Hearty Red Lentil Soup Recipe for a Cozy Winter Night

Are you ready to warm your soul with a spiced, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free soup that comes together in just 45 minutes? Then you’ve come to the right place! Today, I’m excited to share my recipe for red lentil soup that is as delicious as it is nutritious.

For those who may not be familiar with red lentils, they are a legume that is naturally gluten-free and easy to cook. They are a low-fat, high-protein staple in many vegan and vegetarian diets due to their versatility and nutritional benefits.

This warming and comforting meal is perfect for chilly days when you need something hearty and filling to satisfy your cravings. The addition of carrots, celery, turnips, onions, garlic, and bay leaves enhances the flavors of the tender red lentils that meld together beautifully.

Plus, this recipe is not only vegan but also gluten-free and dairy-free! This means it’s suitable for those with dietary restrictions due to health issues or lifestyle choices. You won’t even miss the ham or cream – trust me!

So, let’s grab our aprons and dive into this easy-to-make spiced vegan red lentil soup that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Red Lentil Soup (Gluten, Dairy Free)
Red Lentil Soup (Gluten, Dairy Free)

Are you in search of a warm, comforting meal that comes together in just 45 minutes? Look no further than this delicious Red Lentil Soup recipe! Whether you are gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan, this soup is the perfect fit for you.

Not only is it naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, but it is also a spiced vegan red lentil soup. So, if you want to stay healthy and still enjoy your food without worrying about cross-contact with gluten containing ingredients, this is the recipe for you!

But what really sets this recipe apart is its combination of flavors. The ham in the soup adds a low fat high protein element to your meal. It’s also complimented by a savory blend of garlic powder and bay leaves that add an earthy depth to the dish.

If you crave for something more than just typical lentil soup, this recipe takes it up a notch with the addition of turnips and celery. These vegetables bring both texture and subtle sweetness to the mix. And let’s not forget about the red pepper and salt that season the soup perfectly!

So, why will you love this recipe? Because it is free of gluten, dairy and meat but full of flavor! Its easy-to-follow directions and nutritious ingredients make it a go-to for weeknight dinners or weekend lunch gatherings. Plus, who doesn’t love a healthy soup served up warm and comforting on a cold winter day?

Ingredient List

 Dive into a hot bowl of comfort!
Dive into a hot bowl of comfort!

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this warm and comforting Red Lentil Soup. This recipe is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and full of protein and fiber, making it a healthy choice for anyone looking to add a little extra nutrition to their meal. Gather the following ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 large onion, diced 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Note: If you have any allergies to any of the ingredients listed above or have dietary restrictions, make sure to closely examine the ingredient list to ensure that they are safe for consumption or find appropriate substitutions. Gluten may have hidden in some packaged or canned products, so please be vigilant about it. Be particularly cautious of cross-contact with gluten containing ingredients as this can present severe health consequences.

The Recipe How-To

 The ultimate hearty soup for a cold winter day!
The ultimate hearty soup for a cold winter day!


Before starting the recipe, rinse the red lentils under cold running water and drain well.

Next, chop all your vegetables, including 1 large onion diced, 3 cloves garlic minced, 2 turnips diced, 2 celery stalks diced, and 2 carrots diced.

Cooking Time

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Then, add in the diced turnips, celery, and carrots to stir for 5 minutes.

Add in 1 bay leaf, ½ teaspoon salt ,and a pinch of red pepper to spice up the soup. Continue to cook for another two or three minutes to let the flavor blend together.

Then add the rinsed lentils and 6 cups of water into the pot. Stir well and bring everything to boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low, add a lid on top of the pot cover it halfway with just a little space left for air circulation. Let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes until it becomes soft.

When there are about ten minutes left on your timer, it’s time to add in any extra spices or flavorings you prefer such as black pepper or some of your favorite dried herbs. Just remember that over seasoning could ruin the whole dish so try adding a small portion at first until you achieve your desired flavor.

