ABOUT RED LENTILS Red lentils are typically bright orange in appearance, and are similar to other lentil varieties in terms of overall – great – nutritional benefits. They tend to break down a little more easily than brown, green or black lentils, and have a mushier texture as well. Additionally, they have a slightly sweeter taste than other types of lentils. They’re a little higher in potassium as well, and are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber. They have slightly more carbs and calories than other lentil varieties.
15 min
50 min


  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin Greek olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 leek thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped canned plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin or 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of chili pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils or mix of green and red lentils
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon more to taste
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 pita rounds toasted in a dry skillet or under the broiler, or in a toaster, then coarsely chopped
  • Yogurt for garnish


  1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion, garlic, and cumin seeds and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add lentils and carrots and saute for 5 minutes
  2. Stir in chopped tomatoes, cumin, salt, black pepper and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add the stock, 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Then partially cover the pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup, and add it back to the pot.
  5. Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice, spicy pepper flakes and cilantro. Season to taste and serve soup garnished with olive, yogurt, and toasted pita.

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Want to learn more easy, healthy Mediterranean diet recipes? Sign up for my online course “Mastering the Mediterranean!

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