Red Lentil Soup (Vegan)

Lentil Soup 2

The qualities that characterize a terrific vegan soup vary within a narrow range: it has to be an aristocratic concoction of all-natural ingredients from the vegetable, bean, or grain kingdoms–but most importantly, the pottage must be completely free of additives, instant soup powders, or cheap stocks. Every vegan vein in the soup must be flowing with nothing but pure, noble liquid. Now only a soup that doesn’t cheat its way into flavor with any of this junk is an actual work of art.

And I mean it, a good soup can actually have a mind-blowing capacity…

Not to mention nutrition, and nutrient density. (For more about the nutrition in lentils, click here)

Everybody I know loves this smooth, velvety, golden blend of lentils and vegetables. For me (and I’m sure many others who have had it during their childhood), there is a nostalgic connection with this soup–one of the rare nutritious dishes that we used to like and never got forced to eat (much to our mother’s relief). As a matter of fact, it is one of  the earliest foods I remember ever having (and speaking of early, it also makes a great first food for babies who are being introduced to solids).

Lentil Soup 3

Red lentil soup is not only one of the oldest foods in our memory, but this has been a Mediterranean favorite since thousands of years ago–according to some documentations in quite a few ancient manuscripts, namely Egyptian, Greek, and Roman documents, plus the famous “mess of pottage” motif (Esau selling his birthright for one bowl of red lentil soup), which became an inspiration for many great artists such as Bortolloni, Stomer, Tissot, and Hendrick.


Found in the tomb of Ramses III: A depiction of red lentil soup served by a female servant.


Tissot's version of the "Mess of Pottage"

Tissot’s version of the “Mess of Pottage”

While countless cuisines and cultures feature their own versions, this is my own gently tweaked adaptation of the recipe (I tossed in a bay leaf and a hint of ground coriander–the only modifications to my mother’s recipe). It’s really very easy to make, and it’s a great way to use some of the older veggies in the fridge that are way past their prime! This is all it takes:

Ingredients (serves 6-8): 

2 cups red lentils

1 carrot

1 medium potato

1 courgette or zucchini

1 onion, cut into quarters

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 medium tomato

14 cups water or vegetable broth (or water and 2 organic veggie bouillon cubes)

1 bay leaf

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander (optional)

salt, to taste

1 tbsp oil

1. Heat the oil in a large pot, and toss in the onion, crushed garlic, cumin, and coriander. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

2. Add in all the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

3. Turn off the heat, and allow to mixture to cool.

4. Remove the bay leaf, and place everything else into a blender or food processor (you may need to do this two times, each time pureeing one half of the soup, since the blender/food processor may not have enough space for the entire soup).

You’re just going to love it!

Roula 🙂

lentil soup 1

Categories: Recipes, Vegan

4 Comments on “Red Lentil Soup (Vegan)”

  1. September 7, 2014 at 12:52 am #

    Your lentil soup looks superb! Really loved this read, especially the inclusion of a little bite of Ancient Egypt – fascinating stuff. If you have a minute, I’d love your thoughts on my red lentil soup 🙂


    • September 7, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

      Thank you! I had a look at your version of lentil soup and it looked great. I think adding in the red peppers is a swell idea 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. September 30, 2014 at 6:12 am #

    Your style is really unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from.
    Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I
    will just book mark this web site.


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