Remove bay leaves from the soup before serving. If desired – decorate with sliced avocado or parsley leaves for beautiful presentation.

Finally, enjoy your warm comforting vegan red lentil soup!

Substitutions and Variations

 Protein-packed and bursting with flavor!
Protein-packed and bursting with flavor!

Looking to switch things up a bit with your red lentil soup recipe? There are plenty of ingredient substitutions and variations you can try to add some variety to this warm, comforting meal.

For a vegan and gluten-free version of this soup recipe, simply omit the ham and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. You can also experiment with different spices to add more complexity to the flavor. Try cumin or smoked paprika for a smoky twist, or add some crushed red pepper flakes for some extra heat.

If you want to make the recipe creamier, try stirring in a can of coconut milk before serving. This will give your soup a rich, velvety texture without any dairy products.

Looking for additional ingredients? Diced carrots or sweet potatoes can be added along with the celery and turnips. Consider adding additional greens as well such as kale or spinach, making it a lentil spinach soup or even throwing in some pumpkin chunks for a pumpkin lentil soup or adding diced tomatoes for a tomato soup variation.

Want an easier way to cook your lentil soup? Consider using your pressure cooker! Simply place all of the ingredients into the pot and cook on high pressure for about 15 to 20 minutes.

As always, be mindful of any dietary restrictions you may have when making substitutions. If you are gluten-free, ensure that all ingredients used do not pose any risk of cross-contact with gluten-containing foods.

Remember that these substitutions and variations can help you personalize this simple yet flavorful recipe to make it yours!

Serving and Pairing

 Enjoy a cozy and healthy meal!
Enjoy a cozy and healthy meal!

When it comes to serving and pairing red lentil soup, there are plenty of options to choose from. This soup is versatile and pairs well with many different sides and beverages.

First and foremost, I recommend serving this warm comforting meal on its own as the main course. The lentils will provide high protein, and the turnip and celery will give you all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Top it off with a sprinkle of pepper and salt, and you’re ready to go!

For those who prefer adding more to their meal, you can serve a fresh side salad or roasted vegetables such as Brussels sprouts or sweet potato wedges. These add crunchiness, flavors, and some extra fiber in addition to the soup.

To make this meal even more satisfying, try pairing it with gluten-free bread, crackers or even cornbread. If you avoid carbs, consider serving the soup with a side of proteins, for example grilled chicken breast or boiled eggs.

When it comes to beverages, classic pairings include apple cider or hot tea. If you want something more exciting on your taste buds try kombucha or lime infused water that will refresh your palate.

Finally, remember that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to pairing food; pair what you like because there is no right way.

Whatever way you choose to consume it, this spiced vegan red lentil soup makes for an ideal comfort food that’ll nourish your soul and body!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get your taste buds ready for a delicious, gluten-free soup!
Get your taste buds ready for a delicious, gluten-free soup!

This soup is perfect for meal planning and batch cooking because it stores and reheats so well. The flavors actually deepen and intensify as it sits, making it a great dish to make the day before. Plus, with its high protein content, it makes an ideal make-ahead option for busy weekdays or as a quick snack post-workout.

To store this soup, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Before reheating, add additional water if needed to get your desired consistency. You may reheat the soup on the stove-top over medium heat or carefully in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.

The best tip I can give you when reheating this soup is to do it slowly over low heat. This way, the heat will be distributed evenly throughout, ensuring the soup remains smooth and creamy without turning lumpy! Don’t forget that you can also freeze this soup into small portions or a large batch for easy storage.

Overall, this Red Lentil Soup is a versatile dish that can easily fit into anyone’s weekly meal plan. So, take advantage of its ability to be stored and reheated easily while still being incredibly satisfying!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A colorful and satisfying dish that will warm your heart.
A colorful and satisfying dish that will warm your heart.

When it comes to making soup, the secret lies in getting the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your Red Lentil Soup turns out perfectly every time:

1. Rinse the lentils thoroughly

Before cooking, make sure to rinse the lentils thoroughly under running water. This will remove any dirt, debris, or impurities that can affect the texture and flavor of your soup.

2. Use fresh ingredients

For a tasty and nutritious soup, it’s important to use only fresh ingredients. The vegetables should be firm and bright in color, and the lentils should be plump and unbroken.

3. Add enough liquid

The amount of liquid you use in your soup will determine its consistency. For a thicker soup, use less liquid; for a thinner soup, add more. Make sure to keep an eye on the soup while it’s cooking to ensure that it doesn’t become too thick or too thin.

4. Don’t skimp on seasonings

For a flavorful soup, don’t be afraid to add plenty of herbs and spices. In particular, bay leaves add a fragrant aroma, while garlic powder and black pepper can give your soup an extra kick.

5. Simmer gradually

To get the best results, simmer your soup slowly over low heat. This will allow all of the flavors to blend together and create a harmonious taste sensation.

6. Adjust seasoning as needed

Once your soup has finished cooking, taste it and adjust the seasoning as needed. You may need to add more salt or pepper if it tastes bland, or more water if it’s too thick.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a delicious Red Lentil Soup that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a warm and comforting meal on a cold winter day or an easy-to-make dish for a busy weeknight dinner, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings.


Now that we have gone through the entire recipe of the flavorful Red Lentil Soup, let’s go through some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that might be on your mind. These answers will help you make the perfect dish every time and clear any doubts you may have about the recipe. So, let’s get started!

Does lentil soup contain dairy?

This recipe is not only delicious and satisfying but also meets dietary restrictions such as being Dairy Free and Gluten Free. By simply substituting chicken broth with vegetable broth, you can easily make a flavorful Vegan soup using the same recipe. Have you ever tried cooking with lentils? They are a naturally gluten-free legume that adds a unique and tasty twist to any dish.

Do red lentils have gluten in them?

Although lentils are naturally gluten-free and a good choice for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, cross-contact with gluten-containing grains is a concern, much like oats.

Is Dr McDougall’s lentil soup gluten free?

This pack includes six 18-ounce paper cartons of vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO lentil soup with lower sodium, produced by McDougall’s Right Foods. The soup contains no added oil and the paper cartons are made from certified sustainably-managed forests.

Can gluten be washed off lentils?

When it comes to cooking with lentils, it is important to keep in mind that there is a possibility of cross-contact with gluten-containing grains. Therefore, it is highly recommended to carefully sort through the lentils, removing any foreign grains, and then rinse them under running water to eliminate any grain dust before cooking. This simple precaution will go a long way in ensuring that your lentil dish remains gluten-free and safe for consumption.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this red lentil soup is the perfect gluten-free and dairy-free recipe that can be enjoyed by everyone. With its high protein content, low-fat ingredients and warm, comforting taste, it is the ultimate comfort food for any season. The recipe is easy to make, requiring minimal effort and only a few simple ingredients.

Not only is this recipe delicious and nutritious, but it also provides a great alternative to meat-based soups. In addition, it is vegan-friendly, making it a perfect option for those who choose to embrace a plant-based diet. So why not give this recipe a try and enjoy a hearty bowl of spiced vegan red lentil soup today? Your taste buds and body will thank you!

Red Lentil Soup (Gluten, Dairy Free)

Red Lentil Soup (Gluten, Dairy Free) Recipe

my split-pea soup when i had no split peas in the pantry. nice in the crockpot
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Calories 468.2 kcal


  • 1 cup ham, cubed
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup turnip
  • 1 -2 cup water (depending how creamy or brothy you'd like it)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper


  • put all ingredients in crock pot, and cook on low for about 6 hours.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 400gCalories: 468.2kcalCarbohydrates: 63.4gProtein: 41.3gFat: 5.2gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 36.4mgSodium: 1154.5mgFiber: 31.3gSugar: 5.3g
Keyword Beans, Chowders, Dairy Free, Easy, Free Of..., Ham, Healthy, Lactose-free, Lentils, Low Cholesterol, Meat, Pork, Winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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