Lots of lemon and dill make this vegan red lentil soup bright and full of flavour. It's the best lentil soup you'll ever have and perfect for every season. Lots of herbs and lemon brighten things up and will keep you coming back for more.

More some more easy lentil recipes, try my vegan ginger red lentil dal, vegan meatballs with lentils and rice, or smoky lentil chili with winter squash.

A bowl of lentil soup topped with herbs and cheese in strong light.
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Lentil soup ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Potatoes: try subbing yam, sweet potato, more carrots, or pumpkin.
  • Spinach: chopped kale or chard or arugula can be substituted for spinach. If you want to use frozen spinach, add it with the lemon slices so that it has time to thaw fully.
  • Add-ins: you can add more vegetables to the mix, and change up the herbs to suit your preference.

Step by Step

Soup steps 1 to 4, cooking the vegetables, adding tomatoes, mixing in lentils, and adding greens.

Step 1: sauté the onion and leek, then add the celery and garlic.

Step 2: add the potato, carrot, and lentils to the pot.

Step 3: stir in the stock and spices, then bring to a boil.

Step 4: simmer for 30 minutes, then add the lemon and greens. Serve hot.

Top Tips

  • Season to taste: season when you add the lentils as outlined in the recipe, then taste the soup when it's finished cooking and add more salt to your taste.
  • Don't forget the toppings: it's a great soup as is, but like most things, a few add-ins will take it over the top! A little creamy feta and some extra herbs are delicious.
  • No stock, no problem: if you don't have vegetable stock, don't worry. The store-bought versions are mostly just salt anyway, so use water and add some more salt to compensate (taste to check).

How to Store

Storage: keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days without any added toppings.

Freezing: transfer cooled soup to airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat as usual. This soup freezes really well.


Do I need to rinse lentils for soup?

Depending on the quality of the lentils, you make want to pick them over and rinse before cooking, especially if they look dusty or broken.

How do you thicken lentil soup?

The trick to a nice thick lentil soup is not to reduce the amount of lentils called for. They'll naturally thicken the soup as they cook, absorbing the stock.

What color lentils are best for soup?

Red lentils will make for a thicker, slightly stew-like soup, and cook quickly. Black, brown, and green lentils will hold their shape and not break down during cooking, so it just depends what you like most.

If you make this Red Lentil Soup or any other vegan soup recipes on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.


A bowl of lentil soup topped with herbs and cheese in strong light.
Print Recipe
4.60 from 27 votes

Best Lentil Soup

Lots of lemon and dill make this vegan red lentil soup bright and full of flavour. It's the best lentil soup you'll ever have and perfect for every season.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Medium sized pot
  • Wooden spoon


  • 1 tablespoon Coconut or Avocado Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion Chopped (approximately 1 Cup)
  • 1 cup Chopped Leek Chopped Leek
  • 2 Stalks Celery Chopped (approximately 1 Cup)
  • 4 cloves Garlic Diced
  • 2 Small Yellow Potatoes Chopped (approximately 1 Cup)
  • 3 Carrots Chopped
  • 5 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Dill
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 cup Red Lentils picked over
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ½ Lemon + ¼ Cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 cups, packed Spinach

Optional Garnishes


  • In a medium pot heat the oil to medium low and add the onion and leeks. Stir them and let them sauté for 5 minutes, or until they begin to become tender. Add the garlic and celery and cook for a few more minutes until the flavours mingle.
    1 tablespoon Coconut or Avocado Oil, 1 Medium Onion, 1 cup Chopped Leek, 2 Stalks Celery, 4 cloves Garlic
  • Add the carrots, potatoes, stock, spices, lentils, and salt. Cover and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes, string intermittently.
    2 Small Yellow Potatoes, 3 Carrots, 5 cups Vegetable Stock, 1 tablespoon Dried Dill, 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme, ½ teaspoon Ground Coriander, 1 cup Red Lentils, 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Once the lentils and veggies are cooked, take the seeds out of ½ of a lemon and slice it into paper-thin sections (you can cut each in to ¼ or ⅛ths if you want smaller pieces.
    ½ Lemon + ¼ Cup Lemon Juice
  • Add the lemon slices to the soup (peel and all) and let cook for a few more minutes to help them soften.
  • Take the soup off the heat and stir in ¼ cup of lemon juice and the spinach. Serve immediately with any garnish you like.
    2 cups, packed Spinach, Lemon Slices, Fresh Dill, Chive, Feta or Vegan Feta


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 360kcal


  1. This was delicious! I love lentil soup so much and this was a nice take on it. I also added a little mace and cinnamon for more depth of flavour. Yummy!

  2. This soup came together so beautifully!! I just made this today, I didn’t have any leeks so added some more celery and carrots. It looks amazing and tastes delicious!! Thank you so much for the recipe! I will be saving this as my go to lentil soup!

    1. I've always used split red lentils (since they're so quick cooking). Green lentils have a more rich and hearty flavour, so it won't be quite the same but I'm sure it wold still work.

  3. Ok. I just made this....it is SERIOUSLY DELISH!!! Oooh my goodness!! It’s a keeper going into my regular rotation...thanks!!

  4. This recipe looks delicious, I can't wait to try it! Quick question, feta cheese is mentioned in the ingredients list but I cannot see it mentioned in the recipe. Is it intended as a garnish?

    Thanks so much 🙂

    1. So happy you're going to try this, Rebecca! Yes, the feta is an optional garnish. If you don't do dairy, I have a vegan feta recipe here 🙂 xox

  5. This post resonates with me so much. I laughed out loud at the mention of $30 powders! I honestly just don't understand a lot of these health fads, and making a cozy comforting delicious soup is much higher on my list than a sun potion (or whatever they are called). Fresh bread and good soup are things I could easily live on. Sending hugs xo

    1. Ha ha, thanks, Maya! As much as I'd love to try some of those crazy powders, $30 buys a lot of lentils! I couldn't agree with you more about cozy, nutritious dishes like soup. I think people forget that food you can buy at the local market is just as nutritious as those fun, unpronounceable powders. Big hugs back, buddy! <3 <3 <3

  6. Goodness I love lentil soup. Always have, always will. And I love your take on it too, Sophie - those potatoes must add such a nice texture. Always with lemon 🙂 I know what you mean, when I worked in a bakery there were so many things I began to turn away from. Luckily I never lost my love for bread (or soup!) Wishing you had joyful weekend and good health pretty lady x

    1. Hey Jodi! Yes to lentil soup! If there is one perfect food in the world, I think lentil soup would be it! I'm so happy to hear you never lost your bread and soup love. It was totally a sad day around here when we did. But I'm so happy it's back with a vengeance. Oh, man, you and I could probably talk bakery shop for hours 🙂 So much love to you, buddy <3

  7. *Swoon*...I could eat red lentil soups year round easy...I hope I never tire of it (I feel for you during those no soup years...understandable tho).

    Looks so good, Sophie 🙂 and I hope you get your iron levels/stores up again. Lord knows I'll probably need to after this last week (kitchen battle wounds on repeat).

    1. I'm so happy to hear you're a lentil soup fan too, Heidi! Thank you ever so much for your well-wishes. Good-goodly, I hope you're doing okay. We all go through those clumsy weeks in the kitchen. I hope this new week is kinder to you. <3

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