Lentil soup recipes: simple, delicious and healthy

Linsensuppe Rezepte: einfach, lecker und gesund Linsensuppe Rezepte: einfach, lecker und gesund

Lentils are low in calories, rich in vitamins and satisfying. But it’s not only the nutrients that make lentil soups, salads and side dishes so popular.

Range of types

If you think back to the lentil dishes of your childhood days, it’s probably grandma's green-brown stew with Frankfurter sausages that comes to mind. But in the meantime, lentils have shed their peasant food image and have found their way into gourmet kitchens. At home, too, the range of types brings colour to the table and variety to the menu:

  • The red lentil is a mountain lentil and is peeled. That's why it’s cooked after 20 minutes and easily takes on the taste of spices.
  • The yellow lentil is also peeled, quickly cooked and an important component of Indian cuisine. Both red and yellow lentils are particularly suitable for soups.
  • The black lentil is often found in salads: the Beluga lentil is the smallest and darkest of all lentil varieties and has a firm bite. The Puy lentil is the more extravagant variety and grows on volcanic soil in the Auvergne, a region in central France.
  • The brown lentil (which can also be green) is very common in Europe and is a classic for stews.

But what makes lentils especially healthy?

Lentils contain a lot of protein; only soybeans contain even more at 35%. This is why this pulse is so popular with vegetarians and vegans as a meat substitute. Lentils are also rich in vitamins and minerals. They have only a few calories, but they will keep you feeling satisfied for a long time. This is because the fibre and the healthy, complex carbohydrates in the lentils cause blood sugar levels to rise and drop gradually. In addition, lentils are said to have positive effects on blood pressure and heart rate.

Together with beans, peas and peanuts, lentils are classified as pulses, one of mankind's oldest crops. The biggest producers are Canada, India and Turkey.

Basic base for lentil soup

The peeled lentil varieties are particularly suitable for soups. Easier to digest than unpeeled lentils, there is also no need to soak them. If you choose these red and yellow lentils, your soup will be finished in no time. It’s worth bearing in mind that lentils approximately double their volume when cooked.

Lentils are best combined with potatoes, rice and other vegetables as this ensures that the protein is well absorbed by the body. Oriental and Indian cuisine feature lentil soups in numerous variations.


Flavoured with oriental and Indian spices, they can be transformed into all kinds of delicious dishes.

You can find three recipes to try yourself here:

Turkish style

  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 pepper
  • 200 g red lentils6 tbsp. tomato purée
  • 1½ litres of water or stock
  • 1-2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • salt and pepper


Finely dice the onion, carrot, potato and pepper and sauté. Rinse the lentils well and add to the pan. Add 1.5 litres of water, bring to the boil. Mix in the tomato purée. After around 20 minutes, when the vegetables are cooked (depending on the size of the dice), take the soup off the hob and season with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Before serving, add lemon juice and scatter with fresh parsley.

Moroccan style

  • olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 100 g red lentils
  • 400 g chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. tomato purée
  • 1 litre stock
  • 1-2 tsp. ras-el-hanout spice mixture
  • Can be added according to taste: cinnamon, turmeric, chilli or cumin
  • fresh coriander (parsley is also an option)
  • natural yoghurt (or feta if preferred)
  • salt and pepper


Finely dice the onions and sauté in a little olive oil. Add the well-rinsed lentils, tomatoes and tomato purée plus the spices and vegetable stock. Mix well. Simmer for around 20-30 minutes and then purée (optional). Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a scattering of fresh coriander.

If you prefer to season to your own taste, you can replace part of the ras-el-hanout spice mixture with cinnamon, turmeric, chilli or cumin. Feta and parsley are also good alternatives to yoghurt and coriander.

Indian style

  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm fresh ginger
  • 1 large carrot
  • 50 g rice
  • 200 g yellow lentils
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 1 litre stock
  • ¼ tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. garam masala (or curry powder)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 pack of feta (usually 150-200 g)
  • 1 lemon
  • fresh coriander
  • salt and pepper


Finely dice the onion, carrots, garlic and ginger. First sauté the diced onion in olive oil, and then add the carrot, garlic and ginger and sauté for around a minute. Rinse the lentils well and add to the pan, along with the rice. Add one litre of stock and bring to the boil. Then add the coconut milk and spices. After cooking for around 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft, remove pan from the hob. Before serving, add lemon juice and scatter with pieces of feta and fresh coriander.

If you like Indian dhal, replace the coconut milk with puréed tomatoes.

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