This hearty, wholesome tomato and red lentil soup is so easy to make. It's healthy, filling and made from store cupboard ingredients.
This delicious soup is very easy to make. Dried red lentils need no soaking, and cook down to a soft texture very quickly, which makes them perfect for thickening a soup. The recipe takes just 30 minutes to cook, and uses one pot.
Tomato and lentil soup is super healthy, and packed with vitamins and minerals. Red lentils are very good for you and count as one of your 5 A Day. They are an excellent source of fibre, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium. To read more about the health benefits of lentils click here. Tomato, onion and garlic, and the generous addition of herbs and spices also provide lots of extra nutrition.
This red lentil soup is also very filling. That's partly because it contains plenty of fibre, and also because lentils are made up of 25% protein which keeps you full for longer. If you want it to be even more filling and increase the protein further, you could top it with some chopped boiled egg, or some crispy chopped bacon bits. Sunflower or pumpkin seeds would also be nice.
This store cupboard tomato and red lentil soup has been one of my go-to recipes for years. It's a particularly delicious and easy way to include some pulses in your diet. And when you are running low on fresh ingredients, it's very handy. Plus, it's budget friendly, and vegan.
Dried red lentils. These are readily available in supermarkets alongside other dried pulses. Red lentils are really easy to cook with, they don't need soaking, and because they are usually split, they cook through quickly. Just give them a quick rinse before you add them to the pan. Whereas green and brown lentils are often available in cans, I think red lentils are nearly always dried. If you're looking for other ways to use red lentils, this red lentil bolognese is very easy and delicious.
Onions and garlic. Both these essential ingredients add a great savoury flavour to soup, and they also bring lots of health benefits. Chop the onions relatively small so that they cook through quite quickly.
Olive oil, or you can replace this with any other cooking oil
Tinned tomatoes. You can either use chopped tomatoes, or plum tomatoes which you can blitz down at the end.
Stock. Of course, if you have fresh stock on hand, that would be great for this soup. If you want a vegan soup, you'll need veg stock, but you could use fresh gammon or chicken stock. Just make sure that you adjust the seasoning accordingly. Stock cubes and gammon stock can be very salty, and you are unlikely to need to add more salt.
Herbs and spices. Leafy basil or parsley will blitz down to a smooth texture in this soup, but still add lots of flavour. Turmeric and cumin add a lovely earthy note, as well as a rich colour.
Variations for tomato and lentil soup
Switch the herbs and spices around as you prefer. You could replace the turmeric and cumin with mild curry powder. Or if you'd like a spicy lentil soup, add a hotter mix. Substitute other soft green herbs for the basil - coriander goes very well with the spices. Frozen herbs will work perfectly well.
You can also adjust the texture of the soup to suit your preferences. If you prefer it thinner, add more water or stock. And if you prefer your soup chunkier, don't blitz it at the end, or maybe just blitz it for a short while to leave some veggie chunks.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, this recipe freezes brilliantly. I'd really recommend making a large batch of it so you have some left overs to freeze. When it's cool, place in a lidded freezable container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
I wouldn't recommend switching the lentils in this soup. Red lentils cook down quickly to a soft texture which is perfect for thickening a soup. Green and brown lentils are very different, and hold their texture.
If you don't have a hand blender, you can blitz the soup in batches in your food processor. If you don't have that option, leave your soup chunky - it'll still taste delicious.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a garnish of fresh herbs. You might like to accompany your tomato and red lentil soup with these easy flatbreads which take just 15 minutes from start to finish. Enjoy!
Tomato and Red Lentil Soup
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic peeled and very finely chopped or crushed
- ½ cup red lentils
- 400 g chopped canned tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup torn basil or use coriander or parsley
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 stock cube, vegetable or chicken
- 400 ml water or use fresh stock and omit the stock cube
- Heat the oil in a pan, and fry the onion for a few minutes.
- Add the chopped garlic and fry for a couple of minutes more.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, lentils, herbs, spices and seasoning, plus the water and stock cube. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid the lentils sticking.
- Blitz in the pan with a hand blender.
- Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a garnish of herbs.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only