blending part and leave the soup chunky, but the creamy consistency works really well. Be sure to turn the heat off and let the soup cool a touch before blending. You can use a standard blender or food processor, but transferring it can be tricky and may overfill if you have a small one.

3. Don’t forget the lemon juice: the lemon juice provides the acidity within this recipe, so it’s important to keep it. It can be a bit of a pain if you don’t have a lemon on hand, but it will balance all the spices within the dish and brighten everything up. 

How To Store And Freeze Red Lentil Soup

Storage: keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Reheat: Reheat on medium-low in the microwave or over the stovetop. You may need to add a little water as the soup can thicken when refrigerated.

Freeze: keep in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. Again, you may need to add some water if the soup thickens.

What to Serve Alongside

Crusty bread is a staple alongside these kinds of soups so you can soup up all the leftover soup.

However, if you want to experiment a little, you can also try these recipes:

More Lentil Recipes

If you’re looking to use up all your lentils, then these recipes are for you!

If you make this Mediterranean lentil soup and have any questions, then drop us a comment or email and let us know!

Leave a comment, message or a review too – we’re always looking at getting good quality feedback and making our recipes as good as they can be.

Yield: 4

Mediterranean Lentil Soup

Mediterranean Lentil Soup

This Mediterranean lentil makes for a satisfying evening meal full of earthy Middle Eastern flavors. Ready in 45 minutes, gluten-free and high in protein.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cup (200g) red split lentils
  • 4 cups (about 1L) vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • Bunch of baby spinach leaves
  • Greek yogurt, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Chop the carrot and garlic and dice the onion and add to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, allspice, ground coriander., black pepper, and tomato puree. Cook for 30 seconds until the spices are fragrant.
  3. Wash the lentils, then add the red split lentils and broth. Bring the broth to a boil, then let simmer for 15-20 minutes.  
  4. Take the soup of the heat and let cool for a moment, then blend with an immersion blender,
  5. Add the lemon juice and stir in the spinach. Let the spinach gently wilt in the soup.
  6. Transfer to bowls and top with some extra Greek yogurt. Serve with your favorite choice of bread.

Notes

1. Make sure the lentils are fully cooked before blending: the lentils should be fully cooked before blending. If they are undercooked, the soup will come out more gritty than creamy.

2. Use a hand blender rather than a food processor: You can skip the blending part and leave the soup chunky, but the creamy consistency works really well. Be sure to turn the heat off and let the soup cool a touch before blending. You can use a standard blender or food processor, but transferring it can be tricky and may overfill if you have a small one.

3. Don't forget the lemon juice: the lemon juice provides the acidity within this recipe, so it's important to keep it. It can be a bit of a pain if you don't have a lemon on hand, but it will balance all the spices within the dish and brighten everything up.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 157Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 6mgSodium 268mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 4gSugar 5gProtein 11g

Want More Delicious, Mediterranean Style Recipes?

If you’ve cooked this recipe, be sure to leave a comment or review! But if you’re looking for more:

  1. Find more Mediterranean-style recipes on our website.
  2. Try our free 7 day Mediterranean diet plan with 20 recipes.
  3. Get our 4-week Mediterranean diet plan, Med in 28 plan, that makes following the Mediterranean diet a breeze!

Senga

Saturday 21st of January 2023

Don’t seem to be able to find how much tomato purée should be used....

Alex Johnson

Thursday 26th of January 2023

Hi Senga, it's 1 tablespoon :)

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