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Lemon Lentil Soup Recipe

A quick and easy lemon lentil soup recipe with fresh thyme, cumin and a touch of saffron. Vegan, plant-based, healthy, hearty and gluten free.
Course Soup
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Lemon Lentil Soup, plant based, vegan,
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 194kcal
Author Florentina


  • 1 yellow onion - diced
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 cup red lentils (rinsed and picked through)
  • 1 carrot -diced
  • 1/2 bunch thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin + more to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 strip lemon peel
  • 6.5 cups water or low sodium vegetable stock - hot
  • 1 pinch saffron threads (optional)
  • 1 pinch sea salt + more to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil or a splash of water (omit oil for WFPB & Plantricious diets)
  • 1 lemon - cut into wedges
  • 1/3 cup micro-greens, cilantro leaves or fresh dill - for serving


  • Mix the hot water or vegetable stock with the saffron threads and set aside.
  • Heat up a soup pot over medium low flame. Add the chopped onion with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Sautee for 3 minutes then stir in the carrots. Sautee together for another 5 minutes then stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin and chili powder. 
  • Add the lentils, lemon peel and thyme and give everything a good stir. Pour in the saffron stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked through. 
  • Taste and adjust seasonings with the sea salt to your taste. Remove from heat and discard the thyme sprigs and lemon peel. Add the turmeric and using an immersion blender puree about half the soup just to give it a nice rustic texture. Totally optional but suggested. 
  • Squeeze in the juice from half the lemon and serve hot garnished with the micro-greens and the remaining lemon wedges on the side.  


  1. Lentils need No pre-soaking and are usually done in 15 to 25 minutes depending on the variety. Red lentils seem to cook the fastest 15-20 minutes.
  2. A cup of lentils contains about 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber, they are also a great source of folate and minerals.
  3. Unlike beans, lentils do not contains sulfur so they don't produce gas.


Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 12g | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2855IU | Vitamin C: 21.9mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 4.3mg