Frugal Red Lentil Soup

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Frugal Red Lentil Soup

Frugal red lentil soup

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If you’ve spent any time at all on my blog you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I like lentils.  Actually I love lentils, I think they’re great.  They’re cheap, they cook quickly, they’re nutritious, they’re filling, what’s not to like 🙂  You can use them in lots of dishes but they lend themselves particularly well to soups.  I’ve shared my recipe for spicy lentil and tomato soup (magic soup!) already but this frugal red lentil soup is even easier – and cheaper!  Don’t be put off by it being labelled ‘frugal’; there’s no compromise on taste even though it only has a simple list of ingredients.

Frugal red lentil soup

The one ‘frill’ in this very sensible recipe is the addition of the juice of half a lemon just before serving.  It’s fine without but this really does do magical things to the flavour so I recommend you try it if you can.  The fresh coriander on the other hand is a ‘nice to have’.  I wouldn’t buy it just for this recipe but if I’ve got some handy it works well.

Frugal Red Lentil Soup

Servings 2


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 large carrot about 150g, cubed
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 700 ml vegetable stock
  • 150 g red lentils
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Black pepper
  • Chopped fresh coriander to serve optional


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic gently for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add the cumin and carrot, stir well and fry for 2 more minutes.
  • Stir in the red lentils.
  • Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the carrot and lentils are cooked.
  • Season with black pepper and the lemon juice just before serving.
  • If you have fresh coriander, serve it to sprinkle on top.

This recipe was submitted to Emily Leary’s Recipe of the Week Roundup.

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A note about salt

You might have noticed that I rarely mention salt in my recipes. I just don’t use it a lot. I’m sure a lot of people would think my cooking is ‘under seasoned’ but I have to watch my blood pressure and I’m used to not using much. There are some things, like rice, where I add a bit at the table but I rarely add it into my cooking